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A ban on people smoking in cars carrying children in Wales set for Assembly vote

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

A vote will be held in the National Assembly for Wales later today on Welsh Government proposals to ban people from smoking in cars when children under the age of 18 are present.
Tuesday 02 June 2015

If approved by AMs, a ban will come into force in Wales on October 1, 2015. A ban in England will also come into force on the same day.

Legislation banning smoking in enclosed public places was introduced in Wales in 2007 to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. The legislation also covers public and work vehicles but does not extend to private vehicles.

Exposure to second-hand smoke is a real and substantial threat to children’s health. In the confined space of cars, children are more vulnerable to second-hand smoke because they breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants than adults.

The new regulations, which AMs will vote on today, will make it an offence to smoke in an enclosed private vehicle when more than one person is present, at least one of whom is under the age of 18, and for a driver to fail to prevent smoking in such circumstances.

The regulations introduce a fixed penalty notice of £50 for each offence. The police will enforce the regulations in conjunction with their wider road safety duties, such as ensuring compliance with the laws on seatbelts or child car seats.

Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Some people believe that opening the window of a car will help disperse smoke but in reality it simply blows back in. It causes a real and substantial threat to children’s health.

“Children cannot escape from the toxic chemicals contained in second-hand smoke when travelling in cars. They often don’t have a choice over whether or not they travel in cars and may not feel able to ask an adult to stop smoking.

“If passed by AMs today, the regulations will introduce a ban to protect children under 18 from the harms associated with second-hand smoke when travelling in private vehicles.

“As with the existing smoke-free regulations, success will not be based on the number of enforcement actions that are taken but by how behaviour, attitudes and health outcomes change over time.”

 

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Health and social services 02 June 2015 Programme for Government - Healthcare Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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