Following the vote ending smoking in cars with children, drivers throughout the Bradford district will not be allowed to smoke in private vehicles carrying under 18s.
The Second-hand Smoke campaign, backed by Bradford Council, launches to raise awareness of the damage second-hand smoke causes children in homes and cars. The campaign has come ahead of the law change on 1 October.
Second-hand smoke is particularly harmful to children as they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways. Children being exposed to second-hand smoke results in more than 300,000 GP visits and 9,500 hospital admissions every year.
Joanne Nykol, Tobacco Lead for Bradford Council, said “We’d ask parents to think again about smoking in their cars before the law comes into effect on 1 October and use it as a reason to quit Smoking for good. Second-hand smoke is a real threat to children’s health and can increase the risk of cot death, glue ear, asthma and other respiratory diseases.
“There is no safe level for smoking and in vehicles it can result in high levels of second-hand smoke even when windows are open. Bradford
Council welcomes anything that reduces the number of people smoking in the district as we work towards creating a smoke free generation in the future.”
The government estimates that three million children in England are exposed to second-hand smoke in their family car.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer said “The passing of regulation to make smoking in cars carrying under 18s illegal is a significant victory for protecting children’s health from second-hand smoke. Smoking just a single cigarette in a car exposes children to high levels of air pollutants and cancer causing chemicals like arsenic, formaldehyde and tar.
“Children are least equipped to speak out to protest against second-hand smoke, so I welcome this legislation to end smoking in cars when they are present.”
The government and public health professionals see this vote as a significant milestone in protecting children from the health risks of second-hand smoke. The law will come into force on 1 October 2015, and people failing to comply could face £50 fixed penalty notice.
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said “After years of campaigning on this issue, we could not be more delighted by the government’s commitment to help stop smoking in cars with children present.”With so many children being exposed to second-hand smoke in the family car every week in the UK, we are certain that this measure will prove to be one of the most significant moments for public health since the smoke free legislation of 2007.
The Smokefree Homes and Cars campaign features advertising on TV, radio and online from 9 February 2015. It highlights that many parents are often unaware of the damage smoking in the home and car causes to children’s health, and encourages them to quit.
Smokers can search ‘smokefree’ or visit nhs.uk/smokefree for a range of free support and quitting advice, including the Smokefree app and Quit Kit. Alternatively, they can contact the Bradford Stop Smoking Service on 01274 437700.