Will government ban smoking in cars with kids?


Anna Soubry

Smokers have already been banned from indulging their addiction in the workplace and the pub, and now the Health Minister Anna Soubry, has told a conference that in her opinion they should be banned from smoking in their cars too - when there are children present.

David Cameron has also expressed his support for smoking bans, so will this become policy?

Possible ban?

According to the BBC, Soubry told the Local Government Association's public health conference that in her personal opinion, smoking should be banned in cars when there are children present.

She made it clear that these were her views rather than those of the government, but added: "I would do that for the protection of children. I believe in protecting children. I would see it as a child welfare issue."

The science is on her side. According to the British Lung Foundation, smoking one cigarette in a moving car with the window half open, will leave a child in the centre of the back seat breathing in two thirds as much second-hand smoke as they would in an average smoke-filled pub.

The finances work too. Not being able to smoke in the car could help push people into quitting. Given that a 20-a-day smoker who smokes for 30 years will plough almost £55,000 into their habit, new legislation could make a massive financial difference to families.

Will the government act?

In the past this has been considered a highly sensitive area, and the government has fought shy of considering a ban. However, the Welsh Assembly is committed to considering legislation on this subject.

David Cameron responded to the idea during Prime Minister's Questions yesterday. According to the Daily Mail, when Ian Mearns MP raised the suggestion, Cameron said: "We should look carefully at what the you and others have said."

"We are looking across the piece at all the issues, including whether we should follow the Australians with the ban on packaging and what more we can to do to restrict smoking in public places."

"We must consider each one and work out whether there is a real public health benefit, but you make a good point."

But what do you think? Is this an area where the government should be involved? Let us know in the comments.