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Potential £10,000 Fine For Smoking In Cars With Children From Oct 2015
posted on Nov 13 2014 by Kiri Nowak
The last major smoking ban was back in 2007, when smoking in public places was made illegal. This was the first step in the battle against passive smoking. It seems the government are going to introduce a new ban this year, as of October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car carrying children. Drivers or passengers caught smoking in cars with passengers who are under 18 could be given on the spot fines.
It’s expected that police will be able to stop people who are smoking with children in their car and give them a £60 on the spot fine, or five points on their driving license. That’s a lot of points to be dished out in one go.
However, things get a lot worse if you get taken to court. If the driver doesn’t take ‘reasonable steps’ to stop others smoking in their car when kids are present they could potentially get fined up to £10,000. Passengers who smoke can also potentially be fined £800 if they get taken to court. The punishment is far more serious for drivers rather than passengers.
The law is expected to be announced next month by health ministers, but changes won’t come into effect until October next year. It’s important to note that this new law won’t just apply to parents, but anyone carrying children in a car.
There was a vote conducted by MP’s in February this year, they voted for a ban with 376 votes to 107. It appears the public are in favour of this ban too, YouGov did an opinion poll in 2012 and they found that 80% of all adults and 65% of smokers agreed with a ban on smoking in cars with children under 18.
A spokesman for the British Heart Foundation, which welcomes the new changes, said: ‘Passive smoke is a cause of short- and long-term illness in others and is particularly harmful to children – especially in enclosed spaces.’ Smoking in cars is particularly dangerous because you are in a very confined area. The smoke fumes that get trapped inside a car are up to ten times more concentrated than in a normal public place.
A survey by the department of health discovered 300,000 children got to their GP every year with issues related to second hand smoking. Children need to be protected from second hand smoke as it can be extremely damaging to their health. ‘Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 harmful and addictive chemicals, including nicotine, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.’ (Bupa)
Just some of the things passive smoking can cause in children include middle ear disease, asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses, meningitis, coughs and colds. Moreover, kids who grow up with a parent or family member that smokes are three times more likely to begin smoking themselves.
What do you think of this new ban and the potential punishments the government are proposing? Join the debate on Facebook.