Campaign welcomes ban on smoking in cars carrying children

Published Wednesday, 4th March 2015
Cigarette in ash tray
Cigarette in ash tray

Directors of Public Health (DoPH) at three South Yorkshire local authorities have welcomed the announcement of new legislation to protect children in cars from tobacco smoke.

From October 1, smoking in vehicles where children are passengers will be banned under the Children and Families Act.

Dr Tony Baxter, DoPH at Rotherham and Doncaster Councils and Dr Jeremy Wight, DoPH for Sheffield City Council welcomed the news.

The three councils are working together to tackle the harm done to children across South Yorkshire by smoking. The joint South Yorkshire Tobacco Control Collaborative campaign takes positive action to reduce the number of children exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco and confirmation of this measure passing into legislation has been warmly received.

"Studies have clearly demonstrated that even in cars where the windows were opened, children are exposed to much higher concentrations of fine particulate matter, than are considered safe when travelling in vehicles with someone who is smoking," said Dr Baxter.

"The same studies conclude that exposure to this level of fine particulate matter is likely to lead to health problems in children.

"That the Government is now legislating against this will be a huge boost to public health and specifically the long-term health of the younger population.

"In South Yorkshire a significant percentage of the adult population are smokers. In Doncaster 21.4 per cent of adults use tobacco. In Rotherham it is 18.9 per cent and in Sheffield 17.6 per cent of adults smoke.

"This legislation will complement our ongoing efforts to reduce the impact of the habit on children."