The British Medical Association has demanded that smoking in cars should be banned to protect children and the elderly
Strong evidence suggests smoking in vehicles exposes non-smokers to high levels of passive smoke, which is known to be a serious health risk.
The British Medical Association (BMA) claims that smoking in a small enclosed space creates 23 times more toxins found in a smokey bar. Children absorb more of these pollutants because their immune systems are not as developed.
‘Every year in England there are over 80,000 deaths caused by smoking,’ says the BMA’s Dr Vivienne Nathanson. ‘This figure increases to a shocking six million worldwide.’
‘But behind the stark statistics, doctors see the individual cases of ill health and premature death caused by smoking and second-hand smoke,’ she says. ‘For this reason, doctors are committed to reducing the harm caused by tabacco.’
The BMA is calling on UK governments to take the bold and courageous step of banning smoking in vehicles, having already made a huge step forward in the fight against tobacco by banning smoking in enclosed public spaces.
The launch of the BMA’s briefing paper coincides with the second reading of Alex Cunningham’s Private Members Bill calling for a ban on smoking in private vehicles when children are present.
But a spokesperson for the Department of Health says: ‘We do not believe that legislation is the most effective way to encourage people to change their behaviour.’
Do you agree? Or should the government do more to eradicate smoking in the interests of public health? Have your say by posting a comment below.