Scot­land bans smok­ing in cars with chil­dren

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

A new law comes into force in Scot­land yes­ter­day ban­ning smok­ing in cars when chil­dren are present, as part of the govern­ment’s plans for a “to­bacco-free gen­er­a­tion”. Un­der the law smok­ers face a £100 ($127, 119 eu­ros) on-the-spot fine if caught light­ing up in a pri­vate ve­hi­cle where un­der­18s are present. The penalty in­creases up to £1,000 if a case goes to court, un­der a bill passed unan­i­mously in Scot­tish Par­lia­ment in De­cem­ber. The new mea­sure was in­tro­duced as part of the Scot­tish govern­ment’s plans to lower the smok­ing rate to un­der five per­cent by 2034.

“It’s sim­ply not safe to smoke when a child is in the car. Dan­ger­ous levels of chem­i­cals can build up, even on short jour­neys,” said Aileen Camp­bell, Scot­land’s pub­lic health min­is­ter. Breath­ing sec­ond hand smoke is linked to asthma, res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions, lung can­cer and coro­nary heart dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion. The law has been wel­comed by health char­i­ties, with Ash Scot­land say­ing it sends a clear mes­sage that chil­dren should grow up in a smoke-free en­vi­ron­ment.

“We know from speak­ing to par­ents that they want to pro­tect their chil­dren from to­bacco smoke, but of­ten don’t know enough about how smoke is harm­ful and lingers in the air even af­ter you can’t see or smell it,” said the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Sheila Duffy. But the move has been crit­i­cized by smok­ers’ group For­est, whose di­rec­tor Si­mon Clark de­scribed the law as “pa­tron­iz­ing and un­nec­es­sary”.

“Very few adults smoke in cars with chil­dren. Smok­ers know it’s in­con­sid­er­ate and the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity don’t do it. “So few peo­ple smoke when there’s a child in the car it will be like look­ing for a nee­dle in a haystack,” he said. The law ban­ning smok­ing in ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing chil­dren came into force in Eng­land and Wales in Oc­to­ber 2015. —AFP

WASH­ING­TON: House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee Chair­man Rep Kevin Brady, R-Texas, speaks dur­ing an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press on Capi­tol Hill. — AP

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