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Health, News, Politics

First Minister to outline plans to tackle smoking in cars

The British Lung Foundation's poster aims to raise awareness of the effects of smoking for children in vehicles

First Minister Carwyn Jones will today outline the Welsh Government’s plans to protect children from the effects of cigarette smoke in cars.

Many medical experts argue that fumes emitted from cigarettes in the confined space of a vehicle are hazardous to youngsters. Now the Welsh Government is said to be considering legislation to make smoking in cars with children illegal if a campaign highlighting the issue does not work.

Doctors voted last month for a complete ban on smoking while driving at the British Medical Association’s annual conference in Cardiff.

The First Minister will be joined at the conference this afternoon by the chief medical officer for Wales, Dr Tony Jewell.

The British Lung Foundation says children shouldn’t be forced to inhale smoke in cars and they would welcome a complete ban.

Chris Mulholland, Head of BLF Wales, said: “Smoking in cars harms children, and the evidence is piling up that people want to see government action to stop it. So we are very pleased that the Welsh Government is outlining plans today to tackle the problem.”

But smoking-tolerant political lobbying group Forest says a potential ban on smoking in cars would be an ‘unnecessary infringement of people’s civil liberties’.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, wrote in The Times newspaper: “I wouldn’t encourage anyone to light a cigarette in a car with children, out of courtesy if nothing else, but a ban is out of all proportion to the problem.

“Banning smoking in a private vehicle, with or without children, is an unnecessary infringement of people’s civil liberties. The Government, and the BMA, should butt out.”

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