Plans to ban smoking in cars when passengers under 18 are present have been welcomed by Nottinghamshire County Council.
From October 1 drivers in the county will will no longer be allowed to smoke in private vehicles that are carrying anyone under 18.
Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, chair of the Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
This is something that we have campaigned for, so we’re delighted to see the legislation coming through now.
Councillor Joyce Bosnjak
“We are currently looking at how we tackle tobacco harm in our communities, and an absolutely vital aspect of this is protecting our children from the damage smoking causes.
“Enshrining [this] principle in law helps protect all of our young people from the dangers.”
The County Council is also backing the new Public Health England campaign which was launched this week, highlighting the dangers of second hand smoke in cars and homes.
Dangers of smoke
Exposing young people to second hand smoke, especially in confined spaces, can create a risk of health problems in the future.
Second hand smoke is more harmful to children in particular as they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways.
Children being exposed to smoke results in more than 9,500 hospital admissions and 300,000 GP consultations every year.
The campaign coincides with the passing by Parliament of regulations to end smoking in cars carrying children across the whole of England.
The government estimates that three million children in england are exposed to second hand smoke in their family car.
This exposure can put children at risk of serious conditions including respiratory infections, meningitis and asthma.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer, said: “The passing of regulation to make smoking in cars carrying under 18s illegal is a significant victory for protecting children’s health from second hand smoke.
“Children are least equipped to speak out to protest against second hand smoke, so I welcome this legislation to end smoking in cars when they are present.”
Public health professionals and the government are seeing this move as a significant milestone in protecting children from the dangers of second hand smoke.
Those who fail to comply with the new law could face a £50 fixed penalty notice.