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Smoking in cars with children under the age of 18 will be banned from October, but is it a long-overdue move or just a profound erosion of an individual’s freedom?
The move has been backed by 700 senior doctors, saying smoke in a confined space – like a car – make the health effects much worse for kids.
However, many MPs – including PM David Cameron – initially voiced confirms about the practicalities and libertarian effects of a ban. Liberal leader (and smoker) Nick Clegg said such a move would be “profoundly illiberal”.
The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “The passing of regulations to make smoking in cars carrying under 18s illegal is a significant victory for protecting children’s health from second-hand smoke.
“Smoking just a single cigarette in a car exposes children to high levels of air pollutants and cancer-causing chemicals like arsenic, formaldehyde and tar.”
Research estimates that 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in their family car on a weekly basis.
Tell us what you think
Protecting kids from smoke is sensible, but should it be backed by a law or should parents be left to take responsibility? Is it also correct that a car driven by an 18-year-old with 17-year-old friends as passengers should also become a forced no-smoking zone?
New laws? Has the new law opened the way for more legislation? Should drivers receive more penalty points for road offences committed while children are in the car, or should pets be forced to wear seatbelts when travelling in cars, for example? Tell us below.
New laws… Use the comments below to tell us new laws, such as drivers receiving more penalty points for road offences committed while children are in the car, or forcing pets to wear seatbelts when travelling in cars?