Steve’s proposal to protect children from second-hand smoke in cars becomes law

 In Croydon, Parliament

A ban smoking in cars carrying children became law as MPs endorsed a proposal originally introduced by Croydon North MP Steve Reed.  The final vote on regulations that will bring the ban into effect won the support of Labour MPs and enough Liberal and Tory members to go through.

Steve introduced an amendment into the Children and Families Bill in April 2013 with the support of the Royal College of Paediatrics, Asthma UK and the British Heart Foundation.  Research shows that 160,000 children a year develop avoidable lung disease, asthma and bronchitis after being forced to breathe in second-hand smoke exhaled by adults in cars.  In many cases the damage is irreversible as children’s developing lungs are more susceptible to disease than adults’.

Speaking after the regulations were passed in the House of Commons, Steve Reed MP said: “I’m delighted, this is a big step forward in protecting children’s health.  Children are often powerless to stop adults smoking in cars, so we need this law to step in to protect them.

I’ve asked hundreds of children at schools in Croydon North whether they think they should be forced to smoke second-hand smoke in confined spaces in cars – and they all want it banned.  They hate it when adults make them breathe in cigarette smoke but they are powerless to stop it – and many of them  don’t even realise what it’s doing to their health.  Bringing in compulsory seat-belts helped change attitudes, and that’s what will happen with this new law.  It should be socially unacceptable to smoke in cars carrying children because of the harm it causes them, but for that to happen it must be backed up with legislation.”