Steve’s proposal to protect children from second-hand smoke in cars comes into force
A change in the law to ban smoking in cars carrying children, originally introduced by Croydon North MP Steve Reed, came into force today (1 October).
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 change, Steve Reed MP said:
I’m proud of the role I played introducing the new law that came into force this week protecting children from the serious health dangers of breathing second-hand smoke in cars.
It is a big step forward in protecting children’s health, who are often powerless to stop adults smoking in cars.
Hundreds of children at schools in Croydon North have told me they think the change will have a positive impact on their health. 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.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.