Smoke-free cars safer for kids

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

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Motor insurance customers may be banned from smoking in their own car if a leading surgeon gets his way and encourages the government to impose a ban.

Lord Riberio, the former president of the Royal College of Surgeons, has said that research shows that smoking in cars can cause particular damage to children.

Speaking in the House of Lords, he told peers that smoke in cars tended to concentrate in the back of the vehicle, even when the windows were wound down.

Lord Riberio then cited figures from Canada, which illustrated that exposure to smoking dropped by a third after it was banned in cars with children.
However Health minister Lord Howe responded, saying that while the government wanted to encourage motor insurance customers to provide a smoke-free environment for children, legislation was not the most effective option to achieve this.

He explained: "Over 300,000 children in the UK present passive smoking-related illnesses to their GP every year. We have to take this matter seriously and we are."

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