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Scotland: ban smoking in cars to protect children, says Labour

Mon 18th April, 2011

Smokers who light up in their cars while travelling with children could face fines of up to £200 under proposals by the Scottish Labour party.

The party plans to consult on whether traffic police should be given the power to hand out fixed penalties to motorists who fail to stub out cigarettes if it wins power at next month’s Holyrood election. The move would also apply to drivers who visit Scotland from the rest of the UK.

Supporters of the ban say exposure to cigarettes in cars puts children at risk of breathing problems and lung disorders later in life.However, critics say it would be unacceptable and argue that adults should be left to use their common sense.

Richard Simpson, Labour’s public health spokesman, insisted he was not in favour of the “nanny state”, but wanted to protect children.

He said: “My concern is that in an enclosed space the smoke builds up and the concentration of the carcinogens and the nicotine which creates addiction are higher inside cars. I believe Scottish parents want to do the right thing, so if we supply them with the information but reinforce it with the law, if that’s appropriate, that’s the next step in tobacco control we need to consider.”

Forest, the smokers’ lobby group, said a ban on smoking in cars was unacceptable and unenforceable.

Source: Daily Express (18 April 2011)

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