Car smoking ban 'will be brought in'

 
Person smoking in car with a small child in the back seat Parliament had spoken and a ban would happen, the Downing Street source said

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The UK government will make it a criminal offence to smoke in cars in England when children are passengers, a Downing Street source has said.

MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which empowers, but does not compel, ministers to bring in a ban in England.

The source told the BBC that Parliament had spoken and a ban would happen.

The vote - passed by 376 votes to 107 - also gave the Welsh government the power to bring in a ban in Wales.

Start Quote

The liberty to smoke in your car in front of a child doesn't seem to me that important and protecting a child's health does seem to me to be incredibly important”

End Quote Norman Lamb Health Minister

Welsh ministers must now decide if they want to make smoking in cars carrying children illegal in Wales.

Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb, speaking to BBC Radio 4's World Tonight programme on Monday, said he hoped a ban would be established.

He said the majority of 269 was "so decisive that I think there's a very clear mandate now to get on and legislate, but we will have that discussion".

He added: "You have to ask yourself the question, 'How important is the liberty that we're infringing here?'

"The liberty to smoke in your car in front of a child doesn't seem to me that important and protecting a child's health does seem to me to be incredibly important."

'Great victory'

After the debate, shadow public health minister Luciana Berger warned ministers not to "kick this into the long grass".

Smoking in cars

  • Smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open.
  • Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer.
  • Exposure has been strongly linked to chest infections, asthma, ear problems and cot death in children.
  • Research indicates that 300,000 children in the UK visit a GP each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke, with 9,500 going to hospital.
  • Smoking in a car creates a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar. Some research has put it at 11 times higher.
  • Bans on smoking in cars when children are present already exist in some US states, including California, as well as in parts of Canada and Australia.

"This is a great victory for child health, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across our country. It is a matter of child protection, not adult choice," she said.

She added: "The will of Parliament has been clearly expressed today and this must be respected.

"Ministers now have a duty to bring forward regulations so that we can make this measure a reality and put protections for children in place as soon as possible."

Neither Health Minister Jane Ellison, in the House of Commons, nor a Department of Health spokesman gave any commitment.

Opening the debate on Monday evening, Ms Ellison said only: "We will see what the view of the House is and we will take our steer on the principle of the issue then having heard the views of both Houses."

The House of Lords passed the amendment last month. The bill returned to the Commons on Monday for debate.

'Absolutely delighted'

The government gave its MPs a free vote in the Commons on the issue.

Start Quote

We have consistently stated that we will consider the possibility of legislation once we have fully evaluated the impact of the campaign”

End Quote Welsh government spokesperson

Prime Minister David Cameron missed the vote because he is staying in the South West overnight to visit areas affected by flooding.

Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "Having campaigned on this issue for many years, we're absolutely delighted that MPs have backed the ban on smoking in cars carrying children. This could prove a great leap forward for the health of our nation's children."

But Simon Clark, director of smokers' lobby group Forest, said smoking in cars with children was "inconsiderate", but there was "a line the state shouldn't cross when it comes to dictating how people behave in private places".

After the Commons vote, a Welsh government spokesperson said: "We have consistently stated that we will consider the possibility of legislation once we have fully evaluated the impact of the campaign.

"We have commissioned studies of children's exposure to second-hand smoke in cars and results will be available later this year."

In Scotland, Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume has indicated he will be presenting a bill this year to bring in a ban, while Northern Ireland's health minister has announced plans for a consultation on the issue.

 

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  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 814.

    810. nagivatorjan
    I keep saying that we don't need a ban but to EDUCATE people, it's far better in the long run!

    There have been health warnings on UK cigarette packets since 1971. If smokers clearly can't be educated to care about their own health, then what chance is there that they can be educated to care about anybody else's?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 813.

    @808.Trumpton911
    How is this not a debate about civil liberties as well as smoking in cars as the state are telling us what we can do with something that is legal within the confines of a private space. Personally I find that disconserting. But how far are they going to take it? Next it will be you are not allowed to smoke in your own home?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 812.

    809.
    farkyss
    Just now


    But of course you already knew that before making such a banal comment....


    -------

    I suggest you re-read my comment and more specifically comment 471 who was the one suggesting 30% tax on cigarettes and to which i was answering. It would save you a lot of embarrassment.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 811.

    Curtains 2012 - Cars have been responsible for more deaths (children included) than in all of the world's wars since time began. Aside from road accidents cars are accepted agents in asthma, other respiratory diseases, heart disease. I don't think you would like to see the numbers.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 810.

    @796
    If it's about protecting children from carcinogens, should we not also be banning the stuff which is used to make furniture fire-retardant and to make carpets stain-resistant as well? They both contain carcinogens and are very prevalent in the home.
    I keep saying that we don't need a ban but to EDUCATE people, it's far better in the long run!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 809.

    @793.corncobuk

    There is already the equivalent to 700% tax on cigarettes, the duty/vat on cigarettes pays for the entire cost to the NHS of all smoking related illnesses a few times over.

    But of course you already knew that before making such a banal comment....

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 808.

    801.nagivatorjan
    What about the kid who doesn't get migraines from strong smells but has a worse reaction than 'sneezing' to breathing in second hand smoke?

    803.Bumble
    Once again, a semantic argument taking it off topic. Argument/Debate. Whatever. This IS about smoking in cars with kids. You can argue for or against and what this represents - but it's not about a wider health issue.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 807.

    805.Have your say Rejected

    One of the biggest killers of children? Cars. Parliament doesn't seem to think that is so incredibly important.

    +++

    Numbers please

  • Comment number 806.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 805.

    'How important is the liberty that we're infringing here?'

    "The liberty to smoke in your car in front of a child doesn't seem to me that important and protecting a child's health does seem to me to be incredibly important."

    One of the biggest killers of children? Cars. Parliament doesn't seem to think that is so incredibly important.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 804.

    How weak and sheep like our legislators are. Of course smoking itself is undesirable and smoking in front of children even more so, but is it necessary to legislate on this issue; and is it necessary to continue this demonisation of smokers? They are easy targets; nobody has the balls to deal with a much greater killer - car pollution.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 803.

    @799.Trumpton911
    'If you need to argue off topic it appears as if you can't justify your position on the subject on its own merit.'
    Only if you see the debate (the fact u call it an arguement says alot about u btw) in such blinkered views. This is not just about smoking in cars. It is to do about the state encroaching on civil liberties and the health of children.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 802.

    I do like the points coming out about the e-cigs, surely with this ban they will need to bring something in to stop e-cigs being made to look like actual cigs?

    It will be hard enough to enforce anyway let alone with mock cigs being sold, not been fully thought through has it!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 801.

    788 Trumpton911
    Strong smells DO affect my health - they trigger my migraines and last time I stood next to someone with bad BO, I was laid out for 2 days. Perfumes and room aerosols do it as well, but not so badly. As a life-long non-smoker, I don't like smoker-smells either, but all that does actually is make me sneeze.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 800.

    I wonder if the legislation will include e-cigs as well. I foresee the police pulling people over with e-cigs in their mouths. 'Sorry officer it's just an e-cig, you have just wasted both of our time'

  • Comment number 799.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 798.

    782 - TheCure

    Some sadly need sarcasm and/or irony in order to even begin to understand the rationale of what is written, I find that if well targeted, it very often provokes thought, unlike your comment "up & down K2 on rollerblades"

    Debate is to debate is to enlighten over disagreement. Post 782 is hilarious because it missed the point which sarcasm made clear to most.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 797.

    770.nagivatorjan
    17 Minutes ago
    If you changed the word 'smoker' to 'oldie' you'd be being ageist, change it to 'woman', you'd be sexist, to 'fat' you'd be 'fattist' - all of which are unacceptable.

    +++

    It's only a move to stop the fumigation of children in cars. Don't pretend that it's anything else.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 796.

    @790.nagivatorjan

    This is a step towards protecting children from carcinogens that are concentrated in a small space.
    Difficult to enforce? Perhaps, but when a police officer sees someone smoking at the wheel when a child is also in the car they will be proptly pulled over and penalised. As they are when they're seen on the phone, not wearing a seatbelt, or swerving as they are presumed drunk

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 795.

    By that note the common law already applies in this case as smoking with your child in the car could be deemed as causing injury to that person.

    Any laws passed by parliament are a fiction.

    They have no jurisdiction over you.

    Paying tax is OPTIONAL

    Getting a licence is OPTIONAL

    Registering a vehicle is OPTIONAL

    Paying a fine is OPTIONAL

    Attending a court is OPTIONAL


    Take the power back..

 

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    tweets: Nick Ferrari asks whether the state should be paying for the transfer of Katie Price's disabled son http://l-bc.co/C1egg #CallClegg

    and

    tweets: Clegg says it's down to the local authority to decide that - even if Katie Price has £30m in the bank http://l-bc.co/C1egg #CallClegg

     
  46.  
    09:24: Tory leadership poll

    In a YouGov poll for the Times (pay wall), London Mayor, Boris Johnson, is edging ahead of five other Tory politicians in a poll on whether they would make a good party leader. YouGov polled 1,655 people on January 27 and 28, with respondents rating the politicians as a "Good leader", "Not a good leader", "Unsure" or "Don't know enough about the person". The other "candidates" are George Osborne, Theresa May, Sajid Javid, Jermey Hunt and Liz Truss.

     
  47.  
    @politicshome PoliticsHome blog

    tweets: .@nick_clegg - "I v much hope nurses would not feel in any way discouraged or intimidated from coming forward" to report NHS failings #LBC

     
  48.  
    The Spectator

    tweets: Europe's crisis is Cameron's opportunity, says @JGForsyth. specc.ie/1yAO3hF

    Spectator cartoon
     
  49.  
    09:02: Murray moments

    A quick look at this Twitter conversation and it's clear some Scottish politicians would much rather watch this morning's Andy Murray match than prepare for Scottish First Minister's Questions.

     
  50.  
    08:56: Benefit fraud plans
    money

    The maximum administrative penalty for benefit fraud that can be offered as an alternative to prosecution could be doubled under government proposals. The House of Commons is going to be asked to approve plans to increase the maximum fine from £2,000 to £5,000. The government says £1.2bn a year is lost to benefit fraud, and that those who commit the crime should "pay a heavy price".

     
  51.  
    08:55: Cost of care BBC Radio 4

    Care minister Norman Lamb is calling on the insurance industry to do more to encourage people to plan ahead for their care needs in old age. His call comes after a BBC investigation found seventeen leading insurance companies currently had no plans to offer suitable policies. Next year, the government will introduce a new £72,000 cap on an individual's care costs and it had been hoped insurance companies would offer policies allowing people to insure themselves for that amount well in advance of any need. Speaking to the Today programme, Mr Lamb said the insurance industry had to "step up to the plate". It had a responsibility, he said, to ensure that the right products were available.

     
  52.  
    House of Commons

    tweets: Commons Chamber sits from 9.30am starting with #Environment, #Food & Rural Affairs Questions. Watch live http://goo.gl/SKhZyE @DefraGovUK

     
  53.  
    08:42: Iraq Inquiry delays
    soldier in Iraq

    Elsewhere on the political agenda, MPs are expected to express their dissatisfaction with the progress of the official inquiry into the Iraq War when they debate the issue in the Commons. The final report from Sir John Chilcot's inquiry, which began its work in 2009, won't be published before May's election. Backbenchers from all parties have been urging officials to explain the delays and give a timetable for publication. Debate is expected to start from around 11:15. Watch proceedings on BBC Democracy Live.

     
  54.  
    08:36: School league tables BBC Radio 4

    Graham Stuart, the Conservative MP who chairs the Education Select Committee, tells the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the comparison between this year and last year's secondary school league tables are indeed difficult to make - but the changes the government has made to the system are "essential" and will ensure a fairer picture of what is happening in schools. The results for schools in England will be published at 09:30 GMT.

     
  55.  
    Chuka Umunna, Labour business spokesman

    tweets: "Entrepreneurs aren't lone wolves: Labour will back them for the good of all" | my piece in today's @CityAM

     
  56.  
    08:15: Murray moments
    tennis

    Politicians on the campaign trail may struggle to make themselves heard by sports fans this morning as Britain's Andy Murray takes on Tomas Berdych in the men's semi-final of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Follow the match online with live video, radio and text commentary or watch it on BBC Two from 08:20 GMT.

     
  57.  
    @RobbieGibb Robbie Gibb, Daily Politics editor

    tweets: On today's Daily Politics...... #bbcdp

    Screen grab
     
  58.  
    08:01: Clegg hails Growth Fund BBC Breakfast

    Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, says today's announcement that £2bn worth of public investment will move from central to regional control was all about backing local people and driving local economic growth.

     
  59.  
    07:57: School league tables
    girl at

    As we've reported, hundreds of secondary schools in England, including many top private schools, could see their league table ratings plummet following a shake-up of the system. They're being published at 09:30 GMT. The government says it has stripped out qualifications of little value, but some head teachers say the tables will be "a complete mess" because of the changes.

    Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College leaders, says it even "calls into question the validity of the performance tables".

     
  60.  
    Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: A "clammy hands" theme to Nick Clegg's interviews. He's told @bbcbreakfast&@gmb about sticky paws of "bureaucrats." http://bit.ly/18xccRz

     
  61.  
    Norman Smith, BBC News Assistant Political Editor

    tweets: Nick Clegg - Never mind the apocolypitc warnings we will confound our critics at the election

     
  62.  
    07:39: Poll tracker
    poll tracker graphic

    The polls will be coming thick and fast in the coming months - keep up to date with the BBC's new interactive poll tracker, which lets you see the results of polls conducted by a range of organisations.

    The tracker also includes a timeline of key events, so you can see how public opinion might have shifted at important junctures in the past five years.

     
  63.  
    07:34: 'Responsible and fair' BBC Breakfast

    Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says the central question of the election campaign is how to finish the job of securing an economic recovery - and doing so fairly. In Bristol, the deputy prime minister tells BBC Breakfast News that Labour wants to "lurch off" to the left and the Conservatives to the right. The Conservatives, he says, want to make cuts for ideological reasons; Labour wants to stick its head in the sand and not deal with the deficit. The Liberal Democrats would cut less than the Conservative and borrow less than Labour.

     
  64.  
    07:26: Scottish Home Rule
    Ed miliband

    A "Home Rule Bill for Scotland" would be introduced within the first 100 days of a Labour government, leader Ed Miliband says. He will make the commitment during a visit to Glasgow later. The Scottish National Party says any suggestion the bill would amount to real Home Rule is "laughable".

     
  65.  
    07:23: Oversight criticised

    The Department for International Development has been criticised by MPs for "unacceptably poor" oversight of a UK-funded development agency. The Public Accounts Committee says the Private Infrastructure Development Group is beset by "poor financial management". It says there are doubts about the integrity of its investments and a closer eye is needed on its spending - including spending of more than £75,000 on 15 flights between January 2011 and July 2014.

     
  66.  
    07:21: League tables row
    schools

    New league tables for English secondary schools are being published today and not everybody will be pleased with what they show. Scores of top private secondaries expect to be at the bottom of the tables, following confusion over International GCSEs. School leaders say many schools have been "caught unawares" by a shift in which qualifications are recognised. Speaking to Radio 4, Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association for Head Teachers, says publishing data on schools is the right thing to do - but they need to be used with "extreme caution", particularly this year.

     
  67.  
    Price of power The Daily Telegraph

    Scrap Trident, ditch Barnett, reverse the cuts - the price of power for Miliband and Cameron in a hung parliament http://tgr.ph/1K8DUzv

     
  68.  
    07:16: Clegg in Bristol BBC Breakfast
    Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg is in Bristol announcing a new round of local investment. "We need to end the Whitehall knows best culture that has held this country back for far too long," he tells the BBC.

    Under the coalition's Growth Deals scheme, around £2bn a year from Whitehall budgets is being gathered into a Local Growth Fund. The money is then being channelled through 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships, run by councils and businesses.

     
  69.  
    07:15: Don't dismiss the Greens Financial Times

    In its leader column, the Financial Times (pay wall) argues for greater scrutiny of Green Party policies. The German Greens, it says, can claim credit for that country's abandonment of nuclear power generation. And, in the UK, the party's growing popularity puts pressure on Labour to move in a green-ward direction.

     
  70.  
    07:04: Women in prison BBC Radio 5 live
    Prison officer locking gates

    The government is expected to announce measures today aimed at trying to stop so many women being sent to prison. Justice Minister Simon Hughes wants to halve the number of women ending up behind bars. He tells BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast female offenders are a "special case" and should be treated differently to men because many had been victims themselves. There are currently around 3,800 women in prison in England and Wales.

     
  71.  
    07:02: Breaking News BBC Breakfast

    Deputy PM Nick Clegg arrives in Bristol to announce latest round of Growth Fund investment, he will be live on BBC Breakfast 07:10. You can watch via the Live Video tab at the top of this page.

     
  72.  
    06:52: Where are the Real Tories? The Guardian

    In the Guardian, Simon Jenkins bemoans what he sees as the absence of "Real Tories" from the election campaign. They, he says, would oppose the advance of the modern state. But, according to the columnist, no Westminster politician "dares oppose the monolithic interest group that is modern government".

     
  73.  
    06:50: NHS survey
    Doctor

    Public satisfaction with the way the NHS runs in England, Wales and Scotland has risen to its second highest level ever, according to survey data for 2014, published by the King's Fund health think tank. The latest results show satisfaction with the NHS rising from 60% to 65% in 2014, while dissatisfaction fell to an all-time low of 15%.

    A couple of caveats though: This is a survey of 1,937 members of the public, not patients specifically, so the findings are more likely to reflect perceptions of the NHS than experience of it; and the polling was carried out before the recent well-publicised winter pressures on the NHS began to bite.

    A BBC/Populus poll this week suggested the NHS was the most important issue ahead of the general election, in May.

     
  74.  
    06:47: Fury The Daily Mail

    A more in-depth look at some of today's papers now.

    Tomorrow's Mail front page

    The Daily Mail says Labour's "big beasts are at war over Ed Miliband's controversial election campaign tactics", after grandee John Prescott "reacted with fury" to interventions by former Labour Health Secretary Alan Milburn and former minister Lord Hutton who aired frustration over the party's "retreat into its supposed 'comfort zone' of the NHS".

     
  75.  
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    BBC

    tweets: Read today's full running order here: bbc.in/1LjBFg6 #r4today

     
  76.  
    06:29: Making the headlines
    Telegraph/Guardian front pages

    Here is a round-up of the main stories covered in the UK's national newspapers this morning - including a look at the front pages and expert reviews on the BBC News Channel.

     
  77.  
    06:24: Back out campaigning

    After all the excitement of Prime Minister's Questions at Westminster yesterday, the party leaders are expected to be back out and about today, as the long election campaign continues.

     
  78.  
    06:20: Good morning Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online

    Hello and welcome to a fresh day's coverage of political developments ahead of the 7 May General Election - yes there's just 98 days to go now. You'll be able to listen or watch all the BBC's political output today on this page and we'll be bringing you all the best clips, quotes, analysis, reaction and breaking political news throughout the day. If you want to see what to expect, here's yesterday's campaign countdown.

     

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