Lancashire Council backs call to ban smoking in cars carrying children
4:30pm Monday 23rd December 2013 in News
A NEW campaign to ban smoking in cars carrying children is being backed by Lancashire County Council and and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
The nationwide drive has been launched by Tobacco Free Futures and the British Lung Foundation (BLF).
The two authorities are calling on residents to back an online vote calling for legislation to protect children from secondhand smoke in cars.
It is backed by a film, starring Neil Fitzmaurice, best known for his roles in the comedies Peep Show and Phoenix Nights, and Jazmine Franks from the Channel 4 drama Hollyoaks, highlighting that many young people are too frightened to speak up about their parents or other adults smoking in a car.
The campaign for legislation to make all cars carrying children smoke-free will be debated in the House of Lords as part of the Children and Families Bill.
Blackburn with Darwen council health boss Mohammed Khan said: “Hundreds of children suffering the effects of second-hand smoke are admitted to hospital every year with complications such as bronchitis, asthma and reduced lung function.
“We want to highlight this issue with parents in our communities.”
His Lancashire county counterpart Azhar Ali who represents Nelson South said “Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which we know cause cancer. We want to give local people a chance to have their say.”
BLF chief executive Dr Penny Woods said: “We know secondhand smoke is particularly dangerous to young people within the enclosed confines of a car, even when the window is open or the air conditioning is on.
“However, our research has shown that when an adult smokes in a car with them, less than a third of young people ask them to stop, with over a third feeling too frightened or embarrassed to do so.
“This is not acceptable. If young people aren’t able to protect themselves against this danger, the government has a duty to do so by banning smoking in cars with young passengers”.
The call for legislation follows recent research by BLF which shows that more than 430,000 children, aged 11-15, in England are exposed to secondhand smoke in family cars at least once a week.
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