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Doctors call for smoking ban in cars

Wed 16th November, 2011

Ministers should ban all smoking in cars to protect children from harmful levels of second-hand smoke, says the British Medical Association.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA's director of professional activities, said that smoking causes 80,000 deaths each year in England and six million worldwide, and called on the government to take this "bold and courageous" step.

"The current UK government prefers voluntary measures or 'nudging' to bring about public health change, but this stance has been shown to fail time and time again," said Dr Nathanson.

The smokers' pro-choice lobby group, Forest, said there was no justification for a smoking ban in cars.

"We don't condone smoking in cars with children," said Forest Director Simon Clark. "It's inconsiderate, certainly, but only a small minority of people do so these days. Adults have a choice and they can choose not to travel in a vehicle if the driver is smoking.

"Legislation is a gross over-reaction. What next, a ban on smoking in the home?"

The BMA's proposal is part of a briefing paper launched to coincide with the second reading of a private member's bill, calling for a ban in vehicles with child passengers. It is due to be debated on 25 November.

Source: Channel 4 News (16 November 2011)

See also: Car smoking ban: Forest says evidence is 'flimsy' (BBC News Channel)
Smoking in cars: those interviews in full (Taking Liberties) 

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