Medics in the UK Call for Car Smoking Ban

Smoking in Car

Almost 700 health experts and doctors in the UK call authorities to prohibit smoking in cars with children. They wrote a letter to the British Medical Journal, where they said that secondhand smoke was a main cause of health problems in kids. Tobacco smoke damages the developing lungs, causes sudden infant death and leads to frequent hospital visits each year.

The initiative to write this letter came from Dr Nicholas Hopkinson from Imperial College London and chairman of the British Thoracic Society’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease specialist advisory group.  Totally 692 doctors welcomed the initiative and had signed up to support the ban on smoking in cars.  The letter writes that secondhand exposure to cigarettes smoke is a main cause of poor health in kids.

The inhalation of tobacco smoke damages the young developing lungs. It was estimated that annually in the UK secondhand smoke is responsible for 300,000 cases of primary care contacts, 9,500 cases of hospital admissions, 200 cases of bacterial meningitis and 40 sudden infant deaths.  Most of all secondhand smoke affects children from poor families. Those who signed the letter hope for a change in this context. Chidren must be protected from hazardous tobacco smoke and they have rights to a smoke-free environment which will make them normally develop and grow up healthy.

The signatories asked MPs to support smoking ban in cars as it is a very important public health measure, which will protect kids now and in the future.
The letter comes as a minister of the UK declared recently about the plans to introduce the issue for voting.

Robert Goodwill, the transport minister, told about his intention to vote in favour of the ban. Because he knows perfectly what is it like to be kid forced to inhale tobacco smoke. The vote comes as the Children and Families Bill returns to the Commons.

House of Lords modified the Bill last week after Labour tabled a modification and this gives the Health Secretary the power to make it illegal to smoke in a car where children are present.

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