Car smoking ban is ‘necessary’ to safeguard kids

Smoking drivers could be fined if there is a child in the car
Smoking drivers could be fined if there is a child in the car

A move to stop Scottish drivers smoking in cars carrying young children was deemed as “necessary” and “needed” by Holyrood’s health committee.

Motorists lighting up in a vehicle where children under 18 are present face being slapped with a £100 fine if a new bill becomes law next year.

Last week, the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee backed a bill proposed by Liberal Democrat MSP for the South of Scotland Jim Hume.

In its Stage 1 report on the Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill, the committee proposed drivers should be criminally liable for allowing anyone to smoke in a car carrying youngsters.

Smoking in cars with children present was banned in England and Wales as of today (Thursday).

MSP Jim Hume said: “I’m thrilled that the committee has put its full support behind my Member’s Bill, citing it as a necessary legal step in the protection of children from the damages of second-hand smoke.

“This Bill has always been about protecting children and giving them a healthy start in life and I’m delighted that it’s received such comprehensive support.”

It is estimated that 60,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke during car rides each week in Scotland.

Mr Hume added: “It’s shocking that vehicle journeys are made each week in Scotland where children are exposed to second-hand smoke in that very enclosed space.

“Opening a window does not mitigate the harmful effects.”