Smoke ban call divides Falkirk drivers

Calls are being made to ban smoking in vehicles youngsters are travelling in
Calls are being made to ban smoking in vehicles youngsters are travelling in

Proposals to ban smoking in cars carrying youngsters have been welcomed by some and seen as a threat to individual rights by others.

Drink driving has been illegal for years, but last week there were discussions in the Scottish Parliament to ban smoking in cars when youngsters are travelling in the vehicle.

South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume wants to introduce a members bill at the parliament and has opened a public consultation on his proposals, which he believes would safeguard the rights of children and protect their health.

While several organisations support a ban, including the British Lung Foundation, pro-smoking group Forest claims it would be unenforceable and several readers logged onto The Falkirk Herald’s Facebook site to vent their anger at the suggestion.

Kirsty Hamilton said: “I agree to no smoking in cars with kids, however, it should be up to each individual.”

David Humphrey said: “Next they will want to ban changing the radio or CD track in the car. When they pay for my car then they can tell me what I can and can’t do. If it did not give them so much tax, then smoking would be banned.”

Gillian Bruce, NHS Forth Valley lead smoking cessation specialist, supports the proposal, stating the dangers of passive smoking multiply when people are breathing in the smoke in a confined space like a car.

She said: “The problem is children are more vulnerable when it comes to second-hand smoke. Their lungs are smaller and the concentration of smoke they breathe in will be greater than that of an adult because they have larger lungs.

“When you are stuck in a car the smoke has nowhere to go and there’s no getting away from it. Even with the window open you will still be breathing it in, which can make children more susceptible to conditions like bronchitis and asthma.”