RCPCH calls to ban smoking in cars
In response to the findings of the Department of Health’s survey on smoking around children, the President of The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Dr Hilary Cass, said:
'With one in five parents still lighting up around their children, the need to ban smoking around children has never been greater. That’s why the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is calling for an outright ban on smoking in cars when children are present.
'Levels of tobacco smoke in a car can be even higher than in a smoky bar and second-hand smoke has been strongly linked to chest infections in children, asthma, ear problems and cot deaths.
'The state has a duty to protect children’s health and intervene where necessary. And while we recognise that many people do not smoke around children, there are others who ignore the facts and continue to put children’s health at risk. The Department of Health’s current advertising campaign is great at highlighting the dangers of passive smoking and educating the public, but simply trying to persuade people not to smoke around children will not work; this is why we are calling on government to go that extra mile.
'Progressive legislation such as seat-belts in cars and the banning of drink-driving were once met with scepticism, but they have proven to make a significant difference. I have no doubt that an outright ban on smoking in cars would have the same positive results.
'You can’t smoke in public places anymore. You can’t inflict your smoke on your colleagues or even smoke in a vehicle used for work or volunteering. So why should you be allowed to inflict it on children?'
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