Over 300,000 children in the UK present passive smoking related illnesses to their GP every year, which is why Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham is aiming to change the law and introduce a ban on smoking in private vehicles where there are children present.
Working with the British Lung Foundation, Alex will next Wednesday present a ‘Ten Minute Rule Bill’ in the House of Commons which has the support of MPs from all parties.
Speaking about his reasons for highlighting this issue, Alex said:
“My constituency is ranked 15th in the British Lung Foundation’s ranking of constituencies where children are most at risk of passive smoking. That means almost 29% of households in Stockton North contain parents who smoke.
“I welcome the fact that smoking rates across the North East have dropped from 29% in 2005 to 22% in 2009 but more must be done to protect our young people from the dangers of tobacco.
“Research conducted by YouGov this year found that 90% of smokers in the North East worry about the impact of smoking around children and 78% support a ban on smoking in cars carrying children younger than 18. I hope to harness public opinion and persuade Ministers that this ban would be popular and would help protect young people from tobacco.
“With support from MPs across all parties, I hope Ministers will pay attention to my Bill and look seriously at banning smoking in cars where there are children present.”