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‘Government refuses to back smoking bill to protect children’s health’ – Alex

Local MP Alex Cunningham has challenged the Government over its lack of support for banning smoking in cars where there are children present.

Alex raised the matter with the Leader of the House in the Commons, and was disappointed that the government will not support his bill to protect the health of the nation’s children.

The Leader of the House stated he ‘cannot promise Government support for his ten-minute rule Bill, and I see some difficulties in trying to enforce a ban on all smoking in cars.’ The Leader also claimed that a ban ‘might have to wait until public opinion has moved on.’

This is in spite of a YouGov poll this week which showed that 59% of people agreed with a total ban on smoking in cars with passengers, a view supported by the majority of all three major parties’ supporters. The British Lung Foundation has also done research which shows 86% of parents supporting a ban when children are present.

Alex ’s Private Member’s Bill to ban smoking in cars failed to get its Second Reading in the House this week due to running out of Parliamentary time. However, it is hoped that the Bill will get a Second Reading on the 20th January next year.

Alex said:

“When 300,000 children every year have to see their GP with smoking related illnesses, it is unacceptable that the government will not support introducing this simple measure which will do so much to improve the health of our children.”

“Despite the government’s claims, policing a ban will not be as difficult as some claim. Similar arguments were put forward when seat belts were introduced, and yet people in the UK are almost 100% compliant. It’s time the government acted now and put the rights of children first.”