Alex Cunningham, the Member of Parliament for Stockton North, will tomorrow bring the Smoking in Private Vehicles Bill back to the House of Commons.
The Bill has cross-party support in Parliament, and also from the British Lung Foundation, Ash, Smoke Free North East, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. 80% of the public, 86% of children, and even 65% of smokers also agree that a ban is the right course.
Research shows that children are more susceptible to tobacco smoke; they have smaller lungs and breathe faster, and while many people think that opening a window means that the car becomes a smoke-free zone, research shows that actually a child in the back seat will be exposed to dangerously high concentrations of tobacco smoke.
The Bill has already passed in the House of Lords, and if it passes tomorrow, it will be well on its way to becoming law. This is the second time Alex has brought the Bill to Parliament, after it passed first time but didn’t unfortunately get given a time slot to progress any further. This time, Alex is hoping his Bill will go all the way.
Alex MP said:
“I’m delighted that my Bill will get another chance in the House of Commons, particularly after it passed all of its stages in the House of Lords. We are now a step closer to getting this passed into law.
“A ban on smoking in cars when children are present is long overdue. We need to protect children from second hand smoke and my Bill would do this.
“With 300,000 children every year seeing their GP with smoking related illnesses, it is critical that this Bill is brought into law and the health of the nation’s children is put ahead of the rights of smokers.”