The Member of Parliament for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, today said that he was confident that his proposal to ban smoking in cars when a child is present would eventually become law. He had planned to present his Private Members Bill to the House of Commons on Friday 1st February, however it is now set to be pushed back to a later date due to an unfortunate lack of Parliamentary time.
The legislation would ban smoking in cars when a child is present, due to the proven health risks of exposing children to damaging tobacco smoke in an enclosed space. The Bill has support from anti-smoking campaign groups such as the British Lung Foundation, Ash, and Smoke Free North East as well as a number of medical experts and Members of Parliament across all parties.
It has already been passed in the House of Lords after it was introduced by the Conservative Peer Lord Ribeiro, a former President of the Royal College of Surgeons, with support from a number of distinguished experts in the medical profession. The Stockton North MP also expressed his intention to look for other ways to achieve a ban and further the agenda, for example through amending other legislation to get a law on the statute book.
Alex also thanked the organisations that had made the efforts possible through their hard work and expert research, the three Department of Health Ministers that had expressed their support for a ban, and the Members of both Houses of Parliament that have supported the Bill.
“I am pleased that my Bill to outlaw smoking in cars when a child is present lives to fight another day. Though there is a good chance it might eventually fall, I do still intend to push on with it, as well as exploring other avenues – such as amending other legislation – to get a ban into law. I intend to continue raising the profile of the issue, and continue trying to persuade the Government to act.
“I am confident that we’ll achieve a ban eventually. Smoking in cars when a child is present is too damaging to health and too dangerous for children for us to give up. We have the support of the British Lung Foundation, Ash, and Smoke Free North East, three Ministers in the Department for Health, MPs and Lords across all parties, and huge majorities of those polled on the issue.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the process and I look forward to continuing working on this critically important issue.”