Ban on people smoking in cars carrying children in Wales given go-ahead by AMs
A ban on people smoking in cars when children under the age of 18 are present will be introduced on October 1, 2015 after it was yesterday approved by AMs.
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford, who introduced the regulations, welcomed AMs’ approval, hailing the ban as a major step forward for public health in Wales.
Exposure to second-hand smoke is a real and substantial threat to children’s health. In the confined space of cars, children are more vulnerable to second-hand smoke because they breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants than adults.
The new rules will make it an offence to smoke in an enclosed private vehicle with more than one person present, at least one of whom is under 18, and for a driver to fail to prevent smoking in such circumstances.
The regulations introduce a fixed penalty notice of £50 for each offence. The police will enforce the regulations in conjunction with their wider road safety duties, such as ensuring compliance with the laws on seatbelts or child car seats.
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said yesterday:
“I’m very pleased members of the National Assembly for Wales have approved our plans to introduce a ban on people smoking in cars when children under the age of 18 are present.
“The ban will come into force on October 1, 2015, the same day as a ban comes into force in England.
“These regulations aim to protect vulnerable children from the harms associated with second-hand smoke when travelling in private vehicles.
“Today’s vote in favour of the ban marks a major step forward for public health in Wales.”
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