A leading health charity has started an online campaign to persuade Stormont to bring in a law that would ban smoking in cars carrying children.
An opinion poll carried out on behalf of NI Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS) shows that 82% of people in Northern Ireland want the law introduced. Only 12% oppose the idea. Now, the charity wants to present a petition to the Executive in an effort to spur Ministers into action.
Chief Executive Andrew Dougal said: “Northern Ireland’s children risk being left as the only young people on these islands who are unprotected from second-hand smoke in cars. This is an opportunity to do something about it.”
MP’s at Westminster have backed legislation to outlaw smoking in cars carrying children in England and Wales.
A similar Bill is expected to come before the Scottish Parliament in the next few months. In the Republic of Ireland, legislation on the issue is also expected soon.
Research has shown that the level of harmful particles in a car where a cigarette has been smoked is many times the safety level recommended by the US Environment Agency.
Please support the NICHS petition at:
Andrew Dougal added: “We need to consider the implications on children’s health and well-being because children are a vulnerable group who often cannot take responsibility for their own choices and rely on adults for their health and well-being. Childhood exposure to second hand smoke is correlated with increased risk of cot death, glue ear, asthma and other respiratory diseases”
“We hope that the overwhelming majority of Assembly Members will recognise the strength of public opinion on this issue and we have written to them calling on each of them to support our call for legislation on this subject.
“If people sign up to our campaign they can help us get the message through to Stormont.”