Campaign To Ban Smoking In Cars With Children Sparks Up

Dear Editor,

re: smoking ban in cars to protect children

“People in the County Down area may be aware that a ban on smoking in cars with children present has come into force in England and Wales on 1 October and which will come into force in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in the coming months.

[caption id="attachment_35616" align="alignleft" width="360"]Stop smoking in cars when children are present. Stop smoking in cars when children are present.[/caption]

“Sadly there is now a real danger that children in Northern Ireland will be left unprotected from smoke in cars perhaps for years to come.

“NICHS had hoped that it will be possible to amend the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. This Bill is primarily aimed at banning the sale of e-cigarettes to under 18’s (which we also support) but we had hoped to amend it to include a ban smoking in cars with children,”

“In order, however, for the legislation to pass through the Assembly before the elections next May the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill needs to start it’s legislative process in the next few weeks. Should it fail to do so it is unlikely to be introduced (if at all) until the autumn of next year and unlikely to come into force until 2017 at the earliest.

“We are, therefore, calling on the Health Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA to introduce the Bill in the next few weeks so that our children can be protected in the same way as the rest of the UK and the Republic.

“Remember, four out of five people in Northern Ireland want the NI Assembly to ban smoking in cars where children are passengers. Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke commissioned opinion polling in 2014 relating to smoking in cars when children are present. 82% agreed when asked whether they think that the NI Assembly should ban smoking in cars carrying children.

“I would appeal to people in the County Down area to write to Health Minister Simon Hamilton at Stormont asking him to introduce the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill as soon as is possible and to urge their local Assembly Members to support a ban.”

Yours, Neil Johnston Public Affairs Adviser Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke.    ]]>