MPs approve ban on smoking in cars with children onboard

Yesterday the MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill by a majority of 269 votes. Thanks to this the Health Secretary will be given the power to bring a ban in England, while Welsh Government ministers will decide whether to bring the ban in Wales.

The proposed ban on smoking in vehicles with children onboard came under the spotlight last month when it was approved in the House of Lords.

The amendment does not compel but empowers the Government to make it a criminal offence against drivers if they fail to prevent smoking in their vehicle when children are onboard.

The proposed law, which was first raised by the Labour Party, could see motorists fined £60 if they fail to prevent smoking in a car carrying children.

Much of the debate surrounding this proposed ban has focused how smoking in cars affects many childrens’ health. Previous research has reported that smoking in a car can create a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar. The new proposed ban has received support from many health organisations, with over 700 experts writing to MPs urging to back the change prior their vote.

Following the outcome of the MPs vote, the Labour shadow health minister Luciana Berger gave her reaction. She said: "This is a great victory for child health which will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across our country. It is a matter of child protection, not adult choice.

"The will of Parliament has been clearly expressed today and this must be respected. Ministers now have a duty to bring forward regulations so that we can make this measure a reality and put protections for children in place as soon as possible."

Recently British Car Auction (BCA) pointed out how a ban on smoking in your cars with children onboard could benefit motorists when it comes to selling a car.

The BCA explains that smoking can affect the quality of a vehicle’s cabin and diminish its resale value. While professional valeting for cleaning your car can alleviate most of the effects of smoking, it is an expensive and time consuming process.

In fact valeting work on cars affected by smoking can cost several hundreds of pounds to owners.