Smoking Ban

I think one thing that most people agree on is that smoking around kids is a bad idea.

That’s why, even though I don’t support a full ban on smoking altogether, I’m pleased that Parliament has now called for a ban on smoking in cars where there is a child present.

On February 10 MPs voted in favour of a ban, effectively giving Government Minis-ters the power to introduce a law on the issue.

There have been some questions raised about how such a ban would be enforced, including by our MP Simon Reevell.

He didn’t turn up to vote on the day but has said that he doesn’t see how the plan would be policed and, in a recent interview, asked whether children would be questioned by police to establish whether someone had been smoking in a car.

Our part-time MP said he didn’t think he’d support the ban, but given he didn’t turn up for the debate, we’ll never know now.

I imagine a smoking ban would be enforced in much the same way we enforce laws on wearing seatbelts and not using mobile phones.

When these laws were brought in there were questions about enforcement, but the vast majority of people stopped using their mobile phones and started using their seat belts, and that’s because they are law abiding citizens.

That’s why if I was representing people round here as the MP, I’d have voted in favour of the ban.

And the reason I’d support it is because this is about the health and well-being of our young people.

As adults, we’re able to make a choice about what we do in the knowledge that some things, such as smoking, are bad for us.

But as a child strapped into the back of a car you don’t have that choice.

A child sat in a space like a car experiences toxic fumes from cigarettes that are 11 times more concentrated than in an open space.

Government Ministers now have the power to bring this law into effect, despite our MP’s absence.

I’d urge them to get on with it quickly so we can send a clear message to drivers that whether they choose to smoke or not, smoking in a car with a child present isn’t acceptable.