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Call for car smoking ban

Thursday June 17th, 2010

Most parents would back a ban on smoking in cars with children present, campaigners said yesterday.

The British Lung Foundation unveiled the statistic as it stepped up pressure for a ban on children in cars being exposed to tobacco smoke.

It said a ban would spare tens of thousands of children from the misery of asthma.

More than 1,000 parents took part in a survey and 86 per cent back a ban.

The Foundation said it was worrying that as many as 13 per cent admitted smoking with their children in the car, often with the window open - and that the same number thought this posed no threat to the health of their offspring.

Chief executive Dame Helena Shovelton said: "Smoking just one cigarette, even with the car window open, creates a greater concentration of second-hand smoke than a whole evening's smoking in a pub or a bar. A ban on smoking in the car with children would prevent some of the 22,000 new cases each year of asthma, caused as a direct result of passive smoking.

"This overwhelming evidence and public support can no longer be ignored."

The president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Professor Terence Stephenson, added: "We should be making cars totally smoke-free if there are children travelling in them. Parents are sending out a strong message in this survey and the new government should act on this.

"Second-hand smoke has been found to be strongly linked to chest infections, asthma and ear problems in children and sudden infant death syndrome, or cot death."

And the Royal College of Nursing chief executive Dr Peter Carter added: "The best way to protect children and babies from passive smoking is to help every adult understand the dangers of second-hand smoke so they will change their own behaviour.

"The regular and direct contact nurses have with patients mean they are ideally placed to discuss these risks with smokers and to help them to kick the habit."

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | Drug and Alcohol Abuse | Respiratory | Traveller Health | UK News

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