British Doctors Call for Banning Smoking in Private Vehicles

Posted November 16th, 2011 at 11:20 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The British Medical Association has urged the government to ban smoking in cars at all times to protect people from the risk of second-hand smoke — a step that would go beyond regulations in other countries.

The association Wednesday called on the government to take what it calls the “bold and courageous step” of banning smoking in private vehicles. Britain already has legislation banning smoking in public vehicles like buses and trains, but there is no law against smoking in private cars. The government also banned smoking in public places such as pubs and restaurants in 2007, but has avoided legislating for private areas.

Some countries, including Australia, Canada and parts of the U.S., have already banned smoking in cars when children are present. But no country has banned all smoking in private vehicles.

Research shows the confined environment in cars exposes drivers and passengers to 23 times more toxins than a smoky bar. Children, who absorb more pollutants, and elderly people are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke. Smoke can linger in cars long after cigarettes have been smoked.