Wales politics

Smoking ban in cars with children campaign launched

Poster featuring woman smoking in car with child on the back seat Image copyright Welsh Government

A campaign to raise awareness of a ban on smoking in cars carrying children has begun, in advance of the law coming into force in Wales on 1 October.

Billboards and posters will highlight the ban, intended to protect under 18-year olds from second-hand smoke.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the law was needed because "smoking in cars poisons children".

People breaking the ban, coming into force in England on the same day, will face a £50 on-the-spot fine.

Almost one child in 10 in Wales says smoking is allowed in their family car, according to recent research, although that proportion has halved since 2008.

"Children are particularly at risk from second-hand smoke, which has been linked to a range of health issues, from sudden infant death syndrome, lung and ear infections and asthma," Mr Drakeford said.

"This danger is heightened when they are in the confined space of a car and can't escape the fumes.

"There is evidence that even with windows open, the level of toxic chemicals remains high."

Image copyright BBC/Thinkstock

Jamie Matthews from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Wales said the ban was popular with the public.

"Together with the forthcoming regulations on standardised packaging these regulations will help to denormalise smoking and discourage children from taking up the deadly habit," he said.

The law does not apply to e-cigarettes or when an under-18-year old is the only person in the car.

It will be enforced by police and local authorities.

More on this story