Legislation preventing smoking in cars with children popular and effective



30 September 2016.  One year after the ban on smoking in cars when children are present came into effect the legislation is working well. The ASH Smokefree GB survey shows that 86% of children report no exposure to smoking in cars compared to 83% last year. [1]

Support for the law, including among smokers, has also increased since the legislation was implemented.  In addition, a clear majority of the public support a total ban on smoking in all cars. [2]

The ASH Smokefree GB survey found that the law prohibiting smoking in cars with children younger than 18 years of age is supported by 87% of adults in England (a 2% increase on last year’s survey which was conducted before the law was introduced) and is also supported by three quarters (76%) of smokers (up 2% on the 2015 survey) [3]

A report published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has also found that compliance levels are high and that support for the law is widespread. [4]

There is also growing support for legislation to cover smoking in all cars:  62% of adults in England reported supporting this measure in 2016 compared to 59% last year.  ASH believes that it is now time to extend the law to protect the health of adults as well as children.  Prohibition of smoking in all cars would also be easier to enforce and reduce the risk of accidents and fires.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“Compliance with the legislation on smoking in cars with children is dependent on the level of public support not enforcement action. And people are complying with this popular law which protects children from the harm caused by secondhand smoke.  Our surveys show that the vast majority of the public, including smokers, support the law, and 86% of children report no exposure to smoke in cars at all this year.”

She went on to say:

 “It is not just children, adults are also at risk from exposure to the high concentrations of tobacco smoke found in confined spaces like cars. Prohibiting smoking completely would make the law simpler to enforce as well as protecting all car occupants from the harmful toxins in tobacco smoke.” 

ENDS

Notes and Links:

 

[1] ASH Smokefree Youth Great Britain Survey 2016.  All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,331 11 to 18 year olds. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th March and 10th April 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB 11-18 year olds.

ASH Smokefree Youth Great Britain Survey 2015.  All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,291 teenagers aged 11-18. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th and 22nd March 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of GB 11-18 year olds.

[2] ASH YouGov Smokefree GB Survey 2016. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 10058 adults in England. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd and 23rd March 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

[3] ASH YouGov Smokefree GB Survey 2015. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 10017 adults in England. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th February and 12th March 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

[4] Smoke-free (Private vehicles) Regulations 2015.  Demonstration projects using compliance measures in controlled locations.  CIEH & Improving Performance in Practice (iPiP), Sept. 2016

[5] The Smoke-free (Private Vehicles) Regulations 2015