Doctors' leaders are calling for a ban on smoking while driving as well as tighter restrictions on alcohol licensing, including a 50p minimum price per unit.

Members of the British Medical Association voted for the measures at their annual conference in Cardiff yesterday.

Douglas Noble, a public health expert, said: "In cars, particle concentrations are 27 times higher than in a smoker's home and 20 times higher than in a pub ... It would be safer to have your exhaust pipe on the inside of your car than smoke cigarettes in terms of fine particular matter released."

However, opponents said the measures would be an invasion of civil liberties.

Doctors also called for retrictions on pub opening hours. But Charlie Bell, a medical student, said similar rules had increased binge drinking in the past.