MPs vote to ban smoking in cars when children are present

 

A ban on smoking in cars in England when children are passengers was overwhelmingly supported on Monday night by MPs of all parties.

The move was approved by 376 to 107, a majority of 269, in a free vote which had divided the Cabinet.

The result gives Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, the authority to make it illegal to light up in a vehicle where a child is present but it does not compel him to bring in the legislation.

The vote came after 700 health experts wrote to MPs urging them to support the move. They said hundreds of thousands of youngsters would be saved from exposure to smoke once the practice was outlawed.

Similar bans are already in place in the United States, Canada and Australia.

David Cameron missed the vote because he was in the South-West visiting areas hit by flooding, but signalled his backing for a ban. His spokesman said he believed the move was an idea “whose time had come”.

A ban was also supported by Mr Hunt and Michael Gove, the Education Secretary.

Critics have argued the move would be impractical and unenforceable and would amount to an infringement of personal freedom. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, were among opponents of the move within the Cabinet.

The Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has also spoken out against a measure that would “sub-contract responsible parenting to the state”.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, expressed her delight at the vote, which came in a Labour amendment to the Children and Families Bill.

She said: “The introduction of a law that would help prevent hundreds of thousands of children from being exposed to second-hand smoke in the car is now within reach.

“With both Houses of Parliament having made their support for the ban clear, the onus is now on the Government to act accordingly and make this crucial child protection measure law at the earliest opportunity.”

The charity estimates that more than 430,000 children aged 11 to 15 are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars every week in England.

Last night Luciana Berger, the shadow health minister, urged the Government not to delay the introduction of the measure.

She said: “It is a matter of child protection, not adult choice. The will of Parliament has been clearly expressed today and this must be respected.

“Ministers now have a duty to bring forward regulations so that we can make this measure a reality and put protections for children in place as soon as possible.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “Second-hand smoke is harmful to children and it is right this has been debated in Parliament. We will now determine how this amendment should be taken forward.”

He added that Public Health England would continue its campaign to “ensure parents fully understand the dangers of second-hand smoke and are encouraged to stop smoking in the home or car if there is a child present”.

News
people And here is why...
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

KS1 & KS2 Teacher

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: We are looking for infants and...

Secondary Trained Teachers for the watford area

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Qualified secondary teachers - ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?