Doctors have demanded that smoking in cars should be banned to protect people -particularly children – from breathing in harmful chemicals.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for the ban on smoking in public places to be extended to all vehicles by ministers after reviewing previous research studies into cars and smoking.
Children are especially at risk of smoky cars according to the BMA. They absorb in more toxins from cigarettes than adults and are less able to cope with secondhand smoke with their immature immune systems.
Passengers and drivers are exposed to 23 times more toxins from cigarette smoking than they would find in a typical bar.
Despite these figures, the government is unlikely to give an extended smoke-free legislation the go-ahead.
“We do not believe the legislation is the most effective way to encourage people to change their behaviour,” a Department of Health spokesman said, reports The Guardian.
But the BMA hopes that the devolved administrations in Ediburgh, Cardiff and Belfast will take their own action. “We are calling on UK governments to take the bold and courageous step of banning smoking in vehicles,” said Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA’s head of science and ethics.