The proposal, which has won the backing of the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, has been outlined in a report showing the impact of passive smoking on children’s health.
The report shows babies and toddlers with mums who smoke are three times more likely to suffer cot death. It was also found more than 300,000 GP consultations and 9,500 hospital admissions are a result of children breathing in secondhand smoke each year, totaling an annual cost to the NHS of £23.3 million.
And while it’s thought two million children live in a home where at least one parent smokes, the report didn’t suggest a ban on smoking in the home when children are there, as it’s thought to be too difficult to enforce.
Commenting on the report and the suggestion to ban smoking while in a car with children, The Department of Health said, “ The government is looking at ways to go further to reduce the 9,500 children admitted to hospital every year as a direct result of exposure to second-hand smoke. Parents have a responsibility to protect their children by stopping smoking around them in enclosed spaces like their cars.”
The proposal comes as the Government prepares to review the existing smoking ban that came into force in 2007.