Renewed call for smoke ban in cars
[Posted: Tue 16/02/2010 by Deborah Condon]
Anti-smoking group, ASH Ireland, has re-launched its campaign to have smoking banned in cars transporting children under the age of 16.
According to ASH chairperson, Dr Angie Brown, 14% of Irish children are exposed to cancer-causing passive smoke and other toxic substances in cars.
“We first launched this campaign in early 2008 and yet we have had no positive indication from the Government that they plan to implement this health initiative, which is now gaining support all around the world. As we discovered with the use of seat belts and the use of mobile phones in cars – the voluntary code is insufficient,” Dr Brown commented.
She said that research has shown that passive smoke can be 23 times more toxic in a car than in a house because of the confined space involved. Research also shows that passive smoke is particularly harmful to children as they have much higher respiratory rates and metabolism than adults.
“The high levels of public (and smoker) support for smoke-free car laws found in the studies to date suggest that this can be a relatively non-controversial tobacco control intervention. Recent research by ASH Ireland shows 79% public support for this initiative,” Dr Brown explained.
She added that the Government has ‘set the trend all around the world on tobacco health legislation’ and has received deserved recognition both at home and abroad for this.
She insisted that this initiative, to protect children’s health while traveling in motor vehicles, would be widely welcomed.
“Who could argue with it? We now ask the Government to proceed and legislate for this health initiative.”