A CHANGE in the law that will make it illegal for anyone to smoke in a vehicle that has passengers in it under the age of 18 years has been welcomed by the Borough Council's Health Champion, Councillor Amanda Wright.
Commenting on the new legislation, which comes into force on 1 October, she said: “I greatly welcome this change in the law that will help protect children and young people from the effects of second-hand smoke, which can cause chronic and life-changing illness.
"It is essential that we protect the health of our future generations,” she added.
Younger children are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke, as they have smaller lungs, faster breathing and less developed immune systems. Smoking near children can cause illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis. Second hand smoke causes 9,500 hospital stays by children each year, and about 40 sudden infant deaths.
Stopping smoking in cars with children present is supported by children and parents. Polls show 86% of children want action to protect them from cigarette smoke in cars. 86% of parents, including most parents who smoked, backed the policy in a BLF/Mumsnet survey.
Stopping smoking is the best thing any smoker can do for their own health and their families and a great range of support is available, free of charge (prescription charges may apply) from Quit 51, the smoking cessation provider in Leicestershire. If anyone would like to talk to an adviser and start their journey to being smoke-free they should contact Quit 51 by telephoning 0800 622 6968.