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Protecting children from second-hand smoke

Published: 17 Dec 2015 19:00

Scottish Parliament passes Smoking in Cars Bill.

MSPs have voted in favour of legislation to protect more children from the effects of second-hand smoke by prohibiting smoking in cars with children on board.

The Scottish Parliament today (Thursday, 17 December) passed the Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill.

When the legislation commences next year, anyone caught smoking in a private vehicle carrying someone under the age of 18 will face a fixed penalty notice of £100 or a court fine of up to £1,000.

Speaking after the Stage 3 debate Minister for Public Health, Maureen Watt, said:

"This government is absolutely committed to protecting children from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

"Smoking remains the primary preventable cause of ill health and death in Scotland - ultimately killing one in two long-term users. This costs the NHS as much as £300 million to £500 million each year.

"The evidence on the harmful effects of second-hand smoke is also clear, which is why last year we announced a target to reduce the proportion of children in Scotland exposed in the home from 12 per cent to six per cent by 2020 - potentially saving 50,000 Scottish children from second-hand smoke.

"This Bill will contribute to those aims, and I am delighted that it has now been passed.

"The purpose of this legislation is ultimately to achieve culture and behaviour change. Scotland has led the way with the ban on smoking in public places, the display ban and our commitment to a tobacco free generation - these have had a positive effect on public health and we are confident that a ban on smoking in cars with children will do likewise."