Hampshire MPs split over smoking ban in cars carrying children

Daily Echo: MPs split over smoking ban MPs split over smoking ban

HAMPSHIRE MPs were split last night as the Commons voted to ban smoking in cars when children are passengers.

Most county MPs joined with the majority – and with hundreds of medical experts – who argued that the measure is badly-needed to protect children’s health.

But others insisted that a ban was unenforceable and an attack on personal freedom, arguing that parents should be trusted to do the right thing.

Nevertheless, the amendment introducing the ban – first passed in the Lords, in the teeth of Government opposition – was passed by 376 votes to 107, a majority of 269.

Southampton Labour MPs John Denham (Itchen) and Alan Whitehead (Test) were among the vast majority of Labour MPs in favour of a ban.

Mr Whitehead said: “Smoking in cars with kids is the equivalent of strapping your kid into a high chair and blowing smoke in its face for 20 minutes.”

That view was supported by Mike Thornton (Lib Dem; Eastleigh), Julian Lewis (Con; New Forest East), Desmond Swayne (Con; New Forest West), Steve Brine (Con; Winchester and Chandler’s Ford), Caroline Nokes (Con; Romsey and Southampton North) and Caroline Dinenage (Con; Gosport).

However Mark Hoban (Con; Fareham) and George Hollingbery (Con; Meon Valley) voted against.

Mr Hoban said: “I’m against the ban, because it will be very difficult to police.

“People are also well aware of the risks around smoking and we should trust parents, and other adults, to do the right thing rather than resorting to bans and prosecutions.”

About 700 health experts had pleaded with MPs to enforce a ban.

Comments (2)

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1:45pm Tue 11 Feb 14

pinions says...

Since when was Child Protection an attack on personal freedom? And since when do we not pass laws as they are 'difficult to police'? We always expect parents to do the right thing but without child protection laws, more children will be at risk.
Since when was Child Protection an attack on personal freedom? And since when do we not pass laws as they are 'difficult to police'? We always expect parents to do the right thing but without child protection laws, more children will be at risk. pinions

6:47pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Poppy22 says...

Being a non smoker who, as a child, had to breathe in cigarette smoke for many years in our parents' car even with the windows open (and recently with a smoking driver whose smoke I had to breathe in even with their moving car window open), I can't believe that any MPs are objecting to this when children's health is at risk. I also can't believe that smoking in a moving car isn't stopped altogether as lighting a cigarette and smoking it in a moving car must surely be at least as much of a risk as using a mobile phone and I'd say more of a risk in view of the fire risk or someone crashing their car if they drop their cigarette and panic. A long-overdue law by about 30 years! Parents who smoke outside with their children alongside them (eg outside cafes) are also letting their children breathe in smoke - as any of us non-smoking people realise when we have to breathe in tons of smoke the minute we walk out of West Quay shopping centre onto Above Bar.
Being a non smoker who, as a child, had to breathe in cigarette smoke for many years in our parents' car even with the windows open (and recently with a smoking driver whose smoke I had to breathe in even with their moving car window open), I can't believe that any MPs are objecting to this when children's health is at risk. I also can't believe that smoking in a moving car isn't stopped altogether as lighting a cigarette and smoking it in a moving car must surely be at least as much of a risk as using a mobile phone and I'd say more of a risk in view of the fire risk or someone crashing their car if they drop their cigarette and panic. A long-overdue law by about 30 years! Parents who smoke outside with their children alongside them (eg outside cafes) are also letting their children breathe in smoke - as any of us non-smoking people realise when we have to breathe in tons of smoke the minute we walk out of West Quay shopping centre onto Above Bar. Poppy22

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