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Scotland car smoking ban could follow new law in England

Giving up smoking is the single best way of improving health, according to campaigners
Giving up smoking is the single best way of improving health, according to campaigners

A ban on smoking in cars carrying children comes into force in England and Wales today – and a similar law for Scotland is also being considered.

The landmark legislation, which is designed to protect youngsters from the effects of tobacco smoke, will mean the driver and any smoker being fined £50 if they have someone age under 18 in the vehicle with them.

Holyrood’s health committee has already backed a bid by Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume to introduce a law which would allow for a £100 penalty for the offence north of the border.

MSPs on the committee heard evidence that thousands of cases of asthma in Scottish youngsters could be avoided by limiting their exposure to second hand smoke.

Committee convener Duncan McNeil said: “From our work on this issue it became clear that there is strong public support for this legislation.

“Our committee believes that no child should have to experience the effects of second hand smoke in cars and that this legislation will tackle significantly this harmful behaviour.”

While the law comes into force in England and Wales today, police and local authorities are thought to favour a grace period to allow for the education of drivers rather than immediate enforcement action.

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