A Labour proposal to ban smoking in cars carrying children is due to have a free vote in the House of Commons later today. MPs are set to have a free vote on the issue, which would make it an offence for drivers to smoke behind the wheel if there are kids in the vehicle.
The UK would join other countries if the ban goes ahead and supporters cite the many health benefits of such a move. However, there could also be significant financial benefits if you stopped smoking in your car, especially if you drive it using a car lease or contract hire agreement. Keep reading to find out more…
Labour want smoking ban in cars carrying children
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham believes it is time that Britain joined some Australian, Canadian and US states in banning smoking in cars carrying children. The party cite a YouGov poll from 2011 that found 78 per cent of adults in Great Britain agree that smoking should be banned in cars carrying children younger than 18 years of age
Mr Burnham said: “When it comes to improving the health of children, we are duty bound to consider any measure that might make a difference. Adults are free to make their own choices, but that often does not apply to children and that’s why society has an obligation to protect them from preventable harm.
“Evidence from other countries shows that stopping smoking in the confined space of a car carrying children can prevent damage to their health and has strong public support.”
While many experts believe there are clear benefits, pro-smoking groups oppose a blanket ban. Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: “I think this legislation is very heavy-handed, totally unnecessary and according to surveys 84 per cent of adults wouldn’t dream of lighting a cigarette in a car, in a small enclosed space with a child present.
“So adults already know how to behave, they don’t need the state interfering in their lives like this. If there are still some people who smoke in a car with children, then let’s educate them, but let’s not legislate.
A smoking ban in your car could also help you to save money. Read on to find out how.
Smoking in your car can also hit you in the pocket
Smoking at the wheel can lead to serious financial as well as health implications according to figures from leading vehicle remarketing company, British Car Auctions (BCA).
Tim Naylor of BCA said: “The British Medical Association has previously released research showing the levels of toxins in a car can be up to 11 times higher than in a smoky bar.
“But if drivers aren’t motivated by the health of their passengers, perhaps they will be by the diminishing health of their finances. Lighting up inside a car seriously devalues the vehicle for resale.
“Presentation is one of the top factors influencing the price of used cars. So if a car is more like an ashtray on wheels, chances are buyers will move on to find one that looks and smells fresh as a daisy.”
If you drive your car on a car leasing or contract hire agreement then you are obliged to hand the car back in a reasonable condition. If you have smoked in the car then you may find that the resale value of the vehicle is less than expected – and this could lead to additional costs.
Professional valeting can alleviate most of the effects of smoking, but it can be expensive and time consuming. You may also have to pay to replace some interior trim to bring your vehicle up to the required condition for the car leasing agreement.
Mr Naylor concluded: “Motorists should avoid having a cigarette in their car, especially if they intend to sell it in the near future. This will avoid the lingering smell of cigarettes in the interior, as well as eliminate the risk of scorch marks on the upholstery or dash. All of these things will put buyers off, even if they smoke themselves.”