‘Children especially vulnerable to smoke in cars so let’s ban it’

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Health Committee member Gary Middleton has backed Health Minister Simon Hamilton in his move to bring forward an amendment to the Health Miscellaneous Provisions Bill to ban smoking in cars with children on board.

Speaking in the Assembly at the second stage of the Health Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, Mr Middleton said: “I welcome the Ministers intention to bring forward an amendment to address smoking in cars with children on board at the consideration stage of this bill.

“There is strong evidence that the level of toxic chemicals when a person is smoking in a car is very high even with window ventilation. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of second hand tobacco smoke. This contributes to the development of conditions, such as asthma at an early age. I welcome the Ministers action on this matter.”

Mr Hamilton said: “I want to address an issue that is not in the Bill but that many believe should be. Many were understandably concerned at the omission from the Bill of a clause banning smoking in cars with children. I have listened carefully to the arguments made by many that Northern Ireland should follow the example of other parts of the United Kingdom, and I can confirm...that it is my intention to bring forward an amendment at Consideration Stage to ban smoking in cars with children.”