A ban on smoking in vehicles with children on board will come into effect in England and Wales on 1 October 2015.
The upcoming law will make it illegal for drivers and passengers to smoke in their vehicles with anyone under the age of 18 present. Those caught flouting the ban will face a fixed £50 penalty fine.
The law will apply to every driver in England and Wales, including drivers aged 17 and those driving with a provisional license. The law includes “any private vehicle that is enclosed even partially by a roof, even if the windows or sunroof are open, the air conditioning is on, or if the smoker sits in the open doorway of the vehicle.”
Second-hand smoke is made up of ‘sidestream’ smoke emitted from the burning end of a cigarette as well as the ‘mainstream’ smoke exhaled from a smoker. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are highly toxic and more than 60 of which are known to cause diseases such as lung cancer.
Breathing in second-hand smoke is particularly harmful for children and can cause a range of health problems including frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
According to the NHS, more than 430,000 children aged 11-15 every week are subjected to second hand smoke in the family car and nearly 200,000 are exposed every day. Second-hand smoke costs the NHS more than £23m each year and results in around 300,000 GP visits and nearly 10,000 hospital admissions.
A Royal College of Physician’s report entitled “Smoking and the Young” estimated that 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital every year in the UK due to illnesses resulting from second-hand smoke. Parental smoking is the primary source of tobacco smoke inhaled by children.
Second-hand smoke is a well-known direct cause of lung diseases such as lung cancer in both adults and children. If lung cancer is diagnosed early the chances of a positive outcome may be high. But any delays in diagnosis or treatment may cause the cancer to spread to other parts of the body potentially having a significantly adverse effect on any eventual outcome. Mistakes in diagnosing lung cancer can be very serious.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers help people who have suffered from delayed or wrong diagnosis of cancer due to Medical Negligence. For a free consultation call our Medical Negligence Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9049 or start your claim online.