Doctors have called for a ban on smoking in all vehicles because of a rise in the incidence of asthma in children but are confusing new laws really the way to help?

Passive smoking causes childhood asthma but does that mean it should be banned in all vehicles?

On the subject of the report, it found that smoking around children leads to:

  • 300,000 appointments with GPs
  • 9,500 hospital admissions
  • A cost of £23.3m each year

The figures are shocking but is banning smoking in cars really going to make much difference, is it not just going to lead to laws which are difficult to police?

Health promotion is a difficult task. There are two ways of preventing conditions developing. The first involves educating a person with facts, so explaining to parents the effect smoking has on their children.

This was done fantastically with this video:

The second way is to force people into making choices with laws, but without accomplishing the first method the laws will be difficult to enforce. People need to know that there is evidence supporting why a law should exist or they simply won’t abide by it.

The problem is that the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) who made the report don’t just call for a ban on smoking around children but for all drivers regardless of if a child would never sit in their car.

There is obviously no scientific proof that banning smoking in a vehicle that doesn’t carry kids is going to prevent childhood asthma so Prof Britton from the RCP justified a full ban by saying that if a driver doesn’t ferry kids around they should still get out of the car before lighting up for road safety issues.

Now I’m not saying that smoking while driving is 100% safe but surely if a law is going to be made it should be in line with the research available?

Image: Salvatore Vuono /