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Stop smoking with kids in car or we'll ban it; Carwyn's ultimatum to drivers.

Byline: OWEN HUGHES

Health warning: Carwyn Jones WALES could be the first European country to ban smoking in cars carrying children - in a move welcomed by health campaigners.

First Minister Carwyn Jones announced yesterday that legislation could be considered later in the current five-year Assembly term.

But this will only happen if children's exposure to second-hand smoke does not reduce as a result of a mix of stop smoking interventions and campaigns.

He said a ban would be designed first and foremost to protect children from second-hand smoke as well as encouraging adults to give up smoking.

Around 20% of 11-16 year old school children in Wales report being exposed to smoke the last time they travelled in a car.

The First Minister said: "Smoking remains a major cause of preventable and premature death in Wales. Every year around 5,600 people die from smoking-related illnesses.

"Children are particularly at risk from second-hand smoke, especially in vehicles where a confined space means there is no respite from the harm of the toxic chemicals in cigarettes.

"Wales was the first UK country to vote in favour of a ban on smoking in public places and if necessary we will not shy away from considering the introduction of progressive legislation to further protect children from second-hand smoke.

"We will mount a renewed campaign to tackle smoking alongside other interventions such as quit programmes, but will consider pursuing legislative options if children's exposure to second-hand smoke does not start to fall within the next three years."

Dr Tony Jewell, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, added: "Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of smoking, and with no escape from second-hand smoke are more likely to develop long-term conditions such as asthma at an early age which will affect them for their rest of their lives.

"There is evidence DAILY POST SAYS: P8 fgdfgdf that the level of toxic chemicals is very high in cars even with window ventilation."

ASH Wales Chief Executive Tanya Buchanan said: "We are pleased that the Welsh Government is considering banning smoking in cars when children are present but we urge the Welsh Government to introduce legislation alongside a public health campaign." Health warning: Carwyn Jones
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2011
Words:368
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