In Scotland people caught smoking in cars with children could be fined up to £1,000.
A new law which has come into force aims to protect children under the age of 18 from second-hand smoke.
The law was proposed by Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume in the previous session of parliament, Mr Hume introduced the Smoking Prohibition (Children in motor vehicles) Bill and won unanimous backing from all MSPs. Mr Hume’s mother died of cancer caused by second-hand smoke.
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell states “poisonous chemicals in second-hand smoke” were dangerous to children. She says the point of the law was to change behaviour rather than punish.
Research shows that second-hand smoke can cause serious conditions, like bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma. Campbell says that it’s not safe to smoke when a child is in a car: “85% of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless so you can’t always see what they’re breathing in”.
“It fills me with great pride that through hard work and cross-party consensus we are now seeing the introduction of a law which can potentially save 60,000 children a year from the hazards of second-hand smoke,” said former Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume.
Mr Hume thanked all the members of previous Parliament’s of health and sport committee for their “constructive work” and thanked the charities and organisations, academics and his office who supported him. He also thanked his mother who inspired and drove him to make a difference, “a non-smoker who died five years and one week ago today from lung cancer, my mother, Joyce Hume,”