Scotland to ban smoking in cars if children are present

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The new Scottish Government reforms on anti-smoking legislation could result in drivers being banned from smoking in their own cars if children are present.

Holyrood ministers are considering a reshuffle of the laws around electronic cigarettes and tobacco, and have also proposed a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to those under the age of 18.

The paper is due to be released for consultation with a range of organisations and the public and has questioned whether local authorities could set up smoke-free zones around outdoor play-parks for children to protect them from second-hand smoke.

The new proposals have been welcomed by health campaigners as they stated that this will contribute to eliminating smoking for the new generation.

The new rules will state that the purchase of e-cigarettes, which currently carries no age limit, will be considered as an offence if it can be proven that an adult was purchasing the product for a minor.

The chief executive of anti-smoking charity Ash Scotland, Sheila Duffy, expressed her delight at the Scottish Government to tackle the harm that is caused by smoking as they strive to make Scotland tobacco-free.

The consultation will consider restrictions on e-cigarette advertising, such as events sponsorship, point of sale and billboards.

Ash Scotland has stated that it would not be in support of a ban on the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public areas where tobacco smoking has been banned.

The document stated that it would ‘welcome views’ on the topic, but stated that the Scottish Government will remain open-minded about the intervention required on the use of e-cigarettes in indoor areas.

E-cigarettes have received positive reviews on how it has helped people to stop smoking, but many critics believe that the full health implications of the device are not known.

According to Ms Duffy, a legislative ban on the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces would need clear consensus that second-hand e-cigarette emissions could cause significant harm, and since this is not available as yet, a blanket ban is not appropriate right now.

The new European Tobacco Products Directive, which is due for implementation across the UK by May 2016, states that e-cigarettes which do not seek a medicines licence on a voluntary basis, will continue to fall under the same regulations as consumer products, but with added safeguards, such as restrictions on advertising and nicotine content.

According to the Scottish Government consultation document, around 60000 children may be exposed to second-hand smoke in vehicles on a weekly basis.

Image Credit: zaniele

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