Motorists alerted over upcoming ban on smoking in cars | The Guardian | #smokefreecars

Seven weeks before smoking cigarettes in vehicles carrying under-18s is outlawed ~ the department of Health steps up it’s publicity campaign to warn drivers of potential fines.

Motorists and passengers in England and Wales are being warned they will soon be breaking the law if they smoke in a vehicle carrying a person under 18. From 1 October, they face fixed penalty fines of £50 – with drivers at risk of being fined twice if they have failed to stop a passenger smoking and are smoking themselves.

The Department of Health is stepping up publicity to increase awareness of the new rules seven weeks before they are introduced to prevent a surge in fines.

The chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said: “Children breathe faster than adults so they are much more exposed to the dangers of second-hand smoke. Their airways, lungs and immune systems are still developing so are much more at risk from harm.

“We want children to grow up free from harm and we need parents to understand why smoking in vehicles is so dangerous. 80% of smoke is invisible so even if you think you are being careful you cannot see where the smoke is going.”

Jane Ellison, a health minister, said:

“Research has shown that around a third of children who are exposed to smoke in vehicles don’t feel able to ask the person to stop because they feel frightened or embarrassed. We want all children to grow up free from the burden of disease that tobacco brings.”

The government says surveys suggest about a third of children – 3 million – are exposed to smoke in vehicles. Officials also believe about 200 children a week visit GPs because of the effect of second-hand smoke in cars.

The exposure to toxins could result in diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, meningitis and cancer, they say.

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Alcohol’s Harm to Others in Scotland and North West England – IAS Animated Film

‘In political debates and the media, alcohol consumption is often portrayed as a problem that affects individual drinkers, with a focus on the health and social consequences of heavy and binge drinking. However, alcohol consumption can have a range of negative consequences for people other than the drinker including their families, friends, coworkers and even strangers assaulted in the street or kept up at night.

This short animated film shows the combined results of two surveys carried out in Scotland and the North West of England on the nature and scale of harms that people experience as a result of someone else’s drinking.’

The full report, produced by the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group and funded by the Institute of Alcohol Studies, can be found here. For more information please contact sarg@sheffield.ac.uk.

Parents smoking puts nearly half a million UK children into poverty!!!

1.1 million children – almost half of all children in poverty – were estimated to be living in poverty with at least one parent who smokes; and a further 400,000 would be classed as being in poverty if parental tobacco expenditure were subtracted from household income.

This is the first UK study to highlight the extent to which smoking exacerbates child poverty. The findings, published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, are based on national surveys which estimate the number of children living in poverty by household structure. In 1999, the UK government announced a target to abolish child poverty by 2020, though this target is unlikely to be met. It is therefore crucial to identify avoidable factors that contribute to and worsen child poverty.

Read more in the BMC.