A city-wide health campaign has been launched in Portsmouth ahead of a new law that will ban smoking in cars carrying children.
The legislation has been passed by Parliament and will come into force in October. It bans smoking in private vehicles with passengers under 18 as part of a crackdown on the harm caused by secondhand smoke.
Portsmouth City Council has introduced a campaign to raise awareness of the changes. Dr Janet Maxwell, public health director, said: ‘Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible, and opening windows and doors does not remove its harmful effect.??
‘Young people are more susceptible to the physical effects of smoking as their bodies are not yet fully developed – this includes increased risk of cot death for babies, asthma and other respiratory diseases.
??’Along with the health risks, children whose parents smoke are also more likely to take additional time off school due to coughs and colds.’
A nationwide campaign on the dangers to children’s health caused by smoking at home and in cars has been relaunched by Public Health England to coincide with the new law.
Chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said: ‘The passing of regulation to make smoking in cars carrying under 18s illegal is a significant victory for protecting children's health from secondhand smoke. Smoking just a single cigarette in a car exposes children to high levels of air pollutants and cancer causing chemicals like arsenic, formaldehyde and tar.??
‘Children are least equipped to speak out to protest against secondhand smoke, so I welcome this legislation to end smoking in cars when they are present.’
Earlier this week council chiefs called for a share of duty from tobacco sales to help reduce smoking levels.