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In-car smoking data 'shocking'

Wednesday November 20th 2013

Children are being exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke when inside cars on a "shocking" scale, a charity warns.

More than 430,000 children aged between 11 and 15 are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars each week in England, according to estimates from the British Lung Foundation (BLF).

Its analysis of official NHS data revealed an estimated 185,000 children of the same age are exposed to smoke in the family car "most days" if not every day.

Dr Noel Snell, director of research at the BLF, described the figures as "shocking" and said: "Given these data only cover children aged between 11 and 15, it is possible that the total number of children affected on a weekly basis could be in excess of half a million."

He said he hoped that the figures would encourage the House of Lords to support a ban on smoking in cars where children are present as it gets ready to debate an amendment to the Children and Families Bill.

However, pro-smoking group Forest said new legislation would be "disproportionate to the problem".

Forest director Simon Clark said surveys show that "only a very small number of adults still smoke in cars with children present" and the majority of adults realise it is "inconsiderate" to do so.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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