Wales - Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Jewell we must protect children from second-hand smoke, especially in cars..

November 1, 2010 -

Dr Tony Jewell, Wales’ chief medical officer, explains why children must be protected from second-hand tobacco smoke, particularly in cars
LAST month I recommended that smoking in cars carrying children should be banned. I also said parents should be encouraged to protect their children from second-hand smoke by making their homes smoke-free. Many people disagreed, but it was an important debate to open.

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners (GPs), has has stated, parents that smoke in front of their children at home at in cars are "committing a form of child abuse." Professor Field, represents 42,000 GPs across the United Kingdom (UK). (United Kingdom - head GP physician calls smoking in front of children "child abuse"..);

Twenty of Britain’s most senior doctors call today for a ban on smoking in cars as part of a sweeping expansion of laws to protect children against the effects of inhaling smoke. (Senior British Doctors demand banning smoking in vehicles when children are present...)
Smoking continues to cause around 5,650 premature deaths in Wales every year and it is one of the main causes for the gap in life expectancy between rich and poor. It is estimated smoking cost Wales £386m (619.4m USD) in 2007-08. This is equivalent to £129 (207 USD) per head or 7% of total healthcare expenditure.

Second-hand smoke can have a serious impact on everyone, but is particularly damaging to children whose lungs are still growing and developing. Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke have an increased likelihood of asthma, middle-ear infections and cot death. They are also more likely to become smokers in adulthood. Many people think by opening a window, or smoking in a room where children are not present, the smoke will not affect them. But second-hand smoke spreads from room to room.

Potentially toxic chemicals can cling to rugs, curtains, clothes, food, furniture and can remain long after someone has smoked in a room. (New Study - children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke..)

Simply opening a window in a car will not extract all the smoke, instead it can create a wind tunnel, blowing it directly into the back seat.

This is not intended as an invasion on privacy, but alongside legislation that makes seatbelts and child car seats compulsory in cars, it is a way to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary harm.

Stop Smoking Wales provides specialist advice and behavioural support to help smokers wanting to give up. And there is help available to make your home smoke-free – ASH Wales, with Firebrake Wales, has developed a leaflet, which can be ordered from the Assembly Government by e-mailing

Dr. Jewell: I am proud of what we have achieved so far, but there is a lot more work to be done to achieve a smoke-free society for Wales, in which harm from tobacco is eradicated.

Reference: Why we must blow away this smoking threat to our children by Dr Tony Jewell, Western Mail,, 11/1/2010.

A few related news briefs:
Norway - WHO wants govt to ban smoking in private home/gardens how about starting with cars when kids are present??;
Saskatchewan, Canada - ban on smoking in cars with child passengers now in force..;
Congratulations Western Australia (WA) - September 22, 2010 stricter anti-smoking laws in effect..;
United Kingdom - head GP physician calls smoking in front of children "child abuse"..;
United Kingdom - head GP physician calls smoking in front of children "child abuse"..;
Senior British Doctors demand banning smoking in vehicles when children are present..
England - decline in kids secondhand smoke exposure - we can do better..;
New Study - children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke..;
Victoria, Australia - ban from smoking in cars when children under 18 are present comes into force January 1, 2010..;
United Kingdom - aggressive anti-smoking campaign to protect children..;
United Kingdom - public smoking ban does not lead to more smoking at home..;
Queensland, Australia - January 1, 2010 start of law banning smoking in cars carrying children..;
Finland may ban smoking in cars carrying children..;
Children - exposed to cigarette smoke in cars have greater chance of respiratory distress..;
Israel - may initiate a bill to bar smoking in vehicles with kids.. Do it for YURI..;
More evidence - vehicles most dangerous space for second-hand smoke inhalation..;
New South Wales politician smoking comment totally inaccurate..;
World Asthma Awareness Day..;
Further evidence - STOP smoking in the presence of your children..;
Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..;
Ontario law banning smoking in cars with children takes effect ..;
Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present..;
Ban on smoking in cars when children are present..;
(kids, toddler)