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Law Society welcomes ban on smoking in cars with children

Smoking in cars where children are present will now be a criminal offence, after the legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament today, 17 December.

The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill was debated this afternoon at stage 3 by MSPs. When the legislation comes into force, it will be a criminal offence to smoke in a car where a child is present. An amendment to the bill tabled by Jackson Carlaw MSP proposed a review of the legislation after 5 years.

Alison Britton, convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s health and medical law committee said:

“The passing of this bill is great news for the health and wellbeing of children, the harmful effects of tobacco and smoking are undisputed, as well as the effects of second hand smoke. We had hoped that the legislation be extended to expressly prohibit the use of e-cigarettes as well as conventional cigarettes, especially in relation to young people, so it is disappointing to see this hasn’t been included.

“We also proposed a review of the legislation within five years to ascertain how well it was working, and we are disappointed that MSPs voted against such a review. Taking into account there will undoubtedly be an updating of research, not only into the effects of e-cigarettes, but the harmful effects of tobacco in general in the next few years, this would have potentially given us the opportunity to ensure that the legislation remained fit for purpose.”

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