Smokers in cars with kids may be penalised in Wales

July 16th, 2011 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 16 (IANS) Wales may become the first European province where people accompanying children in cars could be penalised for putting their health at risk by smoking.

The plan, being considered by the Labour-led Welsh Assembly, could result in drivers crossing the border from England being arrested if they have a lighted cigarette, Daily Express reported Saturday.

Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones said: “We will not shy away from considering legislation to further protect children from second-hand smoke.”

But the smoking-ban move witnessed objections Friday, as the proposal came under fire from motoring groups and some MPs.

Tory MP David Davies, whose Monmouth constituency falls on the border, said: “I don’t condone smoking and everyone knows it is bad for health and can kill people.

“But this move by the Welsh Assembly is reaching the stage where smokers are being victimised which can’t be right.”

But doctors and health groups hailed the move.

Tanya Buchanan, Wales chief executive of anti-smoking group ASH, said: “We know children are particularly susceptible to the damaging health effects of second-hand smoke.

“There is strong public support for such a ban with four out of five adults supportive of this move.”

The Welsh Assembly could introduce legislation within five years.

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