When it comes to stopping people smoking in cars when children are present, things are really motoring.
The drive for action to protect young lungs slipped into top gear on both sides of the border last week.
First, the House of Lords backed a move to bring in the legislation in England.
Then, in the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume unveiled his final proposals for a bill to outlaw smoking in cars with child passengers in Scotland.
At the same time, Mr Hume published the summary of his public consultation on the issue, revealing over 160 responses were received and 84% were in favour of the proposals.
The same enthusiastic backing followed swiftly from his fellow MSPs.
Within just a couple of hours, more than the required 18 members had signed up to support the proposal, meaning the Bill can now be introduced to Parliament.
We agree with Mr Hume’s argument on this issue.
The MSP says it doesn’t seem fair that a child should be cooped up in a smoke-filled car during the school run. They can’t change their means of transport, let alone take steps to immediately remove themselves from the uncomfortable confines of a smoke-filled car.
His close analysis of the potential legislation also addresses critics who say the clampdown would be too hard to enforce. Mr Hume says he is confident that his final proposal addresses concerns raised around the practicalities of enforcing legislation.
In particular, he was pleased to receive the support of a former senior police officer whose contribution should quash any doubts over the practicality of a law which has been successfully used in many other countries. It already works in areas of Australia, Canada and the US.
We strongly believe that it will protect our children from the dangers of breathing second-hand smoke.
CALL FOR SUPPORT
Scotland has consistently led the way in taking action to tackle the harms caused by tobacco use. Now we must once again take the opportunity to introduce a vital measure that will help reduce people’s exposure to high concentrations of a toxic substance in very enclosed spaces.
It’s now vital that MSPs and MPs are made aware of the importance of the proposals for Scotland and England and urged to support them.
You can take action now. To find out how, click here.
As a powerful editorial in The Times last week said about the issue: “The liberty of adults cannot be respected at the expense of the health of children. It is a broadly acceptable principle that adults should be allowed to harm themselves, but not their children.”