Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume MSP has this evening celebrated as his Bill to ban smoking in private cars when a child is present was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament.
The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill was introduced by Mr Hume one year ago this week, on 15 December 2014. It will now receive Royal Assent and become law, with a major government awareness campaign taking place to ensure the public knows about the changes due to come into effect in summer 2016.
When the law comes into force it will be an offence for an adult to smoke in a private motor vehicle when a child under the age of 18 is present. Public and works vehicles are already covered by existing legislation.
After the Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament, Mr Hume said:
“It gives me great pleasure to know that this Bill has crossed party lines, with the mutual goal of protecting the health of children in Scotland.
“By developing policies on smoking, we are closing loopholes in legislation that are hazardous to children. Research shows that children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to become smokers themselves. What’s more, by reducing the exposure to second-hand smoke in vehicles will not only have immediate benefits in protecting children’s respiratory systems, it will also reduce the likelihood of them developing respiratory conditions in the future.
“I again thank all members on the Health and Sport Committee for their constructive work, the ministerial team, fellow members, the numerous charities, organisations, academics and my own office who have supported me.
“There is one other person I would like to thank, a woman who inspired me and drove me on to make a difference in my community, a non-smoker who died five years and one week ago today from lung cancer, my mother, Joyce Hume, who I’d like to dedicate this Bill to.”