MPs back ban on smoking and driving

A man smoking in his car
A man smoking in his car

THE borough’s MPs voted in favour of a ban on smoking in cars when children are present.

All three Labour MPs backed the ban which was passed with a majority vote yesterday.

MP for Wigan, Lisa Nandy, the MP for Makerfield, Yvonne Fovargue and the shadow health minister nand MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham all voted in favour of a ban.

Last week, more than 700 health experts wrote an open letter to MPs urging them to back the measure. But critics say legislation is “unnecessary”.

The amendment empowers, but does not compel, the Government to make it a criminal offence for drivers to fail to prevent smoking in their vehicles when children are present.

A long-time supporter of the ban is Wigan’s director of public health, Prof Kate Ardern.

Prof Ardern said: “The fact that children’s lungs are smaller and less developed means they are more vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke and so it is vital that we do everything we can to improve awareness and reduce the risks. Opening a window won’t protect children, smoke free cars will.”