According to a new research published in the journal Thorax, the public ban on smoking in cars has resulted in fewer children being exposed to harmful cigarette smoke. The ban on smoking in cars carrying children was implemented in England and Wales in 2015 and in Scotland a year later.
Researchers at the Imperial College London analysed >16,000 responses from two large health surveys of school-aged children across England and Scotland.
The findings revealed an overall downward trend in the proportion of children aged 13-15 years who reported exposure to cigarette smoke. Self-reported regular exposure to smoke in cars fell from 6.3 per cent in 2012 to 5.9 per cent in 2014 and further to 1.6 per cent in 2016 for England. The figures were 3.4 per cent, 2.2 per cent and 1.3 per cent for Scotland in 2012, 2014 and 2016, respectively. Girls and children from deprived backgrounds had a higher likelihood of reporting report exposure.
Dr Nick Hopkinson, who led the study, said: "If children see people smoking around them, they are far more likely to take up the habit themselves. Our study shows that policies such as a public ban on smoking in cars help to break that cycle and help to reduce the harms associated with tobacco."