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Amendment to ban smoking in cars with children is withdrawn An amendment was recently tabled to the Children and Families Bill, which seeks to create an offence of failing to prevent smoking in a private vehicle when children are present (those under the age of 18). On 25 April, a Public Bill Committee session for the Children and Families Bill took place, during which the amendment was debated. It was proposed by Steve Reed MP (Labour), who stated "smoking in cars is a particular concern because of the confined nature of the space. A single cigarette smoked in a moving car with the window half-open exposes a child in the back seat to two thirds as much smoke as they would be exposed to in smoke-filled pub; that increases to 11 times more smoke than in a smoky pub when the cigarette is smoked in a stationary car with the windows closed." Responding on behalf of the Government, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Edward Timpson MP, acknowledged that a ban on smoking in cars "would not be easy to enforce." He also referred to a Government marketing campaign, which ran in April/May 2012, to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking in vehicles and in the home, especially when children are present. In relation to the marketing campaign, the Minister said: "An evaluation of that campaign showed that it was successful in changing attitudes and behaviours. Some 87 per cent of those surveyed agreed that second-hand smoke can cause significant harm to children, and 70 per cent said that the campaign made them realise that smoking out of an open door or window is not enough to reduce the health risk to children. The Government have decided to rerun the campaign in June 2013." At the request of the Minister, the amendment was subsequently withdrawn and will not progress any further [my emphasis]. Here's a link to the short debate. Forest's memorandum to the committee has been posted here on the UK Parliament website. Education rather than coercion is always the best way in a fair, tolerant and free society - but it must be based on truth and not propaganda driven by ideology. We know the medics and anti-smoker groups lied when they said smoking in a car with the window open is 23 more times smokier than in a bar - and we know they just made it up when they invented a new figure of 11 times from thin air and that it was never based on evidential fact but an off the cuff comment on a newspaper forum that was later picked up and relayed at one of their conferences . It never been a "fact." It was Chinese whispers and nothing more. The truth is that kids who don like smoke can and will speak up and their parents will consider their views on the matter and not smoke. Some kids really don mind at all and their parents are doing them no harm. Children are more in danger from just being in the car on the road when traffic accidents have been proved to be the biggest killer of young people in the UK. We don need another advertsing campaign with tax payers money when vital public services - like children heart hospitals and cancer wards are being closed due to cut backs in public spending. It time that our law makers got their priorities right and stopped pampering to the hysterics pushing an intolerant ideological agenda. When they do, maybe their voters will return. Looks to me that your 13-page memorandum just might have swayed the ministers enough and knocked a little sense into their heads Simon - well done! One part of the Under-Secretary of State for Education, Edward Timpson MP statement made me smile, when he said "A single cigarette smoked in a moving car with the window half-open exposes a child in the back seat to two thirds as much smoke as they would be exposed to in smoke-filled pub; that increases to 11 times more smoke than in a smoky pub when the cigarette is smoked in a stationary car with the windows closed." It is such a ridiculous statement - "one cigarette" being smoked and the back window of the car half open - think about how silly it is, when he has the affront to say "this would expose a child in the back seat to two thirds as much smoke as they would be exposed to in smoke-filled pub" The average car is of an average size but there is no such thing as an average pub - some cater for 20 to 30 people while others cater for up to a couple of hundred, and does he really believe everyone in that pub all smoke at the same time or is it once again, one of his "average" numbers? Also, as we all know, an open window creates a vacuum, which obviously draws smoke out - why does he think aircraft have windows that do not open? Some people need to learn how to back down gracefully! It is worse than that, Peter. You may or may not have noticed a sentence in the transcript of the debate in which the Minister says [words to the effect], "These actions may go some way to assuage the fears of the Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health". I may not be precisely right about that, but you get the idea? Why should the Minister be required to assuage the fears of a group of self-appointed Zealots? But has this business of smoking in cars been raised as a ploy to push the plain packaging nonsense? I fear so. The Queen Speech is approaching and still no report about the Consultation. I feel a fiddle coming on. Tobacco Companies are still the easy target because the target is so HUGE. It is like firing arrows at a target which is 10 metres across from a distance of 10 metres. And is that not one of the many problems with our political system? They can do untold damage before being ejected. Well done, Simon and all at Forest! I can help but think that whatever was in your extensive memo must have played no small part in ensuring that this illiberal proposal was withdrawn, even though none of the PTB would ever dare admit it. I know you come in for some stick at times for not being as confrontational as some would like you to as an organisation - I might even have had a bit of a whinge that way myself from time to time(!) - but there no doubt that when it comes to things like this, as an organisation, you are second to none, and it good to have you on our side.