Smoking was banned in England in workplaces and most enclosed public spaces in July 2007 following similar legislation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The law prohibited smoking in vehicles used for work. But now, things might go further and smoking in private cars carrying children could soon become illegal if a vote in the House of Lords is passed.
On the one hand, campaigners say the developing lungs of children are much more vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke – which can be concentrated in cars – increasing their risk of illnesses that range from asthma and colds to lung cancer. Shadow public health minister Luciana Berger, said it was important to protect children, because they could not exercise the same choice as adults. Moreover, a ban on smoking in cars carrying children is already in place in some states in America, Australia, Canada and a few countries in Europe and we can learn from their experience.
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On the other hand, Health Minster Earl Howe said during the debate on Wednesday: “We all want to eradicate smoking in cars carrying children”. “The government believes that encouraging lasting and positive behaviour change by making smokers aware of the significant health risks of second-hand smoke will be more effective than resorting to legislation, which is a blunt instrument to tackle the problem.”Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he does not support a ban on smoking in cars carrying children in England.
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Your task: You will have to debate this issue in class following Arancha’s directions.