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Smoking in cars ban – a personal thank you

Penny says thanks to everybody who took part in our campaign.

Today, the ban on smoking in cars with children in England and Wales comes into place - and it’s all down to you.

Every week 15,000 classrooms full of kids throughout England and Wales breathe in second-hand smoke while in their family car. This ban protects every single one of them, as well as countless generations to come.

It seems so long ago now since we kicked off our campaign with a petition, inviting 23 children along to Downing Street to hand in more than 50,000 signatures.

Changing the law can often feel like an endless struggle, but this has been an incredible journey. It’s taken just 5 years to persuade the government that this ban is vital to protect the health of our children. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Thank you

Thousands of you asked your MP to support the campaign, or signed our petition. Thank you so much.

Our Breathe Easy support groups put pressure on their local MPs and spread the word in communities up and down the country. This made a huge difference.

Health care professionals made politicians take the campaign seriously by talking about the health risks of second-hand smoke. More than 700 doctors, nurses, physios and more signed a letter just before the crucial vote.

Thank you David Harewood and Linda Robson for volunteering your voices for our powerful videos, and everyone who lent us your time and support.

Other health and child welfare organisations encouraged people to get involved – thank you ASH, Cancer Research UK, Tobacco Free Futures, the Royal College of Physicians and many more.

Thank you to the politicians from all parties, such as Alex Cunningham MP, Lord Ribeiro and Roger Williams MP, who helped us build support in parliament.

And, of course, thank you to all the MPs and peers who voted the right way on the day.

There are many more people who joined with us to win this campaign – together we can achieve so much.

Making change happen

If this law makes even 1 parent reconsider lighting up while their child is in the back seat, it’s been worth it. It's a huge win for the lung health of our children.

We will continue working hard to introduce similar laws in in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We'll also continue campaigning on issues such as air pollution and protecting the nation's lung health.

We've shown that together we can make change happen, against all the odds.

Find out everything you need to know about the ban, and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you.


I am very pleased to do whatever I can to support all campaigns the BLF are trying to put into action or make law, and I can happily say I speak for all the members of Bury Breathe Easy. Thank you for all the hard work you have done.
I come from Croydon, Surrey, and we are running an Anti Smoking campaign aimed at stopping children before they start smoking called,'You Don't Look Cool by Teenagers', which is a song on YouTube, and iTunes, with the backing of Croydons Education Dept, the Croydon Mayor, and G.A.S.P. We are getting this song out to as many youngsters as we can, so please spread the word.
This is excellent news and can only be good for the health of our children who are the future. However I fear that it may not be policed sufficiently. Many, many drivers go unpunished for using their mobile phones whilst driving and I fear the same will be true in this situation. Let us hope not.
"In poorly ventilated areas, ETS can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. It may also worsen childhood respiratory tract infections, as well as some childhood respiratory conditions such as asthma. Furthermore, a number of studies have linked ETS with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)." "Many people have concerns about exposure to ETS. All smokers should show consideration for those around them. JTI strongly advises against smoking when children are present." Big Tobacco lie alot about alot, but on this occasion, they speak the truth. Adults should not harm the health of children, and by now, all adults should know this. Well Done the BLF and all involved!
I think it is unworkable and the Govt. have already admitted it is unlikely to prosecute many people. So what's the point. Parents open car windows wide anyway while smoking and nearly all of the smoke goes out that way. What next? A ban on smoking in their own home?
Wonderful news thank you for letting me know that our future generations will be protected from the harmful smoke. Hoping there will be less heart problems, asthma etc etc for all young people growing up now. Simply great news well done everyone.
It's incredible that smoking was first banned in public places such as pubs and restaurants; predominantly protecting adults from tobacco smoke. Whereas the banning of smoking in cars where children are clearly at risk took 2nd place/priority. Better late than never I suppose.

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1 October 2015