Following an attempt to reduce smoking by drivers where there are children cars, the Welsh government has said that it will consider introducing a smoking ban if trends do not fall.
The BBC has reported that the Welsh Assembly (the regional government for Wales, within the United Kingdom) has embarked on a renewed attempt to stop people smoking whilst driving where there are children present in the car. The campaign is called “Fresh Start” and the intention is to protect children from secondary smoking within a confined space. Children are defined as those under 18 years old.
The new campaign, launched by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewell, will be run over a three year period. Welsh officials have said that if the campaign is not a success then they will consider legislating to make it an offence to smoke in a car where there are children present.
The Daily Post reported that the campaign will be backed up by a large advertising campaign featuring billboards, magazine adverts and radio commercials.
The campaign is opposed by the pro-tobacco group Forest and the motoring organization the AA. Their criticisms center on the smoker’s right to choose and annoyance that parents are being accused of attempting to poison their children. In contrast, most British doctors support a ban.
But is the ban anything that unusual? According to the charity Cancer Research bans have been introduced in Australia, eight out of ten provinces in Canada, five US states, South Africa and Bahrain.
The review as to the success of the ban will not be known for some time. It is also something which will be difficult to collect statistics for or to assess. The debate as to an outright ban, should it come to it, in three year’s time will be interesting one.