MSP Hails Car Smoking Ban Proposal

23 June 2015, 07:12 | Updated: 23 June 2015, 07:13

The MSP pushing for £100 fines to be brought in for smokers caught lighting up in a car with children present says 60,000 youngsters a week are exposed to second-hand tobacco fumes in vehicles.

Liberal Democrat Jim Hume wants to stop people from smoking in vehicles if anyone aged under 18 is present.

His member's Bill to bring in a ban has already won the backing of the Scottish Government, although Police Scotland has warned it could lead to officers being diverted away from work to tackle terrorism or organised crime.

Mr Hume will be questioned about his Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill by MSPs on Holyrood's Health Committee today.

The Liberal Democrat said: "My proposals to ban in cars with children present would give every child the freedom to lead a healthy life if they choose to.

"60,000 children each week are exposed to second-hand smoke in vehicles.

"It doesn't seem fair that a child should be cooped up in a smoke-filled car during the school run. Those children cannot change their means of transport, let alone take steps to immediately remove themselves from the uncomfortable confines of a smoke-filled car.

"I look forward to making my case to the Health Committee.''

Under Mr Hume's proposals, if a ban is brought in officers from Police Scotland would be charged with enforcing it.

But the force has already told MSPs that while the legislation is "commendable'' it would only impact on public health and "does not sit comfortably within the Police Scotland policing plan and the force priorities''.

In a submission to the committee, Police Scotland said it would "question the use of police resources to enforce this legislation and their diversion from work focusing on the force priorities such as organised crime and counter terrorism, for example''.