By Ross Clark
NEW legislation has been brought into place affecting smokers across Scotland from today (Monday Dec 5).
Anyone caught lighting up in a car with someone under the age of 18 inside could face a fine of up to £1,000.
It is hoped that it will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of children and stop the effects of second hand smoking.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of anti-smoking charity, Ash Scotland, said the move sends a clear message that children should grow up in a smoke-free environment.
She said: “The most recent data shows that about one in six 15-year-olds are sometimes or often exposed to second-hand smoke in the car.
“When we know that just one cigarette can quickly lead to harmful levels of smoke, we have to take action. This is about protecting children’s health.
“Similar laws are fast becoming the norm around the world, from Australia and Canada to the United States, France and Ireland. Scotland’s children deserve the same protection.”
Scotland were the first to introduce the banning of smoking in pubs in 2006 with the rest of the UK introducing it a year later. It is not yet known if England, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow suit.
Many have viewed the change within Scotland as positive however some smokers’ groups are not happy.
Simon Clark, director of smokers’ group Forest, said: “The regulations are patronising and unnecessary. Very few adults smoke in cars with children. Smokers know it’s inconsiderate and the overwhelming majority don’t do it.
“The law is a classic example of virtue signalling. It’s utterly pointless and a complete waste of time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.”