Ban smoking in all cars and vehicles

For safety’s sake – Ban smoking in all cars and vehicles

Even tobacco users back calls to ban in-car smoking

The UK government should enact legislation that bans smoking inside all cars and vehicles.

That’s a call being led by a major UK car leasing organisation that believes it will lead not just to better health, but a dramatic increase in road safety.

Hot on the heels of the Welsh government announcing that in-car smoking would be banned in any car carrying children as passengers, Flexed.co.uk says that Westminster should go the whole hog and forbid smoking on the road altogether.

“It’s already forbidden in company-owned cars, lorries and vans,” said Flexed spokesperson Mark Hall, “and it’s about time that the law was made the same for everybody.”

Flexed believe that their proposal isn’t draconian in the slightest, and say that they’ve got the backing of many drivers, including those that still smoke behind the wheel.

Asked by Flexed whether they’d support a total ban on smoking in cars:
• 89% of non-smokers supported a ban
• 68% of smokers supported a ban

Some smokers told Flexed that they were in favour of prohibition because “it might help me give up”; while those against a ban complained that it was a further erosion of liberties and their human rights.

“It’s not just about the health benefits to drivers and passengers, even though that’s a major consideration,” says Hall, “We’re also concerned that cigarette smoking is also a significant cause of accidents that a ban could easily avert.”

Studies show that smoking is a distraction activity that can be just as disruptive to driver concentration as using a phone at the wheel. One study found that smokers are 1.5 times more likely to have a motoring accident than a non-smoker.

“That’s hardly a surprise – I’ve hardly got the confidence to change stations on the car radio when driving,” said Hall, “Let alone light a cigarette and drive along with burning paper and tobacco between my fingers.”

Flexed believes that a smoking ban would make police enforcement of the existing commercial vehicle smoking ban easier, and would also put an end to all kinds of dangers and anti-social activities, such as:
• The potential for accidents caused by distraction
• Anti-social littering caused by thrown dog-ends
• The potential for fires – in-car and on verges – caused by dropped cigarette butts

“People throwing lit cigarette ends out of car and van windows is a pet hate of ours,” says Flexed’s Mark Hall, “It’s anti-social and potentially dangerous. There should be a special circle of Hell just for these smokers.

“It’s time to stub it out.”