Last week the First Minister and Health Minister announced that the Welsh Government was prepared to legislate to ban smoking in cars carrying children.
This is something I have been pressing the Welsh Government on for more than two years because of the overwhelming evidence about the harm to children caused by adults’ smoke in confined spaces. They now need to push things forward without further delays.
Organisations like the British Lung Foundation have been very clear about the harmful impact on children of passive smoking in a confined area and have estimated that 430,000 children aged 11-15 are exposed to second hand smoke every week in the UK.
And they point out that smoking in a car can produce pollution levels 35 times than those deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.
It was also interesting to hear that new research showed that the number of people who do not allow smoking in their main car has increased to 76% by last November
This shows the vast majority of the public, particularly parents, recognise the need to protect their children and support the idea of a ban. There will, of course, be issues raised of policing but I believe this law will quickly be accepted as the norm.
I totally reject the idea that somehow this law will be an assault on adults’ freedom to smoke. It will be a law upholding the rights of children to be free from harm and who would argue with that.
Plaid Cymru, which is fully behind a ban, will be watching closely to make sure that the result of the intended consultation will be a law that will put Wales in line with a number of countries and various states in the USA, Canada and Australia. And not before time.
I’m hoping the special meeting of the Regeneration and Environment Committee next week – postponed from earlier this month – will reject the suggestion put forward by officers that six bowling greens should be closed.
I know from the green in my Penyrheol ward that the club does great work and is far from just a sport for older people. They hold coaching sessions for local youngsters as well as new bowlers and host classes from the local school.