Plans to prohibit smoking in cars with children have moved a step closer.
The Government has published its consultation response to the proposed legislation which could make it an offence to light up in vehicles where children are present.
In June, proposals to introduce the ban under The Children and Young Families Act were approved on a free vote by MPs by a majority of 376 to 107.
Now, the Government has announced the new regulations will come into force on 1st October 2015, subject to agreement in both Houses.
Every week thousands of children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars putting them at greater risk of respiratory infections, asthma, and sudden infant death.
The British Heart Foundation welcomes the news but says legislation on standardised tobacco packaging must follow swiftly to help protect children from taking up smoking.
Our Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said: “We are delighted the Government is pushing ahead with regulations that will ensure children’s health is protected.
Second-hand smoke is very harmful, particularly to children and especially in enclosed places. Smoking in cars where children are present is dangerous and puts their heart health at unnecessary risk.
“However, it is only a small step in the war on smoking. The Government must make haste to introduce standardised packaging as well if we are to help stop future generations from taking up this deadly habit.”