BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Wednesday March 24 2010 06:59 GMT

Smoking in cars 'can hurt kids'

Smoking in cars 'can hurt kids'

Experts have called for a total ban on people smoking in cars because when children breathe in other people's smoke it can make them seriously ill.

A report has shown that children breathing in smoke is a factor in an extra 300,000 visits to the doctors each year, for illnesses like asthma.

Kids are more likely to get things like chest infections, ear disease and even meningitis if people around them smoke.

The report is all about the effects that smoking has on children.

An important group of doctors has said it should be illegal for people to smoke in cars at all - whether they have children in them or not.

The report goes even further and suggests that children shouldn't be allowed to even see adults smoking in places like schools and on TV.


Doctors think that smoke could be related to thousands of cases of children getting ill including:

  • 20,000 chest infections
  • 22,000 new cases of asthma and wheezing
  • 200 cases of bacterial meningitis
  • 40 cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - or cot death

However, some people think that making it illegal to smoke in cars is a bad thing because it tells people what they can and can't do in their 'private space'.

There is a ban on smoking in public places in England, but that is different to your own area, like your home or your car.


Hand holding cigarette

Are you affected by smoking?

"My mum smokes and I hate it."

Hollie, 13, Surrey, England