Scottish Liberal Democrat South Scotland MSP Jim Hume has entered the next stage of a plan to ban smoking in cars whilst children are present.
Mr Hume will today (Thursday) publish the summary of his consultation and lodge his final proposal. Over 160 responses were received to Jim’s consultation, the vast majority of which (84%) were in favour of the proposals.
Mr Hume will now encourage other MSPs to support his final proposal to receive the minimum 18 signatures needed to introduce his Bill to Parliament.
Mr Hume said: “I was delighted by the large number of responses I received backing my proposals. It is clear that many agree with me that these are fair and specific proposals whose time has come.
“Many of the charities, individuals and health professionals who have backed my proposals recognise that this is about giving children the best start in life. It doesn’t seem fair that a child should be cooped up in a smoke-filled car during the school run. Those children cannot change their means of transport, let alone take steps to immediately remove themselves from the uncomfortable confines of a smoke-filled car.
“I am confident that my final proposal addresses concerns raised around the practicalities of enforcing legislation. In particular, I was pleased to receive the support of a former senior police officer whose contribution should quash any doubts over the enforceability of a law which has been successfully enforced in many other countries.
“As we look to developments on this matter elsewhere in the UK today it is clear that there is real shift in attitude towards smoking around children in cars.
“Colleagues across the political spectrum have already pledged their support and I hope that the findings of my consultation will encourage many to back the next stage of the proposed Bill. I am thankful to the Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson MSP, for his very constructive attitude throughout his meetings with me when we have discussed my proposals.
“On this important matter, Scotland’s children should be afforded the same protection as those in areas of Australia, Canada and the United States of America. Children in Scotland should have the freedom to go on and lead healthy lives if they choose to. And that starts with removing barriers such as smoke-filled cars.”