LONDON, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Smoking in private vehicles with children passengers will be banned in Wales, Welsh government announced Tuesday.
Considering the health of people and avoiding children being harmed by second-hand smoke, the government said on Tuesday that the country will introduce a ban to tackle the issue of smoking in vehicles when children are present, making Wales become the first country in Britain to introduce such a ban.
Although latest research showed that the number of children being exposed to smoking in private vehicles has declined, a sizeable minority of young people is still being exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke and adults are continuing to smoke when children are in the cars.
"In 2012, we launched the Fresh Start Wales campaign to promote smoke-free cars carrying children and raise awareness to parents and others the risk their smoking poses to the health of children. We made clear throughout that campaign we would consider the possibility of legislation when evidence of prevalence of smoking in cars carrying children in Wales is available in the summer of 2014," said Carwyn Jones, first minister of Wales.
"There is also evidence from the primary school survey that inequalities in children's exposure to second hand smoke remains, so we will press ahead with plans to ban people smoking in cars carrying children," he added.
"Although the research findings show that progress has been made in reducing children's exposure to second-hand smoke in cars, we now believe that introduction of regulations to prohibit smoking in private vehicles carrying under-18s is needed as the final piece in the jigsaw to eliminate the harm and end persistent inequalities in exposure," said Mark Drakeford, health minister of Wales.