Public health charity ASH Wales has responded to the First Minister’s announcement that Wales could be the first country in Europe to ban smoking in cars carrying children.

ASH Wales Chief Executive Tanya Buchanan said:

“We are pleased by today’s announcement that the Welsh Government is considering banning smoking in cars when children are present but we urge the Welsh Government to introduce legislation alongside a public health campaign. Wales was the first nation in the UK to vote to ban smoking in public places, and we need the Welsh Government to be bold and take the lead in the UK on this important public health issue for the sake of our children’s health.

"We know from the evidence from Canada that provinces that introduced a ban have seen a steeper decline in children’s exposure to second-hand smoke in vehicles than provinces just running education campaigns with an average fall of over a third.

"The Welsh Government need to listen to public opinion on this issue as they have consistently supported such a ban over the past few years and 83% of Welsh adults want to see it introduced now not 3 years down the line.

"We look forward to hearing more details about the Welsh Government’s plans to measure children’s exposure to second-hand smoke but we urge them to introduce legislation concurrently with an education programme.”