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Smoking ban in private vehicles reduces secondhand smoke exposure in children
Secondhand smoke contains many toxic chemicals, including nicotine and cancer-causing substances that can harm children and others. A study in the United Kingdom found that banning smoking in private vehicles was found effective in reducing children exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS).

In the United Kingdom, smoking in private vehicles in the presence of anyone under 18 has been banned in England since 1 October 2015, and in Scotland since 5 December 2016. A study assessed the change in regular exposure to secondhand smoke in private vehicles from 2012 to 2016 in children in the two regions. It found that the exposure decreased from 6.3% in 2012 to 5.9 % in 2014 and 1.6% in 2016 in England, and from 3.4% to 2.2%, and 1.3% in Scotland. After the smoking ban in cars came into effect in England in 2015, children were 72% less likely to be regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in private vehicles, with an absolute reduction of 4.1%. The decrease was more significant in England than in Scotland, where the ban was not implemented until December 2016. The results showed that the smoking ban has successfully reduced child exposure to secondhand smoke.

Hong Kong has banned smoking in all indoor public places, including workplaces, restaurants and some outdoor public places, but secondhand smoke exposure is still common.To safeguard public health in Hong Kong, the Government should strive to minimize the harmful effects of secondhand smoke by further extending the statutory smoke-free area. COSH also urges the Government to formulate a timeline for a total ban of smoking in Hong Kong.

Source: Thorax

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