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New laws on smoking: significant day for child health

FPH strongly welcomes the enactment today of three important regulations under the Children and Families Act 2014 that will help protect the health of children from the health harms of tobacco and electronic cigarettes. This is a significant day for public health and tobacco control, which will protect children from secondhand smoke and move us one step closer to a smokefree future for everyone. The Act prohibits:
•    Smoking in cars with children,
•    Proxy purchasing of tobacco or nicotine products (such as e-cigarettes) and
•    Age of sale for nicotine products.
Toxic second-hand smoke is especially dangerous to children’s health due to their smaller lungs and faster breathing. The risks are increased in the small confines of the car. Every year, second-hand smoke in children results in around 300,000 GP visits and nearly 10,000 hospital admissions. With more than 430,000 children being exposed on a weekly basis to second-hand smoke in their family car, FPH welcomes the enactment of smoking in cars legislation as part of a range of tobacco control measures to protect children’s health.
The Regulations also:

  • Prohibit the sale of nicotine inhaling products, including electronic cigarettes, to children and young people under the age of 18, (exempting electronic cigarette devices licensed as medicines or medical devices); and
  • Make proxy purchasing, when someone over the age of 18 purchases, or attempts to purchase, tobacco or a nicotine product (such as an electronic cigarette) on behalf of a child or young person under 18 years of age, an offence.

FPH welcomes these regulations, and looks forward to the enactment of standardised packaging of tobacco products from May 2016.

Written: 30/09/2015 , last modified: 07/06/2016