Young anti-smoking campaigners in Liverpool and Wavertree MP Luciana Berger are backing a new campaign to discourage people from smoking in cars when children are passengers.
D-MYST, a campaign agency created and run by volunteers aged 11-19 to combat the exposure of young people to smoking, has thrown its weight behind a new campaign called Smokefree Cars.
The aim of Smokefree Cars, which launched in Williamson Square this week, is to reduce the amount of tobacco smoke inhaled by young children when travelling in confined spaces such as cars.
According to D-MYST member Connor Cuttress, 17, the impact of smoking in cars on children’s health can be dramatic.
“A cigarette smoked in a car with the windows up exposes a child to 11 times more smoke than they would inhale in a smoky pub back before the smoking ban,” he said.
“Even with the windows open young passengers will still be breathing in up to two-thirds more smoke. Couple that with the fact children have small lungs, breathe more quickly than adults and have immune systems that are still developing and the harm is multiplied.
“Around 186,000 children are exposed to tobacco smoke in cars every day or most days and even more are exposed on a weekly basis. Parents and adults have a responsibility to protect children, who have no choice in how they travel to and from school, clubs and activities.
“Breathing in a concentrated amount of smoke can have a profound effect on a child’s growth and development mentally and physically and can even have long term health consequences that could shorten their life”.
Shadow Public Health Minister, Luciana Berger said: “The Smokefree Cars campaign is doing a fantastic job of raising awareness about the dangers of smoking in cars when children are present. The campaign is giving parents the information they need to make an informed choice and prevent any further harm coming to their children.
“Parliament is progressing this issue but parents have an opportunity now to start creating a healthier environment for their children.”
For more details on the D-MYST campaign and Smokefree Cars visit www.d-myst.infoTags: D-MYST, Luciana Berger, Smokefree Cars