NHS Lanarkshire has backed new legislation making smoking in a vehicle with anyone under 18 against the law.
The new law introduced by the Scottish Government, came into force on Monday and carries a fixed penalty of £100 for those who break it.
Latest research highlights that the toxic particles in second hand smoke can reach harmful concentrations within a minute of lighting a cigarette in a car.
NHS Lanarkshire smoking prevention and education manager Susan Lyttle said: “We are delighted with this legislation as it contributes towards our work in reducing the harmful effects of second hand smoke in Lanarkshire.
“Babies, children and young people are more vulnerable to the dangerous effects of second hand smoke especially while travelling in a car as they cannot protect themselves from the smoke.”
With the lungs of children still developing, their airways are smaller, and they breathe faster than adults meaning more harmful chemicals in second hand smoke can be breathed in.
Susan added: “The new law is also in line the new Lanarkshire Tobacco Control Strategy (2016–2021) which aims to create a smoke free society.
“It puts children first with a call to action for adults to be positive health role models, whether they smoke or not.
“With smoking in young people at a historic low level and fewer Lanarkshire children starting to smoke, we aim to prevent and protect children from second-hand smoke and this new law helps with this.”
To find out more about the impact of second hand smoke click here
If you would like support to help stop smoking, call 0300 303 0242 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm). You can also text ‘Advice’ to 81066 or Smokeline which runs seven days a week from 8am-10pm on 0800 848484.