Smoking in cars breaks official pollution limits

Smoking while in a vehicle creates enough pollution to break World Health Organisation harmful gas levels, according to a new study by Scottish scientists – even with the windows open.

Experimental car journeys between 10 minutes and one hour long – with drivers smoking up to four cigarettes during the trip – highlighted that air quality was over three times worse than the WHO’s safe indoor limit.

Not only that, but it was found to be higher than the recommended maximum with the windows wide open and with only one cigarette smoked – pollution levels were greater than those in a typical bar or pub before the UK smoking ban was introduced in 2007.

The results have prompted a call for a ban on smoking in cars by the British Medical Association as a result of the health side affects, especially on children.

According to Dr Sean Semple of the University of Aberdeen, “children are particularly at risk to toxic fumes given off by cigarette smoke due to faster respiratory rates and a less developed immune system than adults.”

Smokers’ lobby group Forest has responded with protests at plans for an introduction of a law to stop smoking in vehicles, however.

Forest Director, Simon Clark: “84 of adults don’t smoke in their car with children present.

“We are strongly opposed to legislation to ban smoking in cars. Parents must be allowed to use their common sense, and most of the time they do. There is no need for further regulation.”



The Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency is proposing to get rid of the requirement to present a valid insurance certificate when trying to tax your car.

The new plans should make the process of getting that little round disc that allows your car to be driven on the Queen’s highway much more simple and has been facilitated the government’s Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules.

Basically, it means you always have to have insurance on a taxed vehicle, and with the Motor Insurance Database being compared regularly to DVLA records, it should mean searching for that policy certificate to head down to the Post Office with is a thing of the past.

According to Roads Minister Stephen Hammond, “the government is committed to getting rid of red tape. There’s no benefit in making motorists prove they have insurance. These proposals will make the whole process quicker, easier and cheaper.”

It’s not set in stone, however. There’ll be a ‘period of consultation’ before any decisions are made, closing on the 26 November.