Call to ban smoking at the wheel

The national doctors' body has called for a total ban on smoking in cars.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said stricter regulations on the use of tobacco and alcohol will help improve nation's health and save NHS money.

Smoking in cars is a grave threat to people's health and should be banned completely, according to public health doctor Douglas Noble, based in London.

"In-car particle concentrations are 27 times higher than in a smoker's home and 20 times higher than in a pub in the days when you could smoke in public places," he said.

He added: "It would be safer to have your exhaust pipe on the inside of your car than smoke cigarettes. This would protect non-smokers - particularly pregnant women and children."

But critics argue that a ban on smoking while driving is "unenforceable".

A minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol and more curbs on licensing hours are the other demands put forward by the BMA.

The organisation pledged to use its good offices to persuade the British Government and its counterparts in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to enforce new laws to minimise the use of alcohol and tobacco.

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