Smoking should be banned in cars carrying children, says England's public health minister. Anna Soubry said her personal view was that it was justified on 'child welfare' grounds.
And now her views are being considered by Prime Minister David Cameron.
At Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Mr Cameron was urged by Labour's Ian Mearns to go 'a significant step further and introduce a ban on smoking when children are present in vehicles'.
Mr Cameron replied: "We are looking across the piece at all the issues, including whether we should follow the Australians with the ban on packaging and what more we can to do to restrict smoking in public places.
"There has been a real health advance from some of the measures that have been taken.
"We must consider each one and work out whether there is a real public health benefit."
Health groups have called for a cigarette ban in cars for years as the confined space means the toxic fumes other passengers breathe in are up to 11 times more concentrated.
Miss Soubry, a junior minister for public health, became the first frontbencher to suggest it, although she stressed this was her own opinion, not Government policy.
"I would ban smoking in cars where children are present," she told the Local Government Association's annual public health conference.
"I would do that for the protection of children. I believe in protecting children. I would see it as a child welfare issue. I think it is something we should at least consider as a government."
Previously, the Prime Minister has said that while he supports the smoking ban in pubs and clubs, he is 'more nervous' about legislating what happens in cars.
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