Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill Call for Written Evidence

Stage 1 consideration by the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee

Remit

On 29 April 2015, the Health and Sport Committee launched a call for written views to inform its consideration of the Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill.

This Member’s Bill was introduced by Jim Hume on 15 December 2014 and the Health and Sport Committee has been designated as lead committee for consideration of it at Stage 1.

As stated in the accompanying policy memorandum, the Bill creates a new criminal offence, committed by any adult (aged 18 or over), where that adult smokes in a private motor vehicle in the presence of a child (under 18 years of age) while that vehicle is in a public place.

The aim of the Bill is to protect children from the harmful effects of exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) in a confined space.

The Bill:

  • provides that the offence will generally apply to any private motor vehicle (including convertibles with the roof down) while the vehicle is in a public place,
  • specifies some vehicles (e.g. motor cycles) and circumstances (when being used for overnight accommodation) that are exempted,
  • creates a fixed penalty regime as an alternative to prosecution,
  • allows a defence where the adult who was smoking reasonably believed that all the other occupants of the vehicle were aged 18 or over.

The Bill and accompanying documents can be viewed on the Parliament’s website at:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/84734.aspx

What information is the Committee looking for?

Please address the following questions in your submission:

  1. Do you support the Bill? Please provide reasons for your position.
  2. Do you think the Bill (if enacted) would achieve its aim of protecting children from the effects of second-hand smoke and their health? Please provide an explanation for your answer.
  3. Is there anything in the Bill you would change? If yes, please provide more details.
  4. Who do you think should have responsibility for enforcing the proposed legislation and why?
  5. What type of vehicles do you think should be exempt from the legislation and why?
  6. What is your view on the Bill’s provision for a defence that the person smoking could not have reasonably know that the other occupants of the vehicle were under 18?

How to submit your evidence

Before responding to the questions above, please read our Policy on Treatment of Written Evidence by Subject and Mandatory Committees.

Although any length of response will be gratefully received by the Committee, submissions should not normally exceed around 2,000 words in total.

Please send your views on the Bill to the Committee by Wednesday 27 May 2015.

Responses should be sent, wherever possible, electronically and in MS Word format to:

healthandsport@scottish.parliament.uk

Hard copy responses may be sent to:

Health and Sport Committee, T3.60, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP

All written evidence received may be published by the Parliament and will be treated as a public document. If you wish to submit evidence in confidence or anonymously please read the policy at the link above.

What happens next?

The Committee will be considering those witnesses it wishes to hear oral evidence from in due course, based on a thematic approach to the Bill and also informed by the written evidence received. Stage 1 oral evidence sessions are likely to take place during June.

Contact

Should you require alternative formats of this information or further assistance in making a written submission to the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact the clerking team of the Committee.

For committee information, contact: Rebecca Macfie, tel 0131 348 5410, email: rebecca.macfie@scottish.parliament.uk

For media enquires, contact: Kirsty Rimmer, tel 0131 348 6085 email: kirsty.rimmer@scottish.parliament.uk

For public information enquiries, contact: 0131 348 5000

For general enquires, contact: 0845 278 1999 (local call rate), email: sp.info@scottish.parliament.uk