The blog entry was released on the British Dental Health Foundation Blog section

The proposal to ban smoking in cars carrying children is a very welcome one indeed.

Smiley Children - Sunny DayAs mouth cancer campaigners, the British Dental Health Foundation believe the consultation put forward by the Department of Health will protect millions of children exposed to the risks of second-hand smoking, one of which is mouth cancer.

The Department of Health estimates approximately three million children under the age of 18 are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars. If the proposals become law, it could help to protect 2.7 million children and help to save the NHS up to £65.9m on treating tobacco-related diseases.

Earlier this year Parliament voted in favour of introducing legislation to make cars carrying children smoke free. The evidence presented highlights the need for the legislation to be implemented sooner rather than later.

Second-hand smoke is a very serious problem. There are no safe levels of exposure, and children are particularly vulnerable. Experts believe second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, so it is a no-brainer to introduce legislation to protect children.a woman smoking

Banning smoking in private cars is another positive step in the attempt to curb the increasing incidence rates of mouth cancer and the general improvement in oral health. Smoking is the single biggest cause of mouth cancer in the UK, while second hand smoking has also been linked to the disease. This proposal can only have a positive benefit for both drivers and passengers – especially children.

As incidence rates are forecast to hit 60,000 in the next decade, we need to find ways to reduce the alarming growth in mouth cancer. Smoking and tobacco use is the leading cause of mouth cancer. Even though the number of people smoking is falling, around one in five people stick with the habit.

By further limiting the amount of exposure young children have to second-hand smoke, hopefully we will see continued improvements in children’s oral health figures, as well as a reduction in the number of mouth cancer cases.


Oral Health Foundation

The Oral Health Foundation is a charity that works to improve oral health by providing education, advice, and support to millions of people every year, changing lives for the better. Our mission is to support others in achieving a healthier life through better oral health. Our vision is to live in a world where everybody has a healthy mouth and is free of dental disease. Poor oral health can have a harmful and devastating effect on a person’s life – both for their physical health and mental wellbeing. We are determined to help more people achieve good oral health and have a better quality of life. Sadly, oral disease remains common, across the life course. We are taking the challenge to reduce the harm caused by poor oral health and the responsibility to create a healthier future for everybody. We do this because we believe that everybody deserves to have good oral health. To make sure this happens, by 2024, we will:

    • Work towards decreasing the prevalence of oral disease across communities.
    • Increase the number of people accessing our help and information services.
    • Diversify our range of resources to reach more communities.
    • Successfully campaign for policies which help people achieve healthier lives.
    • Generate new and nurture existing income streams that enable us to deliver our charitable objectives.

We are going to achieve success by:

    • Running awareness campaigns like National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month.
    • Giving anybody who needs it direct support through our Dental Helpline.
    • Influencing policy on subjects like dental access, sugar, and tobacco.
    • Providing consumer advice on oral health care products and working alongside manufacturers to make sure products do what they claim to do.
    • Creating resources and information that communicates positive oral health messages.
    • Working alongside others who share our passion for health and wellbeing.

To find out more about us, visit our website at

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