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Smoking in cars

Car drivers could win a shopping voucher through a window sticker campaign by showing their support for new rules on smoking in cars carrying children.

"Help kids thrive, don't smoke and drive" is the message on the window vinyls which thousands of children will soon be taking home to their parents.

The initiative by Boston Borough Council's environmental health department, has been funded by an external agency, and has received support from local nursery and primary schools as well as backing from Boston Police.

Schools which have already signed up for the year-long campaign, starting on April 1, will issue around 4,000 window stickers to pupils.

Eagle-eyed council staff will note down details of cars displaying the stickers and one lucky car driver a week will win a £10 shopping voucher. Participating schools will be entered into a monthly draw to win a £50 book token.

Cllr Michael Brookes, Boston Borough Council's environmental health portfolio holder, said: "Although it is now illegal to smoke in a car carrying under 18s we are aware that a number of adults smoke in the car when they have children with them.

"The council has launched this year-long campaign to get the message across that second-hand smoke harms children, especially in the confined space of a car."

Boston's community police inspector Andy Morrice, said: "Drivers really need to take account of the harm smoking can cause their young passengers, and it is now against the law. We are happy to support this worthwhile initiative and may hold an unannounced day of action to be sure drivers are getting the message and taking heed."

Mr Martin Lister, headteacher at Hawthorn Tree Primary School, said: "We know the damaging effects of second-hand smoke on children's health increases the risk of illnesses and serious, life-threatening conditions. When we talk to our children about how they feel about being in a car with smoke in it, they describe that it makes them sad. Some say they try to cover their nose or even not breathe to avoid the smoke. They say that their clothes smell of smoke and in school other children notice the smell on their uniforms. Hawthorn Tree School, is a unicef 'Rights Respecting School'. Our pupils know that all children have a right to the best possible health, a clean environment and to have their views considered and taken seriously.  The 'Help kids thrive, don't smoke and drive' campaign has the full backing of our children."

If your nursery or primary school has not already expressed interest in the campaign please email env.serv@boston.gov.uk and let them know how many window stickers you require.

The window stickers are also available from Boston Borough Council's offices at Municipal Buildings in West Street. The Boston Target is also backing the campaign and you can also pick up a window sticker from their offices in Wide Bargate.

The fixed penalty fine for smoking in a car carrying under 18s is £50 for the driver and, if the driver is not the smoker, £50 for the smoker also. If the offence goes to court the fine could increase to a maximum of £200.

If you want help to quit smoking contact Quit 51, a free stop-smoking service. Call 0800 622 6968, text to 66777 or get in touch by email at contact.quit51@nhs.net

Don't smoke and drive Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Hey grown-ups, don't smoke when there are kids in the car. Helping hammer home the message with their car window stickers are, left, children from Mrs Millane's Year 3 class at Hawthorn Tree Primary School with PCSO David Russell, and right, Cllr Michael Brookes and ward councillor and community safety portfolio holder Cllr Paul Skinner, with school council members.

No smoking car sticker Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Get your car window sticker - there will be a £10 shopping voucher to be won every week for a year.