Smoking in cars could increase after the ban on lighting up in public places is introduced in England on July 1.
There was a 14 per cent rise in smoking in cars in Scotland after the ban came in there in March last year, a study by Privilege Insurance found.
The study also showed that 11 per cent of drivers admitted their driving had been negatively affected as a result of smoking.
The company also found that 70 per cent of drivers in England and Scotland would support a ban on smoking in the car when a child under 16 was present if it was proven to significantly impair a child’s health.
The survey showed currently, 26 per cent of drivers smoke in the car, even when they have children under 16 in the vehicle.
Risk of crashing
It also found 47 per cent of drivers would either stop smoking or cut back on the number of times they smoked at the wheel if it was proved to increase their risk of crashing, but 40 per cent would carry on despite the dangers.
Jennifer Culley, from Privilege Insurance, said: ‘Drivers are already prohibited from using hand-held mobile phones when driving, and last year Privilege revealed that drivers are twice as likely to crash when they are eating or drinking, so puffing on a cigarette most certainly won’t be safe.’
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