After a new research revealed that second hand smoke exposes more toxins for the non-smokers, doctors on Wednesday demanded a ban on smoking in private vehicles too.
"We are calling on UK governments to take the bold and courageous step of banning smoking in private vehicles. The evidence for extending the smoke-free legislation is compelling. The current UK Government prefers voluntary measures or 'nudging' to bring about public health change but this stance has been shown to fail time and time again," said the British Medical Association (BMA).
After reviewing compelling evidence of the dangers caused by smoking, the BMA has also called for the extension of the current ban on smoking in public places.
The research, compiled by the BMA, has revealed that due to the restrictive internal environment in motor vehicles, smoke exposes drivers and passengers to 23 times more toxic than a smoky bar.
The research says children and the elderly are particularly at risk from these health dangers. Because of their under-developed immune system, children are at particular risk. Children absorb more pollutants and they lack the necessary defenses to deal with the harms of second-hand smoke.
Since the elderly are prone to respiratory problems, the second hand smoke is especially dangerous to them, the study says.
"Every year in England there are over 80,000 deaths that are caused by smoking. This figure increases to a shocking six million worldwide," says Dr Vivienne Nathanson, BMA's director of professional activities.
"But behind the stark statistics, doctors see the individual cases of ill-health and premature death caused by smoking and second-hand smoke. For this reason, doctors are committed to reducing the harm caused by tobacco," he said.
"The UK made a huge step forward in the fight against tobacco by banning smoking in all enclosed public places but more can still be done," he added.