Bosses at County Hall have today welcomed a vote in the House of Commons which could lead to a ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers.
MPs voted in favour of the amendment to the Children and Families Bill on Monday and this could now lead to an eventual ban.
Health experts from the county council want a ban to form part of a drive to encourage residents across Lancashire to sign up to a pledge to make their homes and cars smokefree.
County Coun Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “The vote is a huge step forward in the battle against second-hand smoke.
“Second-hand smoke is a killer and as well as causing cancer, adults who are exposed to smoke from other people’s cigarettes increase their risks of developing heart disease and lung cancer by a quarter. They increase their chances of having a stroke by three-quarters.
“Treating the illnesses caused by second-hand smoke in Lancashire costs the taxpayer £15.67m every year.
“The smoke is much more concentrated in cars and research has shown that opening the window to let out the fumes makes little difference.
“Children are especially at risk because they have smaller blood vessels and their organs are still developing. Therefore they breathe faster and inhale more toxic chemicals.”