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Calls For Tighter Laws on Alcohol and Cigarettes

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The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for a ban on smoking in cars and for tighter restrictions on selling alcohol.

At its conference in Cardiff BMA members voted for a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol and restricted licensing hours to be introduced in the hope that it might improve the nation’s health and, consequently, save the NHS billions of pounds.

Dr Sue Robertson, a member of the BMA’s Scottish council explained that a charge of at least 50p a unit could help reduce the volume of underage drinkers as well as saving the NHS £1.3 billion over 10 years.

Robert’s also went on to suggest that 24-hour drinking, introduced in the UK in 2005, needs to be reigned in. She added, “Less time selling drinks equals less drinks being sold. The annual healthcare costs of alcohol in England alone are £1.7bn to £2.4bn.”

The conference also heard calls for a ban on smoking in the car.

A London doctor, Douglas Noble, described smoking in cars as a toxic threat to people’s health and called for laws to completely ban it. He added, “In-car particle concentrations are 27 times higher than in a smoker’s home and 20 times higher than in a pub in the days when you could smoke in public places. It would be safer to have your exhaust pipe on the inside of your car.”

“This would protect non-smokers, particularly pregnant women and children. There is also evidence linking driving and smoking to a higher rate of road traffic accidents,” he said.

Those against this legislation suggest it would be “unenforceable” and infringe on people’s liberty.

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