The UK government will make it a criminal offence to smoke in cars in England when children are passengers, a Downing Street source has said. MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which empowers, but does not compel, ministers to bring in a ban in England. The source told the BBC that Parliament had spoken and a ban would happen. Read more >>
The cartoon by Mac from the Daily Mail links the car smoking ban and the floods which have been devastating large areas of southern England over the past few weeks. A couple are sitting in their car, which is surrounded by flood water. The man is smoking a cigarette. However, since it is now illegal to smoke in the car when children are present, he makes them swim round the car, telling them, "Just twice more round the car, kids - Daddy was gasping for a fag."
1. Fag is a slang word for cigarette in British English. • Get me a packet of fags, will you?
2. If you are gasping for something, you want or need it very much. • I'm absolutely gasping for a cigarette. Note that the word gasp means 'to breathe loudly and with difficulty', so it's quite appropriate that it should be used for cigarettes!
The car smoking ban would make a subject for a class debate or discussion. What are the arguments for and against such a ban? Are you in favour? Would such a ban be possible in your country? How will the ban be enforced? What should be the penalty for those who choose to ignore the ban?