England’s Smoking Ban to Protect Minors from Secondhand Smoke

April 17, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. offender /əˈfɛndər/ (n.) – someone who violates a rule or commits a crime
Example: The offender faces a five-year imprisonment.

2. convertible /kənˈvɜr tə bəl/ (n.) – a vehicle with a folding top or roof
Example: He had the roof of his convertible repaired.

3. exempt /ɪgˈzɛmpt/ (v.) – to not be required to follow a certain rule
Example: Public vehicle drivers are exempted from the new road rule.

4. shy away from /ʃaɪ əˈweɪ frʌm, frɒm/ (phrasal v.) – to avoid doing something due to fear or nervousness
Example: He never shied away from tasks involving public speaking.

5. susceptible /səˈsɛp tə bəl/ (adj.) – being likely to be affected or harmed by something
Example: Kids are more susceptible to flu than teenagers.


Read the text below.
England bans smoking inside a vehicle if a person below 18 years old is present.

Lawmakers passed the rule after 342 parliament members voted for it, with only 74 members against it. Effective October 1, offenders will be fined £50. The law applies to drivers of any enclosed private vehicle. People driving alone and drivers of non-enclosed vehicles, such as motorbikes and convertible cars, are exempted from this rule.

According to England’s Public Health minister, the law is a way to lessen children’s exposure to secondhand smoke. The government recognizes that several kids shy away from asking adults, especially their parents, to stop smoking. England hopes that the new law will help protect minors from the smoke’s harmful effects.

The government’s next step is to vote on the law that will standardize the packaging of all tobacco products. Standardized packaging means all forms of tobacco will be sold in unattractive and simplistic packaging. The government believes that this rule will help keep children away from smoking.

Secondhand smoke can be deadly to children. Kids have small lungs, high breathing rate, and less developed immune systems that make them more susceptible to tobacco’s harmful health effects. Among tobacco’s health effects are lung infections, asthma, ear problems, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Smoking bans in private vehicles are already present in some parts of Australia, Canada, and the United States. South Australia, in particular, has a ban that prevents people from smoking near children’s public playgrounds and waiting shelters for public vehicles.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the passing of the law against smoking in private cars? Why or why not?
·         Should the standardized packaging law be approved? Why do you say so?

Discussion B

·         Do you think smoking cigarettes has benefits? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the dangers linked to smoking while driving?

April 17, 2015