In the news: smoking in cars and Love Island smokers

Date: 24/07/2017 Written by: Rosie 4 minutes to read.
News review

The Government have released a plan to have all cars running on electricity by 2040, medical professionals have predicted that heavy drinking could kill over 63,000 in the next 5 years and the Scottish Government has announced plans to change legislation to make it easier for LGBT groups to donate blood. Below, we've given an overview of the news stories which have caught our eye over the past couple of weeks to save you the time of looking!

Diesel and petrol cars could be banned in the UK by 2040

The British Government have released an initial plan to have all cars in the UK running on electricity by the year 2040. This has come after being ordered by the courts to produce new plans to deal with air pollution in the UK which causes approximately 40,000 deaths per year. It has been described as the largest environmental risk to public health and action must be taken now, especially in the most affected areas. Although the plans have not been finalised yet, other ideas which have been mentioned include changes to public transport regulations and mandated clean air zones. The plans have been described as ambitious but possible, whilst others have criticised the Government for implementing long term plans to distract the public from the fact there are no short-term plans.

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Car smoking ban considered a flop with just ONE prosecution in almost two years

In 2015, the Government implemented the smoking in cars ban, which prohibited smoking within a vehicle if with an occupant under 18. Two years later, only one person has been prosecuted under this legislation, leading to speculation that the ban is unsuccessful and police officers aren't enforcing it. The ban was introduced to protect children from 2nd hand smoke - being caught can result in a £50 fixed penalty with an additional £200 if the case is brought to court. It was warned during the ban's creation that police officers would not have the capacity to enforce this law alone, however it has been argued that the success of the ban must be measured against changed attitudes as opposed to number of prosecutions.

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Doctors warn heavy drinking could kill over 63,000 people in the next 5 years

Medical professionals predict that approximately 63,000 people in England will die over the next 5 years due to liver problems relating to alcohol abuse. As one of Britain's biggest killers, liver disease currently claims the lives of 12,000 people in England every year, those figures are expected to rise due to easy access to cheap alcohol. Doctors and other medical professionals are urging the Government to enforce a minimum unit pricing and to crack down on advertisements promoting alcoholic beverages.

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Love Island: stars' on-screen smoking angers health charity

The ITV2 show Love Island aired its season finale on Monday night, but the winner of the popular reality show is not what has got people talking. In a recent interview with the Sun newspaper, former contestant Craig Lawson, revealed that every contestant was given a packet of 20 cigarettes daily by the producers. This has sparked outrage by health charity ASH, stating that the show glamourises smoking and is influencing young viewers to take up the habit. The show had a 56% share of viewers aged 16 to 34 and aired nightly at 10pm. It has been pointed out that the show does air after the 9pm watershed, but given it's popularity ASH is urging OFCOM to intervene.

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LGBT groups are now being given more opportunity to donate blood

The Scottish Government has announced there will be changes made to current legislations making it easier for gay and bisexual men to give blood. It currently stands that men cannot give blood within 12 months of having sex with another man, this is to be reduced to 3 months. At the height of the AIDs epidemic, an outright ban was enforced, but lifted in 2011, replaced with the current 12 month waiting time enforced. LGBT campaigners welcome the new changes which will come into practice in November in Scotland and 2018 in England, but they state it does not fully eliminate discrimination when it comes to blood donation.

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Proposals in the UK to block porn sites from next year

From April 2018, the Government will enforce a block on internet pornography sites in the UK. The proposed guidelines are currently being drawn up by the Government, as it has been suggested that an age verification will be enforced to stop young adults from accessing the sites, which has the power to fine the sites if they do not enforce it. However, it has been pointed out that there are many grey areas and censoring the internet is complex so it is unclear where ultimately the responsibility will lie.

Read the full article here:

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