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From 1st October 2015, it became illegal to smoke in a car (or any other vehicle) containing children under new government legislation.
This month, a new law has come into force to ban people from smoking in cars containing anyone under the age of 18. The new law has been put in place to protect children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke (SHS).
According to the Independent online, there are between 6.5 to 20 per cent of children exposed to SHS in cars, with as much as 40% of children thought to be exposed to SHS globally.
Every time a child breathes in SHS, they also inhale thousands of dangerous chemicals which could put them at risk of developing serious conditions such as meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Trusted Dealers has answered your questions below, so you can be prepared for the new law changes.
What is the law?
It is illegal to smoke in any vehicle when there are children until the age of 18 present.
Who does the law apply to?
Every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence.
Which vehicles does the law apply to?
The law applies to all vehicles that are enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. Exceptions will not be made for people who have the windows or sunroof open, or are sat in the open doorway of a vehicle. Motor homes and caravans will also be covered by the new law when used as a moving vehicle. Smoking inside is allowed when the vehicle is static and being used as living quarters.
Are there any exceptions?
The law does not apply to convertible cars with the roof completely down or drivers who are 17 years old and are alone in their own car. E-cigarettes are also unaffected by the new law.
What is the penalty?
If you are found smoking in a car, both the driver of that car and the smoker could be fined £50, so if you are the driver and the smoker you could be fined twice. However, officers have been encouraged to adopt an “education not prosecution” attitude during the first few months of the law’s implementation, according to government guidance on the new legislation.
For more information on the smoking ban, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/smoking-in-vehicles.