As of October the 1st 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in an enclosed, private vehicle if someone under the age of 18 is present.
As of October the 1st 2015 it will be an offence:
- for a person of any age to smoke in a private vehicle when someone under the age of 18 is present
- for a driver to allow someone to smoke under these circumstances
A fixed penalty notice fine of £50 can be issued by enforcement officers. If someone is caught committing both offences, then the offender could get two fines.
This new legislation has stemmed from the recognition that exposure to second hand smoke can seriously affect the health of non-smokers, particularly children.
When children breathe in smoke, they are exposed to over 4,000 toxic chemicals, which can increase the risk of asthma, chest infections, lower respiratory infections, as well as more serious diseases such as meningitis and sudden infant death. Young children are particularly at risk to the effects of second hand smoke in enclosed vehicles due to the fact that they cannot escape. Toxins can linger in the car for some time after the cigarette has been extinguished; absorbed into the roof lining and seat fabric, and so opening a car window will not be much help to a child's health.