UK Ban on Smoking in Cars with Children
What is the UK law on smoking in a car?
Did you know that the smoking laws in England changed again in 2015? From the 1st of October 2015 it was made illegal to smoke in cars, and other vehicles, carrying children under the age of 18. The purpose of this new law is to protect children from the harm of second-hand smoke.
FACT: The inhalation of second-hand smoke can increase the risk of asthma, meningitis and cot death in children.
Details of the law
The law applies to every driver in England and Wales in any private vehicle that is fully or partially enclosed with a roof. Opening the sunroof or windows and even sitting in an open doorway of a vehicle to light up won’t get you off the hook either, this is still illegal. However, the law does not apply to convertible cars when the roof is fully down. It is a different story when the roof is up though, smoking inside is still illegal in the presence of a minor.
FACT: Smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open. This also applies to cars.
Who does this law apply to?
Every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 are subject to the new law. Even those 17 year olds driving under a provisional licence are liable for fines. However, the law does not apply to a 17 year old who is driving and smoking in their car alone.
FACT: Bans on smoking in cars carrying children are already in place in some US states, including California, as well as in parts of Canada and Australia.
Both the driver and the smoker are subject to fines of £50 for failing to uphold this new ban on smoking in cars with children.
Does this mean that we will all be placing no smoking signs so passengers resist the urge to light up that could result in a fine for both the smoker and the driver?
It is already illegal to smoke in an enclosed public place and within the workplace, as communicated by the display of no smoking signs which are also closely governed by the law.
The smoking laws in England are always under scrutiny as we fight to protect people from the effects of passive smoking. To ensure that everyone can eat in a restaurant, drink in a bar, use public transport and shop without being subject to the health risks of secondhand smoke.
What will come next? A ban on smoking outdoors?
FACT: It is the law to display no smoking signs on a business premises.