The government has introduced a number of new smoking and tobacco laws in order to protect children from second hand smoking.

  1. What are the new laws?
  • From October 1 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in private vehicles that are carrying someone under 18.
  • Private vehicles will have to be smoke free if they are enclosed, there is more than one person present and one of them is under 18. These rules to not apply to e-cigarettes.
  1. Why is the law changing?

It is changing to protect young people from second hand smoke and the harm it can cause. Inhaling smoke puts children at risk of serious health conditions including meningitis, cancer, respiratory infections and can make asthma sufferers worse. Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and opening windows does not remove its harmful effect.

  1. What if another passenger is smoking and there is someone under 18 in the car?

Drivers (and provisional drivers) are responsible for all passengers in the car so needs to ensure that nobody in the vehicle lights up.

  1. What vehicles will the law apply to?
  • The legislation covers any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. So a convertible car with the roof completely down is exempt from this legislation.
  • A vehicle with the sunroof open is still classed as ‘enclosed’ so is covered by the legislation.
  • Sitting in the open doorway of an enclosed vehicle is covered by the legislation.
  • The rules apply to motorhomes, campervans and caravans when they are being used as a vehicle but don’t apply when they are being used as living accommodation.
  • The legislation also doesn’t apply to boats, ships and aircraft as they have their own rules.
  • Work vehicles and public transport are already covered by smokefree legislation.
  1. What is the penalty if caught breaking these new legislations?
  • The fixed penalty for both offences is £50.