Smoking Ban in Cars Starts 1st October 2015

Smoking Ban in Cars Starts 1st October 2015

A new law has been introduced to protect children and young people from second-hand smoke in England and Wales.

From the 1st of October 2015, you can no longer smoke in any private vehicle that is partially or fully enclosed by a roof if anyone under-18 is in the vehicle.

If you are found smoking in your car with an under-18 present you could be fined £50. If it is someone else smoking in your car then both you (as the driver of the vehicle) and the smoker could be fined £50 each if an under-18 is inside the car.

The new smoking ban was approved by the UK parliament in February 2015, after five years of campaigning from the British Lung Foundation. However, the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes could make this law very hard to police.

Although there is very little data on emissions from e-cigs, they are considered to possess a significantly smaller health risk to second-hand smokers. People in England and Wales will be able to continue to smoke e-cigarettes with children inside their vehicles and this is where the potential enforcement problem lies. E-cigarettes can be very hard to tell apart from real cigarettes.

An RAC survey revealed that only 8% of British motorists believed the law change banning smoking in cars with children in them could be enforced effectively. The number of traffic police dropping by 23% between 2010 and 2014 will not help the UK Government to impose the law change.

Besides the obvious benefits the smoking ban in cars will have upon young people, who would have otherwise inhaled second-hand smoke, the law change could also help to decrease the number of road traffic accidents. You should always have two hands free and be concentrated on road safety while you are driving. You cannot do this if you are smoking, whether it is an e-cig or a real one.

In the UK, 22% of road traffic accidents are caused by drivers who do not have both their hands free to focus on driving safely.

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