Smoking in cars: Things you need to know before October 1

What is the new law?

From 1 October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a vehicle that is carrying someone under the age of 18 in England and Wales.

Why is the law changing?

The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of second hand smoke. Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and opening the windows does not remove its harmful effect.

“Smoking in cars poisons children. Children are particularly at risk from second-hand smoke, which has been linked to a range of health issues, from sudden infant death syndrome, lung and ear infections and asthma.

This danger is heightened when they are in the confined space of a car and can’t escape the fumes. There is evidence that even with windows open, the level of toxic chemicals remains high. By not smoking in your car you are protecting your children’s health.

This is an opportunity for some people to change their lives for the better. With one less place to smoke, there’s one more reason to quit, and we will continue to provide support and advice for those who want to achieve this.” – Mark Drakeford, Health and Social Services Minister

Other things you need to know…

  • Motorists driving a convertible can smoke when there are under 18s present but only when the roof is fully down
  • The law does not apply to E-Cigarettes
  • The law does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and is the only one in the car
  • If caught you could face a £50 fine