15 Oct 2015
It is now illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) with anyone under 18 present. The law changed on 1 October, to protect children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke.
The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence, and both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50 (or £30 if paid within two weeks).
The law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air-conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of a vehicle. It does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and on their own in the car.
However, press reports suggest that the police may be unwilling to enforce it. Quoted in the Daily Mail, a spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “Forces will be following guidance from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health by taking an educational, advisory and non-confrontational approach.”
The law also won’t apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down. Smoking in a caravan or motorhome is banned only if it is moving.