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In-car smoking ban - what you need to know

Vehicles with children onboard must be smokefree from 1 October 2015

Words ByMatthew Burrow

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There are new rules coming into force on 1 October banning smoking in private vehicles when someone under 18-years-old is present.

What are the new rules?

If someone were smoking in a car carrying a child, the smoker would be committing an offence, but it’s also worth noting that the driver (or provisional driver) would be committing an offence too for not stopping the smoker.

What sort of vehicles do the rules apply to?

The legislation affects any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. So when children are present, people will be able to smoke in convertibles, as long as the roof is folded down, but will not be able to smoke in a car that has an open sunroof. The new rules apply to motorhomes when they’re used as vehicles but not when used as accommodation.

What are the penalties for smoking in a car with children present?

Police and other enforcement officers will be able to issue a warning, fixed penalty notice of Β£50 for each offence or refer the offence to court.

Are there any other rules about smoking behind the wheel?

Smoking in work vehicles that are used by more than one person has been banned since 2007.

Do the rules apply to e-cigarettes?

No, the new rules do not apply to any type of electronic cigarette.