1 Oct, 2015

Car smoking ban comes into force

BBC News | Health | October 1 2015 |

A law banning smoking in vehicles carrying children has come into force in England and Wales.

Drivers and passengers who break the law could face a penalty fine of £50 – but police say they will take a non-confrontational approach initially.

Whenever an under-18 is in the car, smokers will still be liable even if the windows are down or sunroof open.

But the law will not apply to people who are driving in a convertible which has the roof down.

The Scottish Parliament is expected to consider bringing in its own law banning smoking in cars carrying children next year.

More than 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars each week, according to the British Lung Foundation,

Passive smoking

  • Smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open
  • Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke has been strongly linked to chest infections, asthma, ear problems and cot death in children
  • Bans on smoking in cars when children are present already exist in some US states, including California, as well as in parts of Canada and Australia
  • Research indicates 300,000 children in the UK visit a GP each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke, with 9,500 going to hospital
  • Smoking in a car creates a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar – some research has put it at 11 times higher

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