new laws smoking in cars

New Car Smoking Laws To Protect Under 18s Come Into Force in October

New laws to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke will come into force on 1st October 2015. Drivers and passengers who smoke in a private vehicle on any of England or Wales’ roads will no longer be able to do so if there are also passengers under the age of 18 present. Those who are 17 and in possession of a provisional driving license will also have to adhere to the new law. However, the law will not apply to 17 year old drivers who are in their vehicle alone.

Drivers and passengers who are found to be in breach of this new law could face a fine of £50. Most privately owned vehicles will be effected, with the only exception being convertible cars that are fully open. Any cars that have their windows down, sunroofs open or air conditioning on will still be subject to the new law.

The introduction of new car smoking laws to protect under 18s is welcome news to doctors and health professionals across the country. Passive smoking increases the risk of developing a number of serious health conditions including asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, cancer and meningitis. Children are particularly susceptible to the dangers of second hand smoke as their airways, lungs and immune systems are less developed, meaning exposure to the harmful chemicals present in cigarette smoke can have harmful implications on the future development of vital organs and overall health.


“Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and opening windows does not remove its harmful effect.”

The Department of Health


The introduction of the new car smoking law will coincide with Stoptober – a 28 day national challenge which encourages all smokers to quit. Successful completion of the challenge means you are 5 times more likely to stop smoking for good.


If you live in East Berkshire and would like help to quit smoking, you can visit Smoke Free Life Berkshire – a free stop smoking service local to the area. They also provide a helpline on 0800 622 6360 where you can speak to an advisor. NHS Choices also has a number of stop smoking treatments that you can try.