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£50 fine for smoking in cars with kids

Smoking in cars with children

Smoking in a car with children in it will soon be illegal in England and Wales and will carry a fine if you break the rules. English MPs voted yes on the regulation a while ago but the ban won't come into force until October 2015.

Why is smoking in the car with a child so bad?

We all know smoking is super-evil-awful for your health and passive smoking is also very harmful - but did you know that a cigarette's 4,000 dangerous chemicals can stick around in the air for 4 hours even with a window open?

Passive inhalation is claimed by the NHS to be a trigger for meningitis, asthma and pneumonia; they also warn that babies whose mums smoke are twice as at risk of cot death. A car is a very confined space for smoke to be circulating so it makes sense to cut it out.

What are the details of the legislation?

From October, any car with an under-18 travelling in it will be a smoke-free zone. A £50 fine will apply to motorists breaking the law.

Critics are raising their eyebrows over the difficulty of policing the law but Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford says that it's more important that we change the culture around the acceptability of smoking in cars.


The underlying purpose of these regulations is not to introduce a great spike in enforcement actions but to...change culture.

Mark Drakeford
Welsh Government Health Minister

Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .