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What you need to know about smoking in the car

Smoking in cars with children

We told you a while back that smoking in cars with under-18s is going to be illegal from 1 October 2015.

We thought you could do with a reminder though, and the government has just released some more information about it. Do yourself a favour: learn the rules.

Why the ban?

Secondhand smoke contains thousands of harmful chemicals. Young people or children breathing those chemicals in are more at risk of awful diseases like meningitus, cancer, bronchitus and pneumonia - all of which can kill.

A car is a pretty confined space and even with a window open, smoke is still breathed by your passengers.

What it means for you

You may not smoke but it's likely people you know do. You might also think "I never have children (UGH) in my car" but it may not have crossed your mind that you or some of your mates could still legally count as children.

1. Anyone under 18 is classed as a child

Yup, even your 17 year old friend who's smoked 40 a day since they were 12. Sorry, it's the law.

2. The driver and the smoker can be fined

Yep, even if you're not the one smoking. If anyone smokes with someone under 18 in the car, they AND the driver get a £50 fine.

3. 17 year olds on their own are OK

It's still illegal to smoke in public if you're under 18 but if you're driving alone, you're not going to get busted for smoking under the new legislation.

4. Convertibles are OK

It's not my job to tell you not to smoke, so here it is: smoking in a convertible is OK. (Sunroof open and windows down doesn't count.)

Check out what the powers that be have to say on the subject:

Keep up to date with changes in driving legislations in the ingenie Young Driver's Guide.

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 .