On the 9th July this year, the UK Government announced new rules about smoking in cars which will come into effect this autumn. These new rules will go some way to protect children from being exposed to the risks of passive smoking in the enclosed environment of our cars.
This is, of course, a highly emotive issue - particularly for smokers who feel that their rights are being gradually eroded. But the health of our children must come first.
Smoking is a particular bugbear in our family. My father has smoked a pipe for decades and has been unable (and unwilling) to give it up - despite having survived prostate cancer and a heart attack. He has never smoked in the car but believe me, I am well aware of the likely reaction from some smokers.
But aren't we all so much more educated now? Can anyone, hand on heart, justify smoking in a car with kids present?
Of course, like the horrendously dangerous activity of using a mobile phone whilst driving, the problem will be enforcing this at a time when police resources are already stretched. But it's a step in the right direction, at least.
These are the new rules.
From the 1st October this year it will be an offence:
- for retailers to sell electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or e-liquids to someone under 18
- for adults to buy (or try to buy) tobacco products or e-cigarettes for someone under 18
- to smoke in private vehicles that are carrying someone under 18
So it will be an offence:
- for a person of any age to smoke in a private vehicle that is carrying someone who is under 18
- for a driver (including a provisional driver) not to stop someone smoking in these circumstances
Offences carry a £50 fixed penalty fine or possible referral to court.
You can read the new rules HERE