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Smoking in cars carrying children to be illegal in England

Parliament approves regulations which will ban smoking in cars carrying children in England from October

Ingrid Torjesen

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Drivers in England are to be banned from smoking in their cars when they are carrying anyone under the age of 18 as a passenger.

The regulations, which were passed by Parliament yesterday, will come into force on 1 October. A total of 342 MPs voted in favour of the legislation and just 74 voted against.

Anyone ignoring the new law could receive a £50 fixed penalty notice. The ban will not apply in a convertible car with the top down.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said: “Three million children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars, putting their health at risk. We know that many of them feel embarrassed or frightened to ask adults to stop smoking which is why the regulations are an important step in protecting children from the harms of second-hand smoke.”

Public Health England will run a campaign later in the year to raise awareness of the new legislation. It will also launch a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke in homes and cars to children’s health. Passive smoke can increase the risk of asthma, meningitis and cot death for children.

The Welsh Government proposed a change in the law in July last year and will introduce the ban at the same time as England, Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed. Scotland is also considering introducing a ban.

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