Smoking in cars containing children to become illegal

Published Wednesday, 19th August 2015
Cigarette in ash tray
Cigarette in ash tray

South Yorkshire Tobacco Control Collaborative is urging motorists in the region to keep their vehicles smokefree, ahead of the introduction of the new Smokefree Cars law.

The legislation, which will make it illegal for anyone to smoke in a vehicle while carrying passengers under the age of 18, will come into force nationally from October 1.

Drivers could face fines of £50 if they fail to observe the new law that is being introduced to help protect children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Drivers who smoke and who fail to stop a passenger from smoking in the presence of passengers under 18 risk being fined twice.

Councillor David Roche, Rotherham Council’s Advisory Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Given we’re just weeks away from the introduction of the Smokefree Cars law, it is important that drivers in the region are aware of the changes.

“It’s also vital that parents and carers understand why smoking in cars carrying children can be so dangerous.

“The new legislation really is a positive move towards helping to protect children and young people from the harmful effects of tobacco. Second-hand smoke is dangerous for anyone exposed to it but children are especially vulnerable as they breathe faster than adults and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems.”

More than 80 percent of cigarette smoke is invisible and opening car windows does not remove its harmful effect.

Every time children breathe in second-hand smoke, they breathe in thousands of toxic chemicals, which puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.*

Smokers in South Yorkshire who want to quit can access lots of free help and advice at the Yorkshire Smokefree website.

*According to the Royal College of Physicians (2010). Passive Smoking and Children. RCP, London  

Visit the Yorkshire Smokefree websiteimage