Coming into force on the first of October is a new law, making it illegal to smoke tobacco in a vehicle carrying any persons under the age of eighteen.
This law will also make buying an e-cigarettes under the age of eighteen, or for someone under that age, illegal, however in terms of smoking in a vehicle, e-cigarettes are still allowed.
Similarly to the laws on seatbelt wearing, the driver of the vehicle will not only be responsible for themselves complying to this law, but also for all other passengers. Meaning if a passenger in the back of the car was smoking tobacco, whilst a child under the age of eighteen was also in the car, the driver could also be prosecuted for permitting this, even if the driver claimed they were unaware of this taking place.
The police will have the power to refer these cases to court however the government have indicated that most of these cases will be dealt with by imposing a fixed penalty of £50.
Though the law applies to vehicles with windows and/or a sun roof open, as the vehicle is still classed as enclosed. The law will not apple to convertible vehicles with the roof down, as this is not considered to be an enclosed vehicle. The law will also apple, even if the vehicle is not actually being driven, for example, if you happened to be sat in the doorway of a vehicle smoking tobacco, whilst a person under the age of eighteen was in the vehicle, you can still be punished.
Though when thinking of a ‘vehicle’ you may only think this law applies to cars and vans, but in thinking this, you would be wrong, for the purposes of this legislation both motorhomes and caravans can be classed as a vehicle, however must be being used as such for punishment to be given, so the law would not apply if you are using your caravan/motorhome as living space.
This law will be coming into effect on the First of October in England and Wales. The Scottish Parliament are considering a similar legislation, however a decision is yet to be made.