smoking-in-cars w/children
Smoking in Cars Legislation
To come into effect on the 1st October 2015
Regulations to prohibit smoking in cars when children are present finally passed into law.


MPs have finally approved regulations that will forbid anyone smoking in a car when children are present. [1] The measure will enter into force on 1 October 2015. This law will protect vulnerable children from the effects of tobacco smoke which can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory disorders.  According to the British Lung Foundation around 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in their family car every week.  

Prohibiting smoking in cars when children are present has widespread public support from smokers as well as non-smokers. [2]

Professor John Britton:

‘Passive smoking is still a real issue, particularly in children and the vulnerable…

‘A Royal College of Physicians report estimated that passive smoking in children accounted for over 20,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infection, 200 cases of bacterial meningitis, and 40 sudden infant deaths. These and other ill-effects generate over 300,000 UK GP consultations, about 9,500 hospital admissions, and cost the NHS about £23.3 million’

‘Smoke-free legislation should be extended to prohibit all smoking in cars and other vehicles. Governments and individuals have a duty to protect children from exposure to smoke and to smoking.'

‘This isn’t just about protecting children from passive smoking, its about taking smoking completely out of children’s lives’

[1] The regulations form part of the Children and Families Act which gained Royal Assent on 13 March 2014.

The regulations were also approved by the House of Lords after a debate on Tuesday 3rd Feb. 

[2] A poll conducted in March 2014 by YouGov found that 77% of adults, including 64% of smokers, agreed that smoking should be prohibited in cars that are carrying children younger than 18 years of age. Total sample size was 12269 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th to14th March 2014.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)