A new law against smoking in vehicles, which could benefit up to 3 million children, has been announced by the Government.
Drivers face fixed-penalty fines of £50, and in some cases up to £100, for breaking the new law which will come in to action from October 1st 2015.
Under new legislation, it will be against the law to smoke in a private vehicle which is carrying someone who is under the age of 18. The law also applies to drivers who fail to prevent a passenger smoking in their vehicle if a passenger is under 18 years old. This means if both offences are being committed at the same time that two fines could be issued. The legislation does not include electronic cigarettes.
The BBC reports that smoke can remain in small areas, such as cars, for up to two and a half hours even with the window open.
Department of Health chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies, speaking to the Guardian, said: "Children breathe faster than adults so they are much more exposed to the dangers of second-hand smoke."
The legislation covers any closed vehicle and currently does not include, for example, a convertible with the roof completely down. The law does however include vehicles with an open sunroof, or those parked up with open doors.
Vehicles for business use are covered by existing legislation, which makes smoking illegal in work vehicles.
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