posted 4 years ago

£10k Fine For Allowing Smoking With Kids In Cars

Opponents Say Ban Is Another Example Of The Nanny State

Fines of up to £10,000 could be imposed on people who allow smoking in cars carrying children.

There will be a £50 fixed penalty or five penalty points on the driving licence for anyone caught smoking in a car carrying children and failure to prevent smoking in the vehicle.

The maximum £10,000 fine will be paid by people who end up in court having failed to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent others smoking in cars with children.

Details of the new law are expected to be unveiled by ministers in December and could be in force by October of next year.

The new law will apply to anyone carrying children in a car, not just parents.

The suggested law change will be made under the provisions of the Children and Families Act and follows a vote by Liberal Democrat MPs in February.

A Department of Health survey found 300,000 children a year visited GPs in England every year with problems linked to second-hand smoke.

The proposed ban has received support from health groups but has been criticised as another piece of legislation from the nanny state by pro-smokers.

Campaigners support law change

Amanda Sandford, Information Manager at Action on Smoking and Health, said: “We are pleased that the Government is planning to press ahead with the ban on smoking in cars when children are present.

“This will give vulnerable children much needed protection from secondhand tobacco smoke which currently results in thousands of children being treated for asthma and other respiratory diseases.  

“But we’d like the Government to go further and commit to a review of the law to ban smoking in all cars so that adults as well as children will be protected from the detrimental effects of breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke.”

A spokesman for the British Heart Foundation, which supports the new proposals, said: “Passive smoke is a cause of short- and long-term illness in others and is particularly harmful to children – especially in enclosed spaces.

“It can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, and other health problems such as asthma and meningitis.

“Passive smoke negatively impacts on children and can also influence their habits in the future – children who are exposed to smoking in their homes are more likely to smoke than those who are brought up in smoke-free environments.”

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said:   “With almost half a million children being exposed to second-hand smoke in the family car every week, we wholeheartedly support the government’s commitment to introduce a ban on smoking in cars with children.”

Nanny state

However, Simon Clark, director of Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST), said this proposed legislation was another example of the “nanny state”.

He said: “A ban is excessive and unnecessary.

“Smoking in cars with children has been in decline for years. Today very few people do it because the overwhelming majority of smokers accept that it’s inconsiderate.”

Poll: ban smoking in cars carrying children

A YouGov poll in 2014 found that 77% of adults in Great Britain agreed that smoking should be banned in cars carrying children younger than 18 years of age, including 63% of smokers.

The YouGov poll also revealed that 46% agreed that smoking should be banned in all cars.

A similar poll conducted by YouGov in 2013 found that even among smokers, smoking was rare with only one in seven (15%) smokers with children reporting that smoking was allowed in the vehicle at any time.

An international review of surveys from North America, the UK and Australasia found a majority (76%) of the public supported the introduction of smoke-free car laws. In four of the jurisdictions examined (Victoria, California, New Zealand, and South Australia) levels of public support were in excess of 90%.

*What do you think?


I so agree. Parents who believe that it's ok to smoke anywhere around children are just plain ignorant, disrespectful and uncaring, no responsible parent would want to subject their children to that disgusting smelly cancer stick.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Its time these so called surveys and reports were actually published and held to account as to whether they are true or fiction ( I suspect the latter). Its also time that the smokers in this country started sticking up for themselves instead of accepting everything that is thrown at us without reacting to it. Passive smoking is not responsible for all the things they say it is. It is the environment we live in. I agree with Mr Radford that it is about time we remembered the Magna Carter!

It is time the flawed (or corrupt) research into second-hand smoke was disinterred, dragged out into the open and those who subscribed to it, whether from fear or for profit, called to account

This stupidity has already gone too far. Logically, there is as much (if not more of)a case to be made for banning the running of the engine of the car. If it is necessary to protect our children from secondhand tobacco smoke then we must also protect them from any other sources of combustion products. And that must also include barbecues, wood burners, bonfires, incense, waste disposal facilities, factories, power stations, aircraft .... The list is endless. The nanny statists are making a rod for all our backs, and eventually their own!

Oh, forgot to say i've never smoked.....they will not be able to enforce it.


I've just read this story about banning smoking in cars with children present. I just can't believe how much people put up, with being controlled by this coalition government and Labour. Can't people see we are becoming a police state? How many more rules are going to be implemented before people finally wake up. Their passing this law is just using children to soften people up with being told what to do. Remember the constitution, (Magna Carta)says any oppresive laws are unconstitutional.

A good idea in principle but in practice is yet another burden of regulation for the populace and another example of the government taking the fashionable route of choosing to regulate rather than educate. The intention of course, just as in other instances, is to make policing the regulations pay for itself using those evil and undemocratic fixed penalties, thus ending any responsibility the government has once the legislation is passed. Educating the public would have meant the government taking an interest and would have cost a few pounds instead of earning a few pounds. This legislation and many other previous examples sends a clear message the government no longer desires the populace to be voluntarily well-behaved and it has no use for good role models for future generations. In real terms it wasn't so long ago doctors prescribed smoking to help control stress and they did so with government support and until recently not only condoned the advertising of tobacco products but also considered the excise duty and VAT on such things to be a necessary method of raising revenue for the Chancellor. Traditionally there has been a fundamental difference between the Law here and in Europe. Here the British are famously free to do whatever they want unless something is specifically prohibited whereas over the water the situation is reversed. I think what we are experiencing is a reversal of our fundamental system of Laws to bring us in line with the foreigners. Napoleon thought he would never be able to rule the English because he couldn't understand them; every Frenchman wanted equality but the English just wanted to be free. I don't think the desires of the English people have changed much since then. It is a great shame our Parliament doesn't still represent those basic English principles but prefer to proceed in the French way.

The world is going mad, we will soon get fined for beathing....... They need to be consentrating on teach Middle Aged people how to use indicators, an people that have come to the country how the uk laws of the road work...... Make the roads safer by education not by creating revenue, before dictating about what we do in our own cars....

A good idea but flawed. The police cannot even enforce the ban on the use of mobile phones whilst driving so what chance do they stand with this one? Not to mention the complication of drivers using e-cigs.

This is a good idea but it doesn't go far enough it should be extended and banned completely If you can be fined for eating and drinking non-alcoholic drinks why not smoking which to me is even more dangerous on a par with using a mobile the person is more interested in lighting up and smoking and not what's going on around them

By all means allow consenting adults to smoke. However smoking in cars is dangerous for everybody. Smokers should never be allowed to put the lives of others, including children at risk.

Well I'm 19 so my mum and dad won get fined Coz I smoke lol nah don't banned it u banned everything else

It is just another way to get more money in fines from the motorist. After this one they will think up something else to get even more money off us motorists.

Pro smokers lol these people should pay for own health care smoking is suicide it affects millions young children loose family members to smoking also to use a mobile while driving it needs one hand to light a fag it takes some two hands I say put children of smokers on the at risk register

What a waste of time. Let look at the white van drivers are they smoking in there place of business (van)? Police cars , don't see any. Another car tax? Taxes from tobacco (75%) another lib dem stupid law. There are more important thinks to worry about. Lack of funding to the nhs, police and mismanagement in the government....

People own their vehicles,and pay dearly to put them on the road,why should the goverment be given the right to enforce laws with fines, for something which they do not own, whats next fines for smoking in our homes.

I agree with Tracey Brown which, according to Peter Stevens, makes me stupid and ignorant also. I am neither; just an adult (ex-smoker) who disagrees with laws which cannot possibly be enforced being foisted upon us. When I did smoke (never with my children or grandchildren in the car) a window was always open to let smoke out. This common-sense attitude is probably shared by the majority of smoker drivers and I believe our car is an extension of our home .. both being our private space!

I totally agree - no smoking if kids in car (they don't have the choice). If I have a non-smoking adult passenger, I will ask first, if the answer is no, then I don't light up. However, if the Government decide to ban all smoking in cars, it would be impossible to enforce. Look at the number of people that still hold the mobile, text and/or and drive. Yes the police catch a few but their efforts aren't good enough. Non smoking in cars will even harder to enforce than using a mobile as it is less visible. Anyway, if my wife & I chose to smoke when alone in the car, that is our business - not the government's. Are there genuine statistics to show the number of accidents caused by a)Drink Driving, b)Using a mobile phone by holding it, c)Eating a chocolate bar while driving (I accept that a burger or sandwich could reduce control) & d)smoking at the wheel? I bet the number of accidents is greatest in the order that is here (apart from maybe c & d) and there are probably no stats for smoking anyway! I like most smoking drivers don't use the ashtray (if one is even fitted, as many cars no longer have them), I use an open window. If you are in a car smoking whilst the vehicle is in motion, the vacuum draft created by the air moving past the crack in the window draws the smoke out anyway - it is clearly visible. There is one last thing I wish to add, the world has become so anti-smoking that every little thing from the common cold to slow healing of wounds & fractures is now blamed on smoking. Yes I smoke, yes I know it is a filthy habit, yes I do know it MAY have serious health issues from bronchitis to increased chances of lung cancer along with bad breath & smelly clothes. Until the world governments place a total ban on tobacco sales, there will always be smokers. The government claim that smokers are a large burden to the NHS, maybe we are; but I wouldn't mind betting we more than cover our costs in taxation on tobacco. Bottom line stop sales of tobacco - stop bad health caused by it. Never going to happen - all governments get too much revenue from tobacco to ever ban it!

Just proves what a lot of lame brain losers we have as politicians useless libbers still chasing butterflies when elephants are rampant. Who is going to police this crap. They already wasted millions of business profits making smoking in business vehicles an offence and nothing much happened apart from loads of driver policy changes and stickers in cars that no one takes any notice. Meaningless time wasting rubbish - it is just ignored we go through the motions...there are not enough enforcement officers out there they are to busy chasing more dangerous phone users. Where next? your living room. For god sake libbers get real do something useful for once just shows what a waste of vote looks like with this time waster...

Just another unenforcible law just like using a mobile phone. What a pity that some people today seem to be unable to be sensible human beings and see the danger.

Whilst I agree with no smoking whilst driving with children in a vehicle, no smoking when the driver is alone is taking it too far. When is the UK going to adopt a Zero Tolerance to drink driving as most other countries have. That would undoubtedly save more lives than no smoking in cars. Fewer smokers cause motoring accidents than drink drivers & mobile phone users!!!

I recall a time when you didn't need to pass a test to drive, no M.O.T.'s, no breathalysers, no roadside cameras, park anywhere you like for free. Nanny from hell more like.

Simon Clark, director of Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST), said this proposed legislation was another example of the “nanny state”. Well guess what, 'nannies' look after children and protect from ogres like you Mr Clark

When ever I see people smoking in cars that children are travelling in it makes me incredibly angry....Chris Green of

When ever I see people smoking in cars that children are travelling in it makes me incredibly angry....Chris Green of

Tracey Brown's comments are typical of the stupidity and ignorance people like her endorse. Not only are the effects of the smoke hazardous to ALL occupants but there are other serious dangers as well. Many years ago when I was a front passenger, the driver dropped his cigarette on his seat and it rolled under his crutch. He first tried to reach for it almost losing control of his steering and as he couldn't find it he had to make a sudden stop in a panic. Thankfully there was no collision but the risk and potential consequences could have been serious indeed.

Although i agree with no smoking while kids are in the car (which i have never done in the first place) i have to disagree with banning smoking altogether. If i buy a car then its my property, no one has the right to tell me i cant smoke in it, just like no one has the right to tell me i cant smoke in my home. Get a grip grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I have smoked for 51 years but I never smoke while driving, but what is more harmful to children passengers is a driver on their mobile phone, or as I saw to day a stupid woman putting on lip stick while driving through a built up area, surely this type of stupidity should carry a £10,000 fine......but then that would probably be classed as sexist against women?????

Whilst it may be unhealthy for kids to be subjected to smoke in cars, this is typical of all governments: make a big to do about some fairly peripheral health issue but do nothing really important, for example: to ensure that the kids you are saving have a decent secure home to live in.

This is absolute rubbish. Nanny state at its worse. It's compltely and utterly unenforceable!! Have a look at mobile phone users… big fines, penalty points; do I see anyone using a phone whilst driving? Every time I'm out walking, cycling or driving! So get off you're high horse all you Law Worshippers and get a life. It's another piece of worthless legislation that will cost us £m's and…I don't smoke and I do have children and grandchildren!!

I agree 100% with this fine them heavy + points from the start

I hope it has better luck than child seats..... when a school administrator was challenged for carrying her grandchildren hundreds of miles a week without child seats or boosters... she replied "don't be silly.... it can't apply to grandmas.... with that attitude from someone in responsibility, what chance do you have.... use the big fines and points from day ONE or it'll be ignored again

Smoking in cars kills you and yours. Poor driving (use of mobiles et al) kills other. Mind you the mobile companies own this government.

Yes ban smoking in cars where children are travelling. I do not smoke now but used to smoke around 30 per day, however I have never smoked when my grandchildren were in my car, nor did I smoke in their house. Its logic.

I agree mostly with John Slaters comments insofar as how can this realistically enforced! I still see dozens of people holding mobile phones while driving. And one of my pet hates 'middle lane drivers' I have seen no reduction in this frustrating and annoying habit so why don't the government concerntrate of laws that they can and should about immigration...oh forgot that can be measured and we will be able to see their incompetency!!

What a total idiot Simon Clark is. How can it be a "Nanny State" to protect our youngsters from disease in situations which they themselves have no control over. His arguments are in any case titally illogical. He says that "very few" smokers do it because the "overwhelming majority" accept it is inconsiderate. (It's rather more than "inconsiderate" Simon, it is dangerous). So even by his own argument the law will only affect the tiny minority who show no consideration whatsoever for the health of the children.... hardly a nanny state, then bud.

I think smoking should be banned while driving including passengers, About 7 years ago I was driving on the M1 and a cigarette end which was still lighted came in to the car and hit my glasses. I was driving with my window open. I had only started wearing glasses a week before. If I had not been wearing them an accident could have happened. As it was I had to pull on to the emergency lane to make sure nothing had been lit by it.

It is rightly illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, eating or having a drink so why does a smoker get away with a fag in hand, searching for their ashtray, be allowed to smoke at the wheel.

Why not ban smoking altogether and get the billions of tax revenue from sales of salad and bottled water oh and abolish the NHS and make sick people pay for their medical requirements. I do not know anyone who smokes over their children any more so remember next election which government has tried to bring in so much useless and unpoliceable legislation.


Far from being a nanny state silly people need to be helped to do the right belts..crash helmets how many lives have they saved over the years..smoking kills! fact smoking in any enclosed space should be banned ....especially when the people around you have no choice ie cant eat whilst you drive ..why do we continue to pander to the selfish addicts of this country..."its my right to smoke....its my choice" its disgusting..its time consuming(why do companies make allowances for smokers sneaking out for a fag? They are paid to do a days work!i like to read but we dont have a reading hut at work to sneak off to!

I think the government should ban smoking in houses when children live in them as well.

I don't have a problem with not smoking in a car full of kids, to me that would be common sense anyway, but who the hell do they think they are trying to ban smoking in cars period. As I understand it they are still allowed to smoke in parliamentary clubs. Maybe they should stop this double standard before they start taking away more of our freedom.

I have kids and don't smoke in my car and i will get out. Just another way for west minster to get duty money being lost from all smokers trying to quit. The day i get told what to do in my own car is the day the government will pay for a brand new car and run it for me

How many more laws do we need to control us? The lunatic hand wringers are winning no existent battles everywhere since 1997. Strange that coincided with labour coming into power. One day we will all get a good dose of common sense and start and leave people alone!

Good about time, I agree with the fine. I have seen on many occasions parents smoking in cars with children present, window opened may be by an inch as if that makes a difference to the smoke you can see swirling around the inside of the car and affecting the children's health. I cannot see what is stupid about a law that will protect the innocent. Yes I am a non smoker, too long smokers have had it their own way.

Not far reaching enough. All "in vehicle" smoking should be banned. Anyone who has smoked knows the alarm caused when the hot tip falls off the ciggie in vehicle. How many after-accident car fires are caused by smokers. Plus, if I can't eat a Mars bar whilst driving how comes it's ok to smoke.

How are police going to enforce this, as they have been unable to stop people using mobile phones !

I think all smoking in cars should be discussed, more concentration is needed to smoke than answer a mobile? Most smokers dont smoke whilst driving?