posted 4 years ago

Government: Ban Smoking In Cars When Child Present

Government Champions Smoking Ban In England For 2015

The Government says smoking in private vehicles when a child is present should be banned from October 2015. The proposal relates to England, but ministers in Scotland and Wales – who decide such issues independently - are considering a comparable ban. 

If the law is passed in Parliament for England, it would ensure that a driver is fined for smoking - or failing to stop a passenger smoking - when a person of under 18 is present.

England would then be the second country in Europe to impose such a ban, after Cyprus. 

The Government's proposal recognises that passive smoking has health implications for children. The World Health Organisation says its effects include: increased susceptibility to respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis , the worsening of asthma, middle ear disease, decreased lung function and sudden infant death syndrome.

Minister Discusses Smoking Ban In Private Vehicles

Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison, says: “Second-hand smoke is a real threat to children’s health and we want them to grow up free from the risks of smoking”. 

“The only effective way to protect children is to prevent them breathing second hand smoke, and our plans to stop smoking in cars carrying children will help us to do this”.

She concludes: “We’ll now debate the regulations in parliament”.

Potential Problems

Despite the health benefits there are practical concerns. The RAC's Pete Williams explains that: “While it is undoubtedly the right thing to do in principle in terms of children’s health, it may be overly optimistic to think it will be enforced on a widespread basis”. 

Furthermore, the Daily Mail says that pro-smoking group Forest called the ban a “gross intrusion on people’s privacy” and said that enforcing it would be a waste of police time.


For once I am in favour of this bit of nanny state interference as long as the penalties are fair. The penalties can only be fair if they are means tested or based on something like a half percent of annual income so punishment is proportionately equal. Fifty quid from the poorest drivers would be approximately equal to fifteen thousand quid from a top earner.

The idea is good but unenforcable they should concentrate on other safty issues eg how many kids are picked up from school and driven off with no seat belts used or all the cars with non working lights very obvious this time of year.

How about just ban smoking in cars. We are not allowed to eat as we may get distracted. Can't use phones may get distracted but are allowed to take both hands of the wheel to light up and then have it hanging out of our mouths which can then accidently fall out on to our laps to burn us and make us jump but hay this is safe...

"We can't possibly TAX our corporate friends, I know, lets tax the motorists AGAIN" This sounds like a DICTATORSHIP! My car is private property & no one can tell me what to do there. Someone MUST stand up & say "ENOUGH is ENOUGH"

gee this is getting out of hand the govement should really look at theam self as they made smocking to easy then they wont to stop it when they are the course in the start get people hook then they wont silly bans they dont mind getting billons of tax money thats why never be totally stop it.

Ridiculous - unenforceable, what about fining pregnant women seen or known to be smoking!!!!! No - that's not easy money. What if the child is 17 and SMOKING IN THE CAR (but not the driver) - who gets the fine then?? Absolute ridiculous use of police resources and time. If they are smoking in car, then they will also be smoking in their home with children present - so how you gonna stop that one!!! Get real and get a life

Anyone who is selfish and inconsiderate enough to smoke in a car with a child/children present deserves to be fined. It is sad that such a measure needs to be implemented due to the amount of people who value their dirty habit more than their child's health.

Patrick M Commented: 'Ban, ban, ban' just to make it look as if the authorities are Doing Something. What a stupid comment, and yes banning children from cars could not be policed the sensible option is to ban the dangerous practice of smoking when passengers are in the car, most intelligent passengers have the option of declining a lift with a driver who will smoke, but a child has no say and they must be protected. And who nowadays will buy a used car that reeks of smoke? the stink cannot be removed from the fabrics it knocks hundreds of pounds off the px price.

My children will surely vote for a government, when old enough, that makes them stand out in the rain, sleet and snow, freezing their bits off whilst I sit in the nice warm and dry car enjoying my cigar.......

what a waste of time,as said before,they can`t stop people using mobiles so no hope of enforcing this!

So do we also ban all vehicles from the roads as health implications for children and adults are far worse than passive smoking, and then do we ban 50% of the food kids eat eat, Get real

Great Idea but how do the police police this they carnt do mobile phones or seat belts been so under resourced

Whilst I agree with the sentiment it would be ridiculous and pie in the sky to think that the police would be able to enforce it. Take mobile phone usage whilst driving, I saw three instances today in the space of 10 minutes. I rest my case!

this is just the kind of headline grabbing rubbish this government puts out before they hit you quietly with something really painful .....

I think they need to teach common sense at school. A vast majority of parents who smoke wouldn't smoke in a car with their kids. I'd rather have the police deal with life threatening emergencies than do the governments nanny state bidding. How about we ban ourselves from driving to work so the government doesn't get any tax.

surely it should be down to common sense, if any one has any respect they wouldn't smoke around kids, but wot if the person in the car is 17 cos the amount of school kids that you see walk out the school gate and lite up are they gonna start knicking them, I think the police have got a hard enough job as it is specially when the gov keep cutting, so I think a reality check is in order

Sure forcing secondhand smoke in childrens lungs through smoking in same environment is in a way child abuse. They are not allowed to smoke and parents and gardians should respect children should be protected from tobacco smoke. Protection is showing loving kindnrss surely...

Stopping smoking in cars ha ha ha!! The bloody goverment are not capable of getting illegal drugs off are street let alone stopping people smoking in cars. Speaking as a smoker 'yes i smoke in my car and i will continue to do so banned or not banned' its my car i own it and if i want to smoke in it that my choice. What ever will they think of next, one thing that it wont be is a ban of the sale of cigarettes purely due to the amount of taxes the government get in revnue from smokers

Smoking in cars? Just NO. You should ban that not only because of secondary smoking but particularly the danger to concentration when driving; young women can be the worst offenders here whilst they struggle with their phones in one hand and a fag in the other! What's the first thing you do if you DROP a cigarette, look down; my case rests.

They cant even stop mobile phone use whilst driving yet, what a nanny state we live in ffs. Start imposing very stiff fines on, mobile phone use, jumping red lights, parking on pavements, speeding, drink driving etc. Is there nothing else to worry about in this screwed up country than this? You need to be seen to be stopping folk from smoking, but really you need smokers to continue to smoke, oh, you lot also want to ban E cigs as well! What next, a tax on the air we breath, oh sorry, you already do tax the air we breath, with some bullsh1t Green tax.......

Yes John your right it is a contradiction but also human rights and I thought we had the right to choose what we do. I'm also a tax payer and the amount of tax I have payed in my life will pay for my health care thankyou very much and have you seen just how much a smoker contributes towards tax ?. Do you drive? Do you drink? Because if you do either of those then I as a tax payer will be paying for your contribution to ill health. I think anti smoking nazi's should take a look at their own lives before making judgement on others as there is so much more going on in this world to worry about

Unfortunately Deano too many people are incapable of making sensible decisions. Most people would agree with your point about not smoking around children as long as it doesn't apply to them. An all out ban is indeed a step too far but that is not what is being proposed. Society has only itself to blame for these sort of rules

If one encountered a policman, one would also say "Heil Hitler". And raising the right arm, ...would be punished for taking a hand off the wheel ,,,I am all for not smoking around children at anytime but for gods sake what next we are reverting back to the medieval times tax after tax cut after cut rule after rule we are turning into mice not men we fought against Dictatorship what ever we ask for is ignored what ever we say is not heard when is it going to stop ?????

smoking should be banned while driving full stop if you cant eat an apple or use a phone then you should not be able to smoke (wheres my ciggies wheres my lighter ouch that ash has gone all over my trousers) its a no brainer

Specifically to Patrick M's point. The sad fact is that the majority of people can't be trusted to show personal responsibility. It's a predominantly me, me, me selfish attitude these days. If people were responsible, we wouldn't need breathalysers, speed cameras, speed humps or even speed limits. It doesn't need a police officer allocated to every car. Just a pair of eyes that can see someone smoking with children in the car. Exactly the same principle as for the idiots on mobile phones who have no sense of personal responsibility either.

for those who want to smoke in THEIR cars (my world) by all means do so, chain spoke if you want, but only when you are stationary, no I don't mean in queues or at the lights etc just don't smoke and drive, YOUR car moves with other cars this inherently affect other road users, consider other people and keep you empty packets for your own bin not the public road !

I will just ban under 18's from my car.

Another reason why I hate this country and some of the moaning people in it, you lot should here yourselves. Yes people shouldn't smoke with children in the car but people say it should be banned totally need to take their head out of there ass. If someone wants to smoke in a car they have paid for then that is their choice not yours the only people that they are affecting is themselves and has nothing to do with you.

Patrick M - carrying people in cars is dangerous too so why don't we ban people from cars eh!

Leigh Gadney said, "just because a person smokes it does not make them an irresponsible human being, all smokers are aware that smoking in an enclosed space with a child is bad for there (sic) health". Don't you see the ironic contradiction in that statement? If smokers know that smoking is bad for health then they are indeed being irresponsible to continue smoking - in any circumstances. Regardless of children in cars, smoking is an irresponsible activity because it causes harm to others (including children) and it cost us all dearly as taxpayers to pay for the treatment incurred (through the NHS) as a result of their habit.

I saw 4 neigbours all smoking get out of a car which was blue with smoke, and they had a 3 month old baby with them, it cold not say NO!!!! Morons like that should be jailed.

If the point is to protect children under 18 from all sorts of dangers, we must ban carrying children in cars - that's a very dangerous thing to do. Agree also with those who say 'how will it be policed? Will every car journey need to have a police officer allocated to every car? It is all 'Ban, ban, ban' just to make it look as if the authorities are Doing Something. I don't smoke and I don't like the smell of it, but more than that I think is the most ridiculous and inane thinking. Personal responsibility is required .. but where is that now?

In fact having children in the whilst driving is the biggest distraction and very dangerous so let's ban children from cars, problem solved

What we all need to do is just bend over and let the law do what they do best. Make it a complete police state and give our entire lives and all we possess over to the Queen and all her corrupt minions. Watch RT NEWS (channel 85 freeview) and learn about what is really happening to you.

I find smoking while driving is as bad as using a mobile phone while driving,it is dangerous and should be banned.

Here we go again, demonising smokers, I would Like to add that just because a person smokes it does not make them an irresponsible human being, all smokers are aware that smoking in an enclosed space with a child is bad for there health and most won't. I think the goverment should concentrate on the real harm being caused by irresponsible people who drink and drive, there should be an all out ban on consuming any alcohol before driving and a ban on drinking alcohol on public places as this is the real threat to children and young adults who think it's socially acceptable to consume alcohol. In fact ban alcohol altogether as it's a useless pointless activity that just causes a strain on the nhs, emergency servicesand the criminal justice system and is in fact very detrimental to your health, so let's leave off the smokers for a change and deal with a much bigger problem.

I see the anti smoking fanatics are on here in force. Ban smoking at all times, god you lot must be having a turkish!! It is my vehicle that I paid for and pay through the nose to keep on the road. I will smoke in my car when ever I want. This is just another attempt to eradicate my civil liberties....whats next no smoking except in my own house provided it is a full moon and i do it in the bathroom while hopping on one leg!!!!

Should add that it seems wrong to make the driver responsible for other adults smoking in the car, the person committing the offence should be the person fined, this is not really a motoring offence but one of child safety.

You absolute load of dumbed down idiots. The law enforcers have you like putty in their hands. What next, no perfume to be worn in a car, no air fresheners, and do you really want to know about all the toxic fumes coming into your car from the thousands of vehicles in front of you. Wake up for God’s sake it’s just another tyrannical measure. Parents who smoke in cars also smoke in their houses in front of the kids, so what you gonna do, stop them smoking in their homes. Wake up to reality for heavens sake!

Excellent idea - but why wait till October 2015? Smoking should be banned whenever a child is present.


Smoking in cars is dangerously distracting whether children are present or not and it should be banned completely.

Fully support this ban but agree that the fine needs to be severe and enforced!!

Whilst I entirely agree with the banning of smoking in cars with children present, the other comments here are also valid, How do you enforce it? Why not an entire ban? Incidentally, does it include the hoards of " children " coming out of school smoking. Until smoking is irradiated entirely it will be a difficult task to undertake, but it's a good start.

Whole heartedly agree Martin.

I agree with this ban but the penalty needs to be high or people will just carry on smoking as in the case of mobile phone use.

I agree with this but how difficult will it be to police? We still see people every single day talking on the phone when driving usually making a silly ass of themselves in the process and this has been illegal for years now!

Smoking should be banned behind the wheel full stop, eating & drinking is not permitted so why should be smoking any different! !

I'm all for a smoking ban in cars, however I'm interested to know where the police resources are coming from to "enforce" it bearing in mind Call Me Dave's desire to slash police numbers...

smoking should be banned whilst driving full stop. it is a distraction and stops 100% concentration. would love to see cigarette packet free streets as a 'bonus' !