SMOKING whilst driving in the company of a person aged under 18 will be illegal as of today (Thursday, October 1).
The new law means anyone caught smoking in a car, with someone aged under 18 present, will be fined up to £50.
The law applies to every driver in England and Wales and is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
The new rules do not apply if the driver is 17 and is in their own car or if people are driving a convertible with the roof completely down.
Prosecutions can still be carried out should the driver have their window open or air conditioning on.
The change coincides with the annual ‘Stoptober’ challenge – where thousands of current smokers start their goal to stop smoking by not lighting up throughout the month of October.
Currently 22 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women smoke in the UK – these are figures that have tumbled in the last decade with almost a third of men and a quarter of women smoking at the turn of the millennium.
This year, Stoptober will be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi.
Rhod Gilbert said: “I smoked for about 25 years and probably spent 23 of those trying to quit, trying everything you can think of to kick the habit.
“I know first hand that it can be hard to find the motivation to quit, but Stoptober is the perfect time to give it a go.”
For more information visit: stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk.