Smoking in cars carrying children to become illegal
The new rules will come into force on 1 October 2015 and people failing to comply could face a £50 fixed penalty notice.
Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said: "Three million children are exposed to second hand smoke in cars, putting their health at risk. We know that many of them feel embarrassed or frightened to ask adults to stop smoking which is why the regulations are an important step in protecting children from the harms of second hand smoke."
Public Health England will launch its campaign to raise awareness of the dangers that second hand smoke in homes and cars can cause to children's health. They will also be running a campaign later in the year to raise awareness of the new legislation.
The regulations will become part of the existing smoke free laws and would make it an offence to smoke or to fail to prevent smoking in a private vehicle with someone under the age of 18 present.
The move, which will become law on 1 October, follows a similar ban in Wales and aims to protect young people under 18 from second-hand smoke. Scotland is also considering introducing a ban.
The British Lung Foundation welcomed the ban as a victory, but smokers' group Forest said it was unenforceable. It will not apply to anyone driving alone or driving in a convertible car with the top down.
The regulations were passed in the Commons after 342 MPs voted in favour of legislation while just 74 voted against.
Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "This is a tremendous victory. "We urge the Government to show the same commitment to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products, in order to protect the 200,000 children taking up smoking every year in this country. We are certain that these measures together will prove to be two of the most significant milestones for public health since the smoke-free legislation of 2007."
Bans on smoking in cars when children are present already exist in some US states, including California, as well as in parts of Canada and Australia
Article Source - BBC - ww.bbc.co.uk