Yesterday Health Minister Jane Ellison outlined the Government’s plain cigarette packaging legislation. Alongside this announcement she stated that smoking in private cars carrying children will be banned from 1st October this year.
She said that tobacco causes around 80,000 deaths a year and that approximately 600 children in the UK take up smoking every day. The Government has taken its time in making this announcement but according to Ellison this is so as to consider all of the relevant evidence, including the prospect of litigation from the tobacco industry.
The new law will apply to anyone carrying children in a car and not just parents. The penalties for this offence were set out in the consultation paper circulated in November of last year. Most notably, if the case goes to court, the maximum fine will soar to £800 for someone caught smoking in a car carrying a child and £10,000 for a driver who fails to prevent someone else smoking.