East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has welcomed the change in law on smoking in vehicles which comes in to force at the beginning of next month.
From 1 October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car or another vehicle with anyone under the age of 18 present.
The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence. The law does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and is on their own in the car.
Every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals.
This puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia. It can also make asthma worse.
The law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof.
It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of the vehicle.
The law won’t apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down. The rules don’t apply to e-cigarettes.
The change in the law coincides with the NHS’s annual Stoptober campaign.
The annual event features celebrities and a month’s worth of support for people who want to ditch the habit, works on research that smokers who manage to quit for 28 days are five times more likely to stop for good.
For more information on the change in law please visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-rules-about-tobacco-e-cigarettes-and-smoking-1-october-2015.
To get support on stopping smoking visit stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk.
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