Violators could face fines of up to £2,500 ($3,391). However law enforcers have been instructed to adopt an educational, advisory and non-confrontational approach until the end of February 2022, when the law goes into effect. In fact Chief Inspector Graham Dodds confirmed that people caught smoking in cars with children will initially be given warnings rather than fines, allowing for public awareness to build up gradually.
A law prohibiting smoking on public transport and work vehicles has already been in place, and naturally Health advocates have welcomed the new law extending the ban to cars. Naomi Thompson, from Cancer Focus NI, said the laws would protect children’s health, and reduce the likelihood of them growing with the perception that smoking is normal behavior.
Similar measure enforced in New Zealand
Similarly, as of the 28th of November 2021, any car in New Zealand carrying people under the age of 18 must be smokefree. The initiative is another step towards achieving the nation’s Smokefree 2025 goal.
“The ban on smoking in cars with children is welcome. We know smoking is dangerous not just for the person smoking, but for people around them as well. However, we still need the game changing measures that will dramatically reduce smoking. We are awaiting the Government’s Smokefree Plan, which went out for consultation earlier this year. The plan should signal comprehensive and bold measures to get Aoteoroa New Zealand to the Smokefree 2025 goal,” said ASH Director, Deborah Hart.