Children's Health

England, Wales ban smoking in cars with children inside vehicles; drivers, smokers face fines

Drivers and smokers who light up in vehicles with children inside will face fines in England and Wales.

The ban took effect Thursday. It has not been introduced in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The ban means anyone who smokes inside a car with children under 18 inside will face a 50 pounds ($75) fine. Drivers face the same penalty even if they are not smoking.

Police officials say they will take an educational, non-confrontational approach as the ban is introduced.

Health officials believe the prohibition will help protect young children from the effects of second-hand smoke.

The law applies even if vehicle windows or a sunroof are open. It does not apply to a convertible if the top is down and properly stowed.