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Smoking in cars to be criminalised

Smoking in cars where there are children will be illegal from next year.

The regulations will criminalise smoking by any adult in a car carrying a child of under 18.

A fine of £50 will also be issued to those who don't prevent others from smoking.

According to the British Lung Foundation, 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in their family cars and the new legislation has gained widespread support.

In parliament, the primary legislation was approved on a free vote by a majority of 376 to 107 - a larger majority than the 2007 smokefree public places law banning smoking in public places.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the RCN, said: “Smoking in cars when there are child passengers present can be immensely harmful.

“These regulations are a positive step forward as banning smoking in cars would be of great benefit to many children and young people.

“Nurses witness first-hand the devastating effects that smoking can have on people's lives. Smoking still causes a huge number of unnecessary deaths every year in the UK and depletes the health service of significant resources.”