While the ill effects of breathing in secondhand smoke can pose a health risk to anyone, children under the age of 18 are even more vulnerable. Children breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways and lungs not to mention a not so resistant immune system.
80% of cigarette smoke is invisible while open windows do not negate its harmful effects which include meningitis, cancer, bronchitis, and pneumonia besides increasing the condition of asthma. In view of this, UK has banned anyone from smoking inside a car or vehicle where there is an individual who is under the age of 18 years.
If found smoking, smoker will be fined as much as $80. This regulation is applicable to every driver in England and Wales and also includes those aged 17 and possessing a provisional driver’s license. The law does not apply to drivers who are 17 years of age and on their own in the vehicle.
While the rule includes private vehicles with whole or partial roof, vehicles with roof completely down will be exempted. Smoking in vehicles rule also does not include boats, ships and aircrafts as each of these vehicles have their own set of rules to comply with. The new rule does not apply to e-cigarettes.
Besides being illegal to smoke in a car with an under 18 present, from 1st October 2015 it will also be illegal for retailers to sell electronic cigarettes or e-liquids to anyone under the age of 18. The law also include fines to adults attempting to buy tobacco products or e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 thus going a long way in protecting these youngsters from the ill effects of both smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke.
Speaking about India, the same rule has been in existence since 1st July 2009. Here you cannot smoke inside a vehicle if a fellow passenger is below the age of 16 years.