SMOKING whilst driving in the company of a person aged under 18 will be illegal as of today.
The new law means anyone caught smoking in a car, with someone aged under 18 present, will be fined up to £50 – this law applies to every driver in England and Wales.
The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke – though the law does not apply if the driver is 17 and is in their own car or to people driving a convertible with the roof completely down.
Prosecutions can still be carried out should the driver have their window open or air conditioning on.
The change coincides with the annual ‘Stoptober’ challenge – where thousands of current smokers start their goal to stop smoking by not lighting up throughout the month of October.
Currently, it is estimated that 60,000 Coventry residents smoke – Coventry City Council is backing the Public Health England National campaign to encourage a 28 day mass quit smoking attempt.
To stand an even better chance of quitting, Coventry Stop Smoking Service is holding a number sessions at Central Library.
Residents – who are thinking about quitting – are invited to drop in for a chat and find out about extra advice and support to help them with their challenge.
Coun Joe Clifford, Chair of the Coventry Smokefree Alliance, said: “Though we have made great progress in reducing smoking rates within our city over recent years it continues to claim the lives of 1 in 6 of all Coventry residents.
“It can be very difficult to kick the habit but if you want to quit smoking it can be much easier with the right information.
“Help is available throughout the year from the local stop smoking service with face to face advice and support on hand to provide you with tailored advice, hints and tips.”
This year, Stoptober will be providing quitters with a personal touch from some of the nation’s leading comedians – Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert, Al Murray and Shappi Khorsandi.
Rhod Gilbert said: “I smoked for about 25 years and probably spent 23 of those trying to quit, trying everything you can think of to kick the habit.
“I know first hand that it can be hard to find the motivation to quit, but Stoptober is the perfect time to give it a go.”
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org