Smoking And The Law

In the last decade there have been two major laws passed related to smoking; in July 2007, it was made illegal to smoke in public places in England and in 2015, it became illegal to smoke in a car with a passenger under the age of 18 years old.

The public smoking ban

The public smoking ban was introduced on the 1st July 2007 to discourage people from smoking and it relates to all public buildings, including restaurants, pubs, shops, airports, hospitals and supermarkets. The ban also includes vehicles, such as buses and trains, which provide a public service, and workplaces. If you are caught smoking in a public place, you are liable to a fine.

The aim of the public smoking ban was to try and reduce passive smoking and studies conducted after the ban was brought in suggest that it has had a positive impact. A study, which analysed lung function in bar staff and the quality of air in public places found significant improvements after the ban was introduced and children’s risk of passive smoking decreased by around 70 per cent between 1996 and 2007, according to another study cited by BBC Health. 

Smoking ban in cars

On October 1st a new law came into action in England and Wales, which prevents drivers from smoking in a car with passengers under 18 present. The law is designed to prevent children from suffering the effects of passive smoking or second-hand smoke. Anyone who is seen smoking with children in the car is liable to pay a spot fine.

The law does not relate to adult passengers and drivers are still allowed to smoke if they are alone in the car or they have adult passengers. Scotland and Northern Ireland are considering introducing similar measures; however, these have not yet been introduced. 

Tobacco manufacturers have also been banned from advertising cigarettes on television and they must now produce plain packaging; cigarettes are also sold behind closed cabinets now, rather than being on display.


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