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New rules about tobacco, e-cigarettes and smoking: 1 October 2015

Legal changes come into force on 1st October 2015, regarding the sale and buying of e-cigarettes as well as introducing new rules about smoking in private vehicles.

 It will be illegal for retailers to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids to people under 18 and adults are prohibited from buying and trying to buy tobacco products or e-cigarettes for someone under 18. It will also be illegal to smoke in private vehicles carrying a person under 18.

From 1st October all private cars must be smoke free if they are an enclosed vehicle. If the driver does not stop someone from smoking in a private vehicle carrying a person under 18 it will also be considered an offence. This rule applies to full and provisional drivers.

Both offences have a fixed penalty notice of £50 and a person that commits both crimes could get 2 fines. Somebody who is 17 and smoking alone in a private car won't be committing an offence as vehicles must be carrying more than one person for the rules to apply.

The legislation applies to enclosed vehicles so convertibles or coupes with their roof completely down and stowed is not enclosed and therefore not covered by the legislation. Cars with open sun roofs are classed as enclosed and therefore covered by the legislation. A person is sitting in the open doorway of an enclosed private vehicle is also committing an offence. The rules apply to motorhomes, campervans and caravans only when they are being used as vehicles. They do not apply to boats, aircraft, work vehicles or public transport however there may be no smoking rules in many of these anyway.

The law is changing to protect children and young people as breathing second-hand smoke and the chemicals this contains puts them at risk of serious health conditions.