Things are becoming tougher and tougher for smokers not only in this country, but around the world. Understandably, many groups against tobacco and tobacco use are doing all they can to limit the freedoms of people who smoke. One of the recent issues that has been raised is smoking in vehicles, especially with minors as passengers. There are a number of states currently in the U.S. that have bans on smoking in cars with children, but it is not a nation-wide regulation. The United Kingdom has decided that it will be a law, nation-wide, to ban smoking in vehicles with anyone under the age of 18.

According to The United Kingdom's Department of Health website, starting on October 11th, 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a vehicle with a minor under 18 as a passenger. Penalties for breaking this law include,

The fixed penalty notice fine for both offences is £50. Somebody who commits both offences could get 2 fines. Private vehicles must be carrying more than one person to be smokefree so somebody who is 17 and smoking alone in a private vehicle won’t be committing an offence.

Enforcement officers (usually the police) will use their discretion to decide whether to issue a warning or a fixed penalty notice, or whether to refer an offence to court.

So, when will the United States follow suit on this law. As a former smoker, I understand the frustration smokers have when it comes to where and when they can smoke. I also knew the devastating health consequences smoking had on both myself and others around me. When it comes to kids in cars, something has to be done. A few states already have laws in place when it comes to smoking in cars with minors, however some are pretty lax. Here are the states that currently have smoking bans for vehicle drivers according to no-smoke.org:

  • Arkansas - Kids Under 6 and Under 60 lbs. in a Car Seat
  • California - Kids Under 18
  • Louisiana - Kids Under 13
  • Maine - Kids Under 16
  • Oregon - Kids Under 18
  • Puerto Rico - Kids Under 13
  • Utah - Kids Under 15
  • Vermont - Kids Under 9

These 8 states should be commended on their efforts. What do you think? Should there be a national law that bans smoking in vehicles with kids under age 18? Let us know!