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Written Statement - Smoke-free private vehicles carrying children under 18

Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services

Smoke-free private vehicles carrying children under 18

The results of our consultation show that 86% of respondents agreed that smoking in private vehicles should be prohibited when children under the age of 18 are present.

Based on this we will proceed with regulations to make it an offence to smoke or to fail to prevent smoking in an enclosed private vehicle with someone under the age of 18 present. There will also be a requirement for there to be more than one person present in the car in order for an offence to be committed; this will mean that if a driver (without passengers) smokes no offence will be committed (even if the driver is under 18).  The changes would become part of the existing smoke-free laws.

Protecting children from second-hand smoke has the potential to prevent them from developing chronic diseases associated with passive smoking. Introducing Regulations to stop smoking in cars carrying children under 18 will help us to do this.
The regulations will be debated by the National Assembly in the summer and if approved will come into force on 1st October 2015. This is in line with similar proposals in England.

The consultation paper also included a question on whether the use of e-cigarettes should be prohibited in private vehicles carrying children under 18.  Of those who answered the question the majority agreed with the proposal. We will now consider how to take account of these views as we move forward.