The law has recently been updated regarding smoking in a vehicle. So, is it illegal?
There is no specific offense in the Highway Code regarding smoking in your own private vehicle. But it is listed as a distraction to avoid. So, as with eating or looking at a map, if any of these actions lead to an accident or you losing control of your vehicle, you may be faced with a careless driving charge. Worse, you could even be charged with dangerous driving, which could result in imprisonment, especially if someone was harmed or killed as a result.
It is illegal to smoke in a company car in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In England, this is also illegal if it is used by more than one person (whether they are both in the car or not), or if it is used to transport members of the public. Employers can also impose regulations regarding smoking in their vehicles. Vehicles that are non-smoking must show a non-smoking sign in each compartment in which people can be carried.
It is illegal to smoke in a car with someone under the age of 18 present or fail to prevent someone smoking in that car. This law does not apply to convertibles with the roof completely down, but it does still apply to any vehicle wholly or partly enclosed by a roof. So, if you have the sunroof or windows down, the air conditioning on or you are sitting in the open doorway of the vehicle, it is illegal to smoke with a person under the age of 18 in the vehicle. There is a fixed penalty notice in England and Wales of £50.
These rules currently do not apply to e-cigarettes« Green Fuel – Is Your Car Compatible?Record Breaking Fuel Prices – Can You Afford To Drive? »