Smokers are reminded that it will be illegal to light up in cars carrying children and young people from Thursday 1 October, 2015.

New legislation coming into force in 2 weeks time will ban smoking in cars carrying children and young people under the age of 18.

The England wide ban follows the introduction of similar legislation in Wales, and anyone found flouting the law could face a £50 fine.

Experts say second hand smoke is particularly harmful to children and young people as they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Banning smoking in cars carrying children and young people is a significant victory in protecting them from the effects of second-hand smoke.

"The British Lung Foundation estimates that more than 430,000 children are exposed to second hand smoke in cars each week, and passive smoking puts them at risk of serious conditions including respiratory infections, meningitis and triggering asthma.

"I'd urge drivers who smoke to heed this new legislation, and also note the fact that the risk posed to children by smoking in cars in the same as it is smoking in the house - and I'd urge parents who do smoke to heed the warning that this ban sends out when they are thinking of lighting up at home."

While smoking rates have declined in recent years, it remains the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature death in the country - accounting for almost 80,000 deaths in England every year. One in every 2 long term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit.

For help and advice to quit smoking, please contact Wolverhampton Stop Smoking Service, which offers on to one support in GP practices, pharmacies and drop in clinics, a specialist pregnancy service and home visits, on 0800 073 4242 or 01902 444246. Alternatively visit Type=links;Linkid=5080;Title=Smokefree NHS;Target=_blank; for a range of free support and quitting advice, and to sign up to Stoptober, the national 28 day quit campaign which also begins on 1 October, 2015.

  • released: Thursday 17 September, 2015