A new law which makes it illegal to smoke in private vehicles with someone under 16 present comes into effect in the Isle of Man tomorrow. This is exactly 8 years from the date that workplaces and work vehicles went smokefree in the Isle of Man on 30 March 2008.
The new law is being introduced to help protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Both the driver and the smoker can be fined £50 if anyone smokes in the vehicle, up to a maximum fine of £5,000 upon conviction.
A recent Isle of Man survey revealed that 23.5% of young people aged 11-18 years old are exposed to smoke in their own or someone else’s car. Campaign work for the new legislation has aimed to raise awareness of the serious risks of smoking in small enclosed places, and the fact that winding down the window, or using the car fan or air-conditioning is not effective.
Although the new law applies to smoking in private vehicles, it is a timely reminder to the public that legislation already exists which bans smoking in all work vehicles and on public transport. Under the No-Smoking Premises Regulations 2007, buses, taxis, and vehicles which are used for work by one or more persons are required to be fully smokefree at all times. They must be ‘no smoking vehicles’ even if the persons who use the vehicles for work do so at different times or only intermittently.
The new regulations have been developed by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, working jointly with the Department of Home Affairs Officers, and the Department of Health and Social Care, which have supported the policy as part of the Island’s Tobacco Strategy.
People are being encouraged to make a ‘Smokefree Car’, ‘Smokefree Home’ or ‘Smokefree Me’ Pledge, to receive a colourful certificate, free sticker or Quit Kit, by visiting www.Quit4You.gov.im
For more information about the new regulations, visit www.gov.im/smokinglegislation or phone the Environment, Safety and Health Directorate (DEFA) on +44 1624 685894.