No, not more rigging of emissions testing, or spontaneous combustion, but reactions to the latest smoking ban.

VW’s and Vauxhall’s efforts to stop their cars smoking so much aside, October marked another nail in the nation’s smokers’ coffin. If you’re reading this with the kids in the back seat and puffing on a Woodbine you obviously- a. don’t care about your kids health, or, b. don’t know that it’s now illegal to smoke in a car with passengers under 18. Unless, that is, you’re in a convertible with the top down to give the kids a lung full of fresh air along with the fag smoke…

NEMS have been monitoring the shifting behaviours and attitudes of the public towards smoking for Public Health and NHS organisations for over ten years now, so naturally we wanted to know the reaction to this latest legislation. In stark contrast to the law banning smoking in, well, the lobby, there seems to be no significant ‘lobby’ in opposition to the latest restriction on smoking. 90% of the British public support the ban with only 5% in opposition. Even current smokers are in favour by a ratio of 6:1. 

When it comes to people’s beliefs and attitudes though, nothing is black and white. When asked if the age of 18 is appropriate support for the legislation does begin to polarise. A hefty 43% believe the age restriction of 18 is too high. This might be due to a commonly held belief that 16 is the start of adulthood: they can join the army, so they're old enough for a smoke filled car?

As to the next step of banning smoking in cars per se this will be tougher, there is a majority in favour, but it’s nowhere near as emphatic: 61%. So, as they say in Wolfsburg and Luton, there’s a way to go before we get smoke free cars on the road in the UK.