Smoking in a vehicle with children present will soon be illegal in Alberta.

Under the legislation, smokers can be fined $1,000 for lighting up when someone under 18 is in the vehicle.

The law, sponsored by Liberal leader and emergency room doctor Raj Sherman, was passed unanimously in the legislature Monday.

Sherman expects the new law to be more educational than punitive.

"My hope is that it actually doesn't need to be enforced that people just won't smoke in their cars with their kids," he said.

The government hasn't said when it will become law.

Most provinces and some municipalities in Alberta, such as Leduc and Okotoks, have already passed similar bans.

Premier Alison Redford promised during her recent leadership campaign that she would ban smoking in vehicles with children.