bc-090624-smoking-driver

Drivers in N.B. could face a maximum $570 fine if they are found smoking with children under the age of 16 in a vehicle. ((CBC))

A ban on smoking in vehicles containing children comes into effect across New Brunswick on Friday.

Drivers will face a maximum $570 fine under the new legislation if they are found smoking in a vehicle with children under the age of 16 present.

Studies show levels of second-hand smoke increase in sealed, enclosed areas such as cars, said Barbara MacKinnon, president of the New Brunswick Lung Association.

MacKinnon applauds the new law, which falls under the province's Smoke-free Places Act.

"Children are much more susceptible to second-hand smoke than adults are because their lungs and immune systems are still developing," said MacKinnon. 

"Even when you drive with the window down a little bit, people may have had the perception in the past that the smoke goes out the window and therefore, everybody inside the care is safe," she added. "But these studies do show that even when the windows are open and you think the smoke is going out, it still builds up to high levels inside the car."

RCMP plan to enforce the law provincewide. But, it could be a challenge, said Sgt. Gilles Blinn, who is with the Fredericton RCMP.

"It's very difficult to police. We can acknowledge that," said Blinn. "But there are some times where the cigarette is in plain view, so those would be the times where one would be stopped."

Similar bans exist in Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia and Yukon.