Is it illegal to smoke or vape while driving in the UK?

Motorists have been warned of potential fines for smoking or vaping while behind the wheel.

Drivers in the UK could face a hefty fine or even a road ban if they are caught smoking or vaping behind the wheel.

Earlier this year, in a poll carried out by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, it revealed that 57 per cent of smokers with a full driving licence surveyed said they draw on a cigarette or vape while driving.

Of those who admit to smoking while driving, just under one in four (24 per cent) admitted they do so often, and almost half (49 per cent) said they do so only occasionally. Meanwhile, 16 per cent responded that they only vape or smoke on long journeys and one in ten revealed they only smoke if they have no passengers in their vehicle.

Is it illegal to smoke or vape while driving in the UK?

Although smoking or vaping while driving itself is not illegal, smoking in a vehicle with a roof with anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited.

Can smoking or vaping while driving lead to fines?

Drivers could be slapped with a £100 fine for careless driving if the police conclude that the driver failed to properly control their vehicle because they were smoking.

Motorists who are distracted by cigarette or vape smoke can be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. The plume of smoke can hamper a driver's vision and result in an accident..

In more serious cases, or those contested in court, the charge can attract a maximum £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and even a court-imposed driving ban.


At the moment, you are not asked about smoking or vaping when filling out your car insurance forms. However, insurers aren't likely to cover any damage or injuries sustained in a crash if vision is compromised by smoke.

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