A new law preventing smoking in cars carrying children will be passed next month, with the ban coming into force in October 2015.
It had previously been announced that anyone caught smoking in their car would face a £60 fine or points on their licence. However, new information hidden in the small print of the consultation paper has revealed that drivers who fail to prevent passengers from sparking up when children are on-board could face fines up to £10,000, whereas the maximum fine for the smoker would be just £800, metro.co.uk reports.
This means that there is far more at stake for the driver or owner of the car than there is for the person actually smoking.
The new ruling was first revealed after a historic vote in February, which saw David Cameron state that "the time has come" for a ban, despite the fact that his Lib Dem deputy Nick Clegg believed a car smoking ban was "illiberal".
Public health minister Jane Ellison said: "'We want to protect children from the harms associated with second-hand smoke and the Government will proceed with the introduction of regulations to end smoking in private vehicles carrying children in England.'
However, Simon Clark - the director of smokers' group Forest - called the ban "excessive and unnecessary", and argued that very few people smoke in cars with children these days as they know it is "inconsiderate", dailymail.co.uk notes.