A man smokes a cigarette at

U.S. smoking bans

Residents in parts of the United Kingdom will have to step out of the car for a cigarette break if they have young ones with them, under a new law taking effect Thursday.

The law, which affects England and Wales, bans smoking in cars while children younger than 18 are present, according to BBC News. According to the site, the ban includes smoking with the windows down or an open sunroof, but would not apply to drivers smoking in a convertible with the top down. Although violators could be fined up to £50 - about $75 - law enforcement officers said they would apply the law loosely while people adjust.

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation, told BBC the law would be "extremely challenging" to enforce. "The reality of the situation is we are struggling to attend burglaries."

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in five children, or around 15 million, between the ages of 3 and 11 were exposed to secondhand smoke in the U.S. during 2011 and 2012. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7, 000 chemicals, 70 of which cause cancer.

“The bottom line is that there is no risk-free level of exposure, ” said Brian King, deputy director for research translation with CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Any exposure of secondhand smoke is going to be dangerous.”

King said smoke exposure in closed areas like cars is highly concentrated, and children are particularly vulnerable. “They don’t have the luxury or inclination to remove themselves from a smoke-filled environment.”

Applying similar laws in the entire U.S. could help prevent health problems among children related to secondhand smoke like respiratory and inner ear infections, King said.

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U.S. considers nationwide smoking ban in public housing

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