The Belgian government is proposing a law that would forbid vaping in vehicles in the presence of minors. Studies have shown that the automobile of a smoker is home to a level of carcinogens that rise 270% higher than the levels measured in the driver’s home. This new measure is destined to protect younger people and has drawn support from 90% of the national population. This law should come into force in late 2018, and the associated fine fixed at 150€.
According to LaLibre.be, the ban on smoking in vehicles in the presence of children will apply to tobacco but also to electronic cigarettes. Despite this, the Minsiter of the Environment Carlo Di Antonio seemed hesitant to comment on the subject in his response to the journalist.
Indeed, the law is not entirely explicit. The text indicates that it would be “forbidden to smoke” without specifying the type of product. However, given Belgium recently strengthened local legislation regarding vaping products by prohibiting online or mail order sales, this interdiction may also extend to drivers who vape. There remain active Belgian websites selling e-cigarette products, so it’s hard to say if this legislation is being enforced.
The rules of vaping at the wheel in France
In France, the ban on smoking in vehicles where children under the age of 12 are passengers dates back to July 1st, 2015. But is vaping considered equivalent to smoking in French law?
The text is not clear regarding the use of e-cigarettes at the wheel. In any case, the French Driver’s Manual states that drivers must always be in full control of their vehicle. In other words, take no action that could impact their driving performance. Such as holding something in one’s hand.
In case of a police stop, officers of the law must use their best judgement to determine if the actions of the driver, vaping for example, could endanger the lives of others. So vaping at the wheel could be an expensive habit. Drivers infracting on these laws may risk fines up to 450 €, while in most cases the fine will be 68 €.