woman smoking
Lung cancer deaths have overtaken breast cancer in women in developed countries.Reuters

England is to bring into law on 1 October, a ban on smoking in cars with children.

The regulation was passed in the Commons after 342 MPs voted in favour, while 74 voted against the move.

Drivers exempted from the law are those driving alone or driving a convertible with top down.

Anyone found in violation of the law in England will reportedly be fined £50.

British Lung Foundation has reported that over 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars each week.

Dr Penny Woods, chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "This is a tremendous victory. We urge the Government to show the same commitment to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products, in order to protect the 200,000 children taking up smoking every year in this country.

"We are certain that these measures together will prove to be two of the most significant milestones for public health since the smoke-free legislation of 2007."

Public health experts have repeatedly cited passive smoke as a major factor leading to asthma, meningitis and cot death, reported BBC News.

A similar smoking ban is already in place in Wales and Scotland is also rumoured to be considering a similar ban.

"Three million children are exposed to second hand smoke in cars, putting their health at risk," said Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison.

"We know that many of them feel embarrassed or frightened to ask adults to stop smoking which is why the regulations are an important step in protecting children from the harms of secondhand smoke."