Drivers are expected to be given a grace period as new laws banning smoking in cars containing children come into force from tomorrow.
The landmark legislation, which is designed to protect children from the effects of tobacco smoke, will see the driver and any smoker fined £50 if they have someone under 18 in the car with them.
Police and local authorities have been told they are able to enforce the law immediately, but are thought to favour a period of educating drivers rather than enforcement action.
A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokeswoman said: “As the existing smoke-free law extends to vehicles, police forces will be following guidance from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health by taking an educational, advisory and non-confrontational approach when enforcing the new legislation.
“Local authorities enforce the existing legislation and police forces are included as enforcement authorities for the new offences.
“During this period, individual offences that justify enforcement action will be reported to local authorities.”
Smoking groups had welcomed the new measures, which are designed to reduce the risks caused by second-hand smoke.