A painter and decorator from Ceredigion says he is "dumbfounded" after being slapped with a £30 fine for smoking a cigarette in his own van.
Gordon Williams says he had popped to the shops earlier this month, when he was pulled over by council officials.
"I was told that because my van is my place of work I had broken the smoking laws," he said.
A council spokesperson said anyone handed a fine is eligible to appeal against the decision.
"I am dumbfounded - the van is only insured for private use and to get me to and from work," added Mr Williams, from Llanafan, near Aberystwyth.
"It not my place of work - I decorate houses not vans."
The grandfather decried the on-the-spot penalty as the "Big Brother state going too far".
He added: "I respect anyone who chooses not to smoke, but I would also ask for the same respect to have the freedom to smoke in my own private vehicle."
Mr Williams was driving on the A487 near Aberystwyth in his unmarked blue Suzuki Carrier van when he was pulled over by council officials carrying out spot checks on the safety of vehicles.
He believes it is the first ticket of its kind handed out by the council since the smoking regulations came in last year - the fixed penalty notice was number 0001.
Mr Williams' wife Sue has already paid the fine, fearing it would increase if not settled promptly.
But her husband remains defiant, and said he would be challenging the punishment.
"I have appealed against this even though I initially paid the fine otherwise it would have increased to £50.
"I've sent up my insurance certificate and am awaiting the outcome.
Simon Clark, the director of smoking freedom group Forest, condemned the fine as "absolutely ridiculous".
He said: "It smacks of some jobsworth council official interpreting the law to the most extreme level.
"This surely is not what the change in the law was intended for - it was not meant to harass and persecute people going about their ordinary lives.
"It is ridiculous that someone should be fined for smoking in their own private vehicle away from any workplace."
Ceredigion Council said they could not comment on individual cases.
A spokesperson added: "The legislation allows for a right of appeal and the procedures in relation to this are set out in the notices."