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Moms Who Smoke in the Car Deserve to Be Punished

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2015 at 10:51 AM
  • 6 Replies

Moms Who Smoke in the Car Deserve to Be Punished

smoking in the carParents who light up cigarettes while driving with their kids might find themselves on the other end of a time-out if lawmakers have anything to say about it. Smoking laws on the table in at least two states would slap offenders with hefty fines. But while they aim to keep kids safe from secondhand smoke, many question whether the government should be involved in parenting parents.

The proposed legislation is on the table in both New Mexico and Florida. In the first state, getting caught smoking with anyone under 18 in the car could earn you as much as a $500 fine. In the Sunshine State, the age limit would be 13, and the result would be a "non-moving violation."

Shouldn’t it be our obligation as parents to keep our kids safe? We’ve taken care to ensure our children’s safety while driving by passing strict car seat and seat belt laws over the past few decades. And there’s legislation in place to make parents think twice before they text or are drunk behind the wheel.

This is not 1975.

A 2012 study in the journal Pediatrics concluded that being exposed to cigarette smoke in cars puts kids at risk for developing significant health care issues. Almost 60 percent of children living in the United States ages 3-11 are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s about 22 million kids. And since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed secondhand smoke.

Not only do we now know the dangers of letting kids bounce around the car untethered after dad’s had a couple of drinks, we also know that secondhand smoke poses serious health issues for children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to the CDC. Since the mid-'90s we've passed laws outlawing smoking in most public places -- including airplanes, restaurants, and offices -- and protecting adult nonsmokers nationwide from the more than 7,000 chemicals found in secondhand smoke.

Don’t kids have rights, too?

About 21 percent of US adults -- 45 million people -- continue to smoke despite the serious health risks and many of them are parents who willingly expose their children to secondhand smoke and disregard the warnings. Since common sense doesn’t seem to be in evidence, perhaps hitting those parents with hefty fines would be the necessary incentive. Seven states -- from California to Vermont -- have already passed legislation banning smoking while driving with children.

Kids deserve to be protected from their parents' irresponsible actions just as we try to protect them from other types of neglect. Although many might argue that it’s governmental overreach and a potentially slippery slope, there are just no benefits to smoking. It’s bad for smokers and nonsmokers alike.

We’ve adapted to it being eliminated from our bars and restaurants, airplanes, and workplaces; smokers will eventually get used to not being able to light up while driving with their kids.

What do you think of this law? Agree or disagree?


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by on Jan. 31, 2015 at 10:51 AM
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by Platinum Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 11:01 AM
2 moms liked this

I think smoking in the car with kids is disgusting and awful. Since some people can't be bothered to protect their kids, sometimes laws like this are necessary. Hell the only reason many parents even bother to use a car seat for their kid is because they are required to by law...this is the same thing really.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 11:12 AM

Honestly I don't agree with that. I don't smoke and I find it terrible that someone would smoke in their car (ever bought a used car from a smoker?) let alone with their kids in the car but if this happens where will it stop? You can't smoke in your home because you have kids? Think about it in other ways than smoking. You can't drink a beer or whatever in your home because you have a child. I think there are just certain places that the government shouldn't stick their noses in and this is one of them. How will it actually be enforced either?

by Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 11:17 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm a firm believer that the government and the mrs. Kravitz's of the world need get the f out of families lives. Short of serious abuse, parenting, marriages and families should fall under myob. These nanny laws about food, soda, etc are an overreach and a waste of governing bodies resources and time when there are issues that do fall under their responsibilities that they don't address and solve.
by Bronze Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 11:18 AM
1 mom liked this

My dad smoked 4 packs a day until I was 5, I remember everything was yellow and the smell, it was nasty, I whish someone would had stopped him.

Driving is not a right, is a privilege so I agree, kids need to be protected, if parents don't do it someone has.

by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2015 at 11:41 AM
1 mom liked this
We have the same law, with the age being 16. An infant can't make the choice not to ride with a smoking parent, they can't ask mommy or daddy to put it out, or even crack the window. The unfortunate truth is, sometimes kids need to be protected from the very people who should be their protectors.
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 1, 2015 at 7:51 PM

Second hand smoke is VERY dangerous. Being locked in a car full of second hand smoke is horribly dangerous for anyone, but especially kids. I understand the argument that the government can't or shouldn't tell us what to do with our own kids, but we have long since accepted a level of interference for the sake of keeping kids from truly dangerous situations. 

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