Smoking With Kids in the Car Could Cost You $500

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Seven states have passed laws that prohibit smokers from lighting up in cars where children are present. And several others are considering it. Good idea or not?

In several states, it’s against the law to smoke in a car if children are present.

An Oregon law that took effect on Jan. 1 penalizes smokers with a $250 fine for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses if they are caught lighting up with someone under the age of 18 in the car, says The Oregonian. It’s a secondary offense, meaning the cops can’t stop you if they see you smoking with kids around but can issue you a ticket after pulling you over for a primary offense.

Six other states — Arkansas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine and Utah — have similar laws, says the Star-Ledger in New Jersey, where there’s a proposal to impose a $100 fine for smoking in a car with anyone 16 or younger.

In Michigan, a proposed bill would set a $500 fine for smoking in the presence of anyone under 18 in a vehicle, and it would be a primary offense, reports MLive.

HealthDay News said a poll shows 82 percent of Americans think smoking should be banned in cars with kids younger than 13. It added:

Current smokers are among those who think that children should be protected from secondhand smoke: 60 percent of current smokers would support a ban on smoking in cars carrying children, compared with 84 percent of former smokers and 87 percent of people who never smoked, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found.

What do you think about these bans? Is this good policy or too much government involvement in people’s personal affairs? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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