Parents Who Smoke With Kids in the Car Slapped With Big Fines
The news is spreading across the country but if you’ve somehow missed it, here’s the headline. States are beginning to impose hefty fines on parents who smoke with children in the car.
Whether or not you smoke is entirely your choice and I would never presume to lecture you about your choice. I hope that’s not what you take away from this post.
By the way, a couple other parenting posts our readers are loving right now are one about kids with anxiety and another that explains why kids misbehave around their moms and not other people. I hope you’ll love them, too.
Parents Who Smoke With Kids in the Car
When I was growing up I remember lots of parents who smoked with their kids in the car. It was pretty common, actually.
They’d usually crack a window and try to exhale out the little space. I don’t think they understood that secondhand smoke isn’t only about what a smoker breathes out. It also comes from the burning end of the cigarette.
Had they known, I have no doubt most wouldn’t have put any child in that sort of danger.
Since then, we’ve all learned a lot about the dangers of smoking around children. When you know better, you do better, right?
A new bill in Indiana have introduced legislation to discouraging adults from smoking with their kids in the car. A first time violation would cost offenders $1,000. Second offense…another $1,000. If they got caught a third time, that number would ramp up to $10,000.
States That Currently Have Smokefree Car Laws
In these states, you can be fined if you smoke in a car with children under a certain age.
Arkansas: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 14.
California: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 18.
Louisiana: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 13.
Maine: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 16.
Oregon: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 18.
Puerto Rico: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 18.
Utah: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 16.
Vermont: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 9.
Virginia: No smoking in a car transporting children under the age of 8.
(Source: American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation)
The fine amounts vary state to state, but they range from $25 all the way up to $2000. A number of other states are currently considering the initiative as well.
Talk to People Who May Smoke Around You Kids
I know it can sometimes be a challenge to get smokers in your life to agree not to smoke around your kids. Folks from another era may not truly understand how dangerous it can be. Others may straight up stubborn about it.
The truth is you can tell them about these fines, and you can tell them how dangerous it is, but what it comes down to is you putting your foot down.
Be forceful and don’t budge. It’s too important. One look at the warnings from the CDC about smoking around kids is terrifying.
This hard line also applies to other parents who smoke around your kids. If your kiddo is going to be in the car with them, they must agree they won’t smoke.
How Do You Handle Parents Who Smoke (or others)?
Have you faced this situation? What was the best way you found to deal with it? Do you have a spouse who smokes? I’m sure that’s a tough situation.
If you yourself are a smoker and want some help to quit, I really recommend visiting the CDC site. They have a ton of free help and even an app that is showing itself to be really effective.
Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this post!