New law would ban smoking in cars when children are present

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New law would ban smoking in cars when children are present
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A bill that could stop Oklahomans from smoking with kids in the car has cleared a House committee.

Read more: New study finds the best way to quit smoking

Should all states ban smoking in cars while children are present?

The bill by Rep. Donnie Condit, D-McAlester, would make it illegal to smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars if a child is in a vehicle. The penalty for violating the law would be a $20 fine. Learn more about this specific bill.

Several states have introduced similar bills but have failed to get any new legislation passed; however, many states continue to push the issue.

Georgia State Representative Sandra Scott has pre-filed legislation that would ban adults from smoking in a vehicle when anyone under 18 is also in the car.

Scott says she understands that a law like this may be difficult to enforce, but ‘the goal is as much about education as anything else.’

‘I would tell them to think about their kids, think about their children, think about the cost that they could incur from smoking in the car with their kids, think about the life of their child,’ Scott told Fox5 Atlanta.

According to the Public Health Law Center, below is a list of states where it’s currently illegal to smoke with minors in the car and the penalty/fine for breaking the law. (Note: State laws vary on the age threshold of children when considering whether someone has violated the law in question.)

  • Arkansas: Up to $25; may be eliminated if violator enters a cessation program
     
  • California: Up to $100
     
  • Louisiana: $150 or a minimum of 24 hours of community service 
     
  • Maine: $50 fine or warning 
     
  • Oregon: 1st offense, $250; subsequent violations, $500
     
  • Utah: Maximum fine of $45; may be suspended if violator has no prior convictions & enrolls in cessation program; violation may not be used as evidence of child abuse or neglect
     
  • Vermont: Maximum fine of $100
     
  • Virginia: Subject to fine of $100

Do you think all states should adopt similar laws? Tell us what you think on Facebook or Twitter!

Read more: Not exercising may be just as bad for you as smoking

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Alex Thomas Sadler About the author:
Alex is the former Managing Editor of Clark.com.
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