California bans smoking in cars with kids

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, In The News

As of January first, it will be illegal to smoke in a car in California when a minor is present. "Protecting the health of our children is among government's highest responsibilities," said state Senator Jenny Oropeza, the bill's author. "It is clear that increasing public awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke is the right thing to do."

Unfortunately, Oropeza had to make a major concession that took a lot of the bill's power away -- police cannot stop a driver just for smoking. The officer would have to stop the driver for another offense, such as speeding or running a red light. Still, smokers can be fined up to $100 for smoking in a car with kids.

Personally, I would have liked to see the bill go through allowing cops to pull someone over just for smoking, but this is certainly better than nothing. If someone wants to sit in a small, enclosed space like a car and inhale carbon monoxide and other toxins, that's their prerogative, in my opinion. To force children to do the same, however, is not okay.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.