Under a bill introduced in California, parents could be fined for smoking in their own cars in the presence of young children.
One day after the U.S. Surgeon General released the most damning study yet on secondhand smoke, a state Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday that would allow police to stop drivers guilty of puffing in the confines of their car when a child passenger is secured in a safety seat.
If the measure becomes law, violators who smoke a “lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette containing tobacco or any other plant” would receive a warning on the first offense, and a $100 fine the next time they are pulled over.
Under the bill, a smoker could be found guilty even if the car is parked or on private property. It would not, however, apply if the child were at least 6 years old — old enough to legally not have to be in a safety seat.
I don’t smoke. I hated all the smoke I inhaled as a kid being driven around by my mother. But there are limits to the government’s ability to enforce good parenting choices. Next they’ll ban smoking in your own home, then letting your children eat marshmallow fluff.