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It May Be Illegal to Smoke with Children in a Car – Up to $10,000 Fine

on February 4, 2019
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It May Be Illegal to Smoke with Children in a Car – Up to $10,000 Fine

on February 4, 2019

We all know the dangers of second-hand smoke and especially the threat that it poses to children.  Yet, there are still people who choose to smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes around young children and expose them to second-hand smoke.  While it’s true that electronic cigarettes do not technically produce smoke, a study by Wolfgang Schober of the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority discovered that vaping indoors impairs indoor air quality. 

In a bid to reduce a child’s exposure to secondhand smoke, State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-District 31) and State Sen. Eddie Melton (D-District 3) of Indiana proposed Senate Bill No. 34, which would prohibit smoking in a car with a child under the age of six by classifying the act as a Class B infraction.  If you are caught violating the proposed law, it can be punishable by a $1,000 fine for the first offense. 

If you are caught multiple times violating the law, a fine of $10,000 by your third offense in the same 12-month period would be issued as it would be classified as a Class A infraction.  The bill was introduced on January 3rd, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law.  It is intended to protect the health of minors in the state of Indiana. 

Almost Half of a Million Americans Die Each Year from Smoking Cigarettes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking, and approximately 480,000 die each year from complications traced back to smoking cigarettes.  Smoking cigarettes can cause the following health issues:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Lung diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Eye diseases
  • Immune system infections

Secondhand smoke results in more than 41,000 deaths each year, as these smoke toxins are just as deadly for those exposed to secondhand smoke when compared to the smoke inhaled by traditional smokers.

Secondhand Smoke Contains More Than 7,000 Chemicals

It may come as a shock to some, but as no surprise to many that secondhand smoke is filled with thousands of chemicals and toxins that have been proven to cause cancer and other health complications.  Secondhand smoke is more likely to cause several health problems for infants and children than adults, and the symptoms occur more frequently.  Those symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe asthma attacks
  • Respiratory infections
  • Ear infections
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Smoking Costs the United States More Than $300 Billion Each Year

While the profit margins are quite high for cigarette brands and smoke shops, the United States is burdened with a cost that exceeds $300 billion each year thanks to the complications that are part and parcel with smoking. 

  • Approximately $170 billion is spent in direct medical care for adults suffering from complications due to smoking.
  • More than $156 billion is lost in productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.
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