The law is forced to intervene when parents fail to realize the harm they are causing to their children. This is one of those acts that perhaps benefits the doer but has an effect on the surroundings which can be either good or bad. Smoking falls in the latter category.
The danger of second-hand smoke was not considered a threat for decades until the evidence started wafting in. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that an estimated 2.5 million lives were lost due to passive smoking in the US since 1964. Tobacco smoking causes 480,000 deaths every year and accounts for 20% of all preventable deaths in the United States, reports the CDCP.
We normally associate smoking with lung cancer. It is the number one tobacco-related killer. But there are many other diseases that non-smokers contract through second-hand smoke. These are particularly more dangerous for our children.
The immediate effect of smoking on the sensitive respiratory system of a child is wheezing and coughing. Those are the first signs of asthma attacks. Children also suffer from inner ear infections as a result of passive smoking and generally fall ill more frequently.
Different states have, as a result, approved laws that make smoking in vehicles punishable if there is a child below 6 inside. As per reports of Legal Beagle, at the end of 2018, Louisiana, California, Arkansas, Utah, Maine, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont were among those states.
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The latest to join the list is Indiana. The Bill has been proposed by state Senators Eddie Melton and Jim Merritt. The Senators have brought in legislation that will make it expensive to be caught smoking in vehicles with children around. The fine will be $1,000 for first offenders. It will increase by ten times for the third offense in the same year. Senator Jim Merritt admits that enforcement will be a bit stiff but it will help to raise awareness that second-hand smoking poses.
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Many people have come out in support of this proposed bill. One even suggested that every state should hop on this as smoking with children around is one of the most selfish and disgusting things any adult can do. But others have pointed out that it isn’t right to tell people what they can or can’t do in the privacy of their car or their home.
This law is being proposed only in Indiana but setting aside the law we owe our children a healthy life and if we cannot quit for our sake we should do it at least for the health of the kids.
IMAGE CREDIT: Satjawat Boontanataweepol