Smoking in the car, should it be illegal?

Various states now have a law banning smoking in a car with a minor present, is this fair?

Lizzy Mason, Staff Reporter

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Although cigarette smoking is not as prevalent in this day and age, it is still a common habit found across the country. Should the government be able to tell a smoker where they can and cannot smoke?

Designated smoking areas can be seen everywhere, in amusement parks, outside stores, or outside of airports. However, the government is taking even more control of where one is allowed to smoke their cigarettes. In states and territories such as California, Arkansas, Utah, Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Maine, Vermont, Virginia, and Mississippi, the law is being tested to see how successful it would be. This basically means that there is no federal law against smoking yet, as of right now it is the state’s individual choice.

But the problem that exists is, is this a fair law? Should the government be allowed to tell a citizen that they cannot even smoke in their own car?

In my opinion, yes, it is a fair law. A child sitting in the back seat of a car is not capable of deciding whether or not they choose to smoke, so why should it be fair for them to be forced to inhale secondhand smoke which on average kills 41,000 people a year. 

Now the law is not that one is never allowed to smoke in their car, it is that one must not smoke in the car with children present.

Each state’s law is a bit different when it comes to the age of the child that is in the car. It ranges from children 8 and younger (Vermont/Virginia) to 18 and younger (Mississippi/Oregon). Some other states have ages in between these.But nevertheless, this still is preventing anybody in these states to smoke with infants present.

The major issue with these laws is that they control what one chooses to do in the privacy in their own vehicle. What some people fail to take into account is that it is for the safety of the child. 

In my personal opinion, I think that while yes it is mildly annoying being told when and where one can and can’t do something, it is all about the health of a child who cannot physically or even legally decide whether or not they want to inhale all of the toxic chemicals that come with secondhand smoke. 

If the smoking ban goes well within these states it is possible that the government could make this a federal law for the entire country. And these bans don’t just apply to cigarettes they also include cigars and pipes.

I believe this law should be nationwide, not only for children’s health, but the smokers’ health as well.