Any sane parent wouldn’t dream of giving their kids cigarettes.
Why, then, do so many believe it’s okay to smoke cigarettes around their young children?
Secondhand smoke is just as deadly and dangerous, and it can lead to all the same consequences faced by those who are actually doing the smoking.
It causes countless deaths every single year.
This is why Indiana is said to be preparing to propose a special bill that protects the welfare of children of smokers or who may be around smokers.
The bill proposes to make it illegal for any smoking activity to be carried out inside a car when a child aged 6 or younger is inside.
Some people think that opening a window while they smoke is sufficient to keep their kids safe.
But this is far from the case.
Countless health problems can arise from a young child being subjected to an environment packed with cigarette fumes, including asthma, inner-ear and respiratory infections, and, worst of all, lung cancer.
Secondhand smoke is responsible for around 2.5 million deaths since the year 1964, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is likely why Indiana is taking steps to join others, including Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Oregon, California, Vermont, Maine, and Utah, in curbing the growing numbers of these statistics.
Meanwhile, across the pond, England and Wales already have legislation in place that prohibits any smoking in a vehicle with someone aged 18 or under (or, in other words, with minors).
Drivers are held responsible for upholding this law and ensuring that everyone else in their vehicle abides by it.
In the event that someone is found guilty of smoking in a car with a minor, both the offender and the car’s driver are liable and must pay a fine of £50, the equivalent of around $66 in the US.
Meanwhile, American states have much more strict fines, with a $1000 fine placed on first-time offenders.
Second offenders must part with $2000.
But once you hit three offenses, you’ll have to cough up a whopping $10,000 fine.
These high fines are definitely significant, but considering the fact that it’s someone’s life on the line – a child no less – they’re thought to be the appropriate amount to truly deter any breaking of these laws.
Senator Jim Merritt has high hopes that the bill and its campaign will raise awareness of this that this campaign will help draw attention to the importance of safeguarding a child’s health.
Of course, he is also prepared to meet some resistance and knows that the enforcement process will likely be one that is easier to talk about than do.
Regardless, he does believe that the law is a great step to healthier, cleaner environments for children and serves as a good starting point.
Most are in agreement that this bill is a crucial turning point for the state in terms of dealing with secondhand smoke and protecting children from it.
If it is successfully passed, it will likely be in effect beginning July this year.