It’s definitely been a bad year for smokers, and it’s barely April! A few months ago, it was announced Marlboro’s parent company, Philip Morris International, would stop making cigarettes to focus on tobacco-free products and electronic cigarettes, and now, a new Indiana bill is aiming to fine people caught smoking in a car with a child.
State Sens. Jim Merritt and Eddie Melton introduced the bill, which would make smoking in a car with a child under the age of 6 a crime. The first offense would be punishable by a $1,000 civil fine. A third offense within a 12-month period would result in a maximum fine of $10,000.
The bill has bipartisan authors with Melton being a Democrat and Merritt a Republican. The American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation lists nine states in which it is illegal to smoke with a child in a car, including California, Louisiana, Arkansas, Utah, Vermont, Maine, Oregon, *Puerto Rico, and Virginia.
If passed, the federal law would go into effect on July 1, 2019. The main reason why the bill is being proposed is to protect children from breathing toxic air, which is considered hazardous. Since children have smaller bodies proportionally, they take in a larger volume of air, even when a window is down.