Should smoking be banned in private vehicles? If the Marco Firebaugh Memorial Children’s Health and Safety Act of 2006 is passed, drivers in California will be fined if they are caught smoking with a child under the age of six in their vehicle. This applies to moving or parked vehicles. Vehicles on private property will not be an exception. If you pull into your driveway and decide that you want to light up before you enter your home, don’t have a child under the age of six in your vehicle. I don’t know if you will be forced to the ground and asked to place your hands behind your back so they can slap handcuffs on you or not (now there’s a picture for you), but the driver will be warned the first time and fined a $100.00 thereafter.
Lets take a look at this bill: health professionals who testified on behalf of the bill stated that recent studies show that secondhand smoke contributes to high rates of bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma in children. I personally believe this is true and I’m all for protecting our young, but why doesn’t this bill apply to children over the age of six? How can they leave out children of any age? Are they saying that children over the age of six aren’t harmed by second hand smoke because they can sit in the front seat of the vehicle or they don’t have to be in car seats? What about teens? I’m not understanding the logic.
Furthermore, are they going to pull police patrols from crime ridden neighborhoods to monitor private vehicle owners who smoke and their children? Do you think they are trying to shift the focus away from their smog infested cities to smokers because they can’t clean up their own state? You would think that one of the most smog infested states in the country would be more concerned about the rapists, murders, robbers, molesters, and gangsters rather than someone’s personal vehicle. If they’re not going to concern themselve with the criminals, you would think they would be trying to elininate the smog that’s affecting all of their citizens instead of focusing on smokers and their children. The obviously don’t see that the smog is contributing to these ills as well! What’s next, a bill that allows police officers to peep through the windows of private homes to detect parents smoking around children under the age of six?
Back to the controversial cigarette. If this product is so harmful, why is it legal? Could it be the almighty dollar? Industries make billions of dollars on the sell of tobacco annually. If these products are legal, how can one be fined for using them? Why don’t they fine the tobacco companies for perpetrating an addiction? To me selling cigarettes and fining a person for smoking them makes as much sense as alcohol being sold to an alcoholic, but locking up the alcoholic after he kills someone, beats the crap out of wife or kids, gets fired from their job because he or she is dysfunctional from the effects and can no longer provide for his/her family, and than costing society thousands of dollars for rehabilitation.
Lets look at this from another perspective, are they questioning a parent’s decison making skills? If a parent won’t protect their child from second hand smoke, they will. If they are so righteous and adamant about protecting children, why aren’t they protecting “all” children. I think the citizens/parents in this country should question these lawmaker’s decision making skills. What’s your thoughts?