Should Parents Be Fined For Smoking With A Kid In The Car?

I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I sure inhaled my fair share of my mom’s, dad’s and stepfather’s tobacco when I was a child. Surely one of my earliest developed motor skills was learning how to roll down the window in our Chevy Nova. Now a bill under consideration by the New York State Assembly seeks to put an end to such behavior by fining adults who light up with a child in the vehicle.

The bill would slap a $100 fine on anyone caught smoking in the same vehicle as a child under the age of 14.

Says the State Senator who sponsored the bill:

A child gets in the car where mommy or daddy or Aunt Nancy are smoking and doesn’t have the option of leaving.

I don’t know… The kid could always try to make a break for it at the stoplight.

What do you think of this legislation? Will it do anything to curb smoking around children? Won’t it be difficult to enforce, as cigarettes are easily extinguished and the smoker could claim “I put it out right before I picked up the kid”?

Sound off with your opinions in the comments.

New Law Would Fine You for Smoking in Car with Child [Gothamist]


Edit Your Comment

  1. johnva says:

    I’d say yes, given that it’s now proven fact that children of smokers have more health problems. For example, it’s been shown that the children of smokers have an asthma rate that is much higher than the baseline. It’s simply not acceptable behavior, period, to smoke in a confined space around children who are a captive audience there. I know smokers are addicts and all, but seriously? Do they “need” their nicotine so badly that they’re willing to harm their own children over it? Or are they just in denial about that fact?

    • qwickone says:

      While I completely agree with your sentiment and at a first glance I thought “hell yeah they should ban it”, I’m afraid it sets a dangerous precedent about what people do around/with their kids. It’s clearly obvious that feeding your kids unhealthy food makes them have, often lifelong, health issues. Are we going to say parents could be fined for feeding their kids fruit roll ups? I’m not usually the slippery slope type, but I don’t think my example is a leap. Kids pretty much don’t have a choice as far as if their parents feed them unhealthy foods or not, just like being in the car with a smoker.

      • johnva says:

        I think that in general, parents should not have the right to subject their children to dangerous and unhealthy conditions, not just when it comes to smoking. However, I do think there is a pretty big difference between say, unhealthy food regulation and smoking. Food is more of a grey area since in that case it’s mainly about moderation rather than outright danger. A fruit roll up every once in a while is not going to kill your kid or make them obese. On the other hand, there is no amount of smoking in a confined space around your kid that can make that safe or part of a healthy lifestyle for them. And anyway, smoking in a car around their kids is never necessary: smokers can always just refrain from doing so, or stop the car for a smoke break if they really need one.

        But the main reason I don’t think it’s a slippery slope is social norms. Some things are just deemed “acceptable” even if they’re not. And social norms change slowly over time. Smoking around kids was much more socially acceptable 50-60 years ago than it is today, which is why we’re now getting this sort of regulation. Furthermore, we have a lot more scientific evidence of harm now.

        • qwickone says:

          Some foods ARE outright dangerous (certain partially hydrogenated oils, for example). There is no amount of which there is healthy consumption (I don’t know the sources to cite, but please accept it as true for the sake of argument). I agree that people are more aware that smoking is really, really bad for kids and fewer people know how bad for you partially hydrogenated oils are. Isn’t that all the more reason we don’t need the smoking type of legislation, but the food type? And just like one fruit roll up isn’t killing anyone, neither is being in car while one cigarette is smoked. And no one NEEDS a fruit roll up. Basically, all of the “dont smoke with kids in the car” arguments can be used for certain foods (if not my oil example, I’m sure there’s at least one food that fits) – and not just about moderation, but the food is actually completely unhealthy.

          Just to clarify, I’m completely torn on this issue and I WANT you to convince me that you’re right because it’s totally reprehensible to smoke with kids in the car. I’m just not there yet.

          • johnva says:

            I think partially hydrogenated oils should be banned completely, but for a different reason: that they’re harmful to everyone, and nothing but a money-saving scheme by food manufacturers. So in my view, when there are ready alternatives to something that is dangerous and unhealthy, regulation is reasonable to impose. It’s just about pushing people in the right direction. But that’s more of a regulation of corporations rather than individual behavior.

            And actually, just one cigarette in your car COULD, in fact, kill your kid if your kid has developed asthma (or had it for other reasons such as genetics). It could trigger a fatal asthma attack.

            I think a crucial component of when it’s reasonable to regulate individual behavior is education: first, there needs to be widespread knowledge that something is harmful to children before it’s reasonable to start charging people with a criminal or civil offense for continuing to do it. Lots more parents are ignorant about which foods are and are not harmful to their kids, and what constitutes a balanced diet than are ignorant about the fact that smoking could/will harm their children’s health. So in my view the difference is that there is so much accumulated data, and so much widespread public education on the subject, that it’s ridiculous to deny that you’re hurting your kids at this point by smoking in a confined space around them. Since parents “should know better” by now, it’s now reasonable to regulate their behavior via the law.

            People can disagree on when that critical mass of evidence and public knowledge is reached, but resolving that is what the democratic political system is for.

            • qwickone says:

              I just really hate the government stepping on civil liberties. I realize that in the case of children, who can’t defend their own civil liberties, we have to infringe upon the rights of the parents; I just don’t like where this one could potentially, without great leaps, lead to. I would rather there just be a huge shame campaign against people who do this rather than actual legislation.

              I too agree that partially hydrogenated oil and cigarettes should be outright banned, but until they are, I just can’t accept that it’s the government’s place to tell me how to consume it, despite kids being involved.

              Is that counter to my civil liberties argument? See? I’m so torn, I think I may be arguing with myself at this point.

              • johnva says:

                Trust in democracy. Government doesn’t just do these things by fiat in a vacuum. They do it because it’s supported by many people for a wide variety of reasons. If you don’t like the direction government is going, get involved in issue activism. Too many people just whine instead of doing something, and then act like government is forcing it on them. Democracy is the check on government going too far, and it needs the constant work and vigilance of ordinary citizens in order to survive.

                I also think that in this particular case there is a clear-cut conflict between the rights/liberties of the children and the adults. It’s not taking away any rights from the adults to impose a regulation on them that just says they can’t harm their children in a certain way, because they never had the right to harm their children in the first place. The regulation only becomes necessary because too many people need a push to do the right thing.

                • AnthonyC says:

                  Don’t just trust in it. Participate in it.

                  As soon as you say either “Democracy will take care of it,” or “I don’t want to government to interfere,” you immediately cede control to those who loudly tell their government what they want it to do.

                • huadpe says:

                  The issue I have with this is more that it is something cops can use to harass people they’ve pulled over.

                  This is for a few reasons:

                  1. There is almost no physical evidence that could possibly contradict the cop, so they can lie in court with no repercussions.
                  2. It gives cops an excuse to ask teenagers in a car for ID to “verify their age” if someone in the car is smoking. I hate the tendency of cops to use “papers please” sort of requests (so a car full of 18 year olds could get harassed badly by this)
                  3. Almost no kids with their parents actually carry age identifying ID, so the cop can give a ticket based on what the child “looks like,” which adds way too much uncertainty into the equation.

                  It’s a very big deal to criminalize something (and fines are criminal punishments), and not something that should be taken lightly.

                  • Difdi says:

                    But you’re already on the hook that way as regards to #1. If it’s your word against a cop on ANYTHING, the cop wins in court even if you have some circumstantial evidence on your side.

                • Difdi says:

                  The nature of democracy, without some sort of limits in place that said democractic government can’t overturn, is rather like two wolves and a single lamb voting on what to eat for dinner.

              • freshyill says:

                The health of those around you trumps your desire to poison yourself with toxic smoke. If any civil liberty is in question, it is the right of your children to breathe clean air.

              • Difdi says:

                You don’t have a right (civil or otherwise) to smoke. In places with no laws against it, the nature of US law (anything not specifically prohibited is allowed) means smokers can smoke. But no one has a right to smoke. Passing a law about it does not infringe a right.

                Or put another way, I myself have a fairly strong asthmatic reaction to tobacco smoke. But quirkily, I not only suffer almost no ill effects from exposure to skunk spray (I’ve had worse eye pain from shampoo), I actually enjoy the smell more than tobacco smoke. Opening a jar of the stuff covers up the stench of tobacco quite nicely. But here’s the thing: Most people have a far stronger reaction than I do, to the extent some people react like they’d been sprayed with mace just standing next to such an open jar. The vast majority of people have a reaction to the stuff exactly as strong as my reaction to cigar smoke. Do I have a right to walk around with an open jar of it? If someone lights a cigarette or cigar next to me, do I have a right to open the jar?

    • jurisenpai says:

      I find your ideas intriguing and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

      Smokers are totally in denial about it. I knew kids in grade school who had horrible asthma and their parents still would smoke around them in the car because nicotine was more important than their children’s lungs.

    • Draygonia says:

      Why not roll down the windows? There is no smoke problem there. Don’t deny it…

      Yes, it is rather crass to smoke around yours or anyone elses kids (I don’t), but this is, as qwickone said, setting a precedent for future votes… I don’t want to start down that path.. There is no need for a law when we have LOGIC.

      • johnva says:

        Legislation is not based on “precedent”.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          Except for the Nuremberg trials.

          Yes! I win 1000 Godwins!

          Just keeping it light…

      • carbonmade says:

        Good idea! Then, the smoke passes right by your nose on the way out the window!

      • rdclark says:

        Sure. Pneumonia now is better than cancer later.

      • Difdi says:

        And yet, quite a few people don’t. Those are the ones we need the laws for.

      • kujospam says:

        Rolling down the windows doesn’t work at all. My wife smokes all the time in the car and sometimes I have to yell at her about it. She gets all pissy about it. And yes All the windows are rolled all the way down. Sometimes it ends up tearing up my eyes, and other times it makes me cough a lot. not good while driving. I say ban smoking in cars in general. It would put the argument done and over for us.

    • AngryK9 says:

      Show me this alleged “proof”. I am a child of heavy smokers and have no health issues.

      You breathe far more crap into your body just from day to day breathing.

      • johnva says:

        Hear you go:

        Parental smoking and prevalence of respiratory symptoms and asthma in school age children

        Increased Incidence of Asthma in Children of Smoking Mothers

        I found those in 5 seconds of Googling, and there are definitely many more. So basically: you’re wrong. And as I told someone else in this thread, you fail at statistics. There is an increased RATE of these respiratory health problems in children of smokers (as I correctly stated in my very first post). That doesn’t mean that ALL children of smokers get them…it just means that the statistical likelihood is higher. So your single data point in no way disproves any of the scientific studies.

        And again, let’s apply some basic logic: if we’re all breathing bad stuff all the time, then isn’t it going to be WORSE to be breathing that stuff AND second-hand smoke?

        • Alvis says:

          So shouldn’t it be “more children of smokers have health problems” instead of “children of smokers have more health problems”?

      • rdclark says:

        You’ve been shown your proof. And now to offset your anecdote: I grew up in a family of smokers. I was a smoker by age 14. My mother died of emphysema in her early 50s. My dad died of esophageal cancer at 66. And I myself had a massive heart attack at age 45.

        Denial is a poor health-care plan.

      • Difdi says:

        Pollution is additive. Already breathing in some unavoidably doesn’t mean breathing in more is harmless.

      • crazedhare says:

        Agreed. Should we fine parents who have their children live in urban areas, which is a strong predictor of increased asthma in children? What about parents who buy a house near a Superfund site? Should we fine parents who refuse to give vaccinations (actually, I would say yes to that one!)? Should we fine parents who don’t read to their children? Should we fine parents who feed their kids fast food? Enough is enough.

  2. TuxthePenguin says:

    Why don’t we stop pussy-footing around this and just ban it? We’re getting close to a virtual ban…

    • johnva says:

      No, we’re not.

      You’re still perfectly free to smoke in your own home, or almost anywhere else where you’re not imposing your unhealthy lifestyle choice on everyone else.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Kids under the age of 14 don’t live in the same house as their parents? There is no difference between smoking in the car and smoking in your home around children. None.

        • johnva says:

          A car is more confined, so there is not “no difference” . And smoking around your kids indoors, period, is bad behavior and negligent parenting, and should be banned also (although as a practical matter it would be harder to enforce). You’re still free to smoke at home not around them, with no ethical problems (just step outside for a minute like most considerate smokers do).

          I’m just not buying this black-and-white garbage from the smoking martyrs. Regulation of your drug addiction so that it doesn’t affect other people does not amount to a “virtual ban”. It just means that you’re not allowed to be an asshole about it.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            So, then the relative proximity of the smoke in similar confined spaces is proportional to its danger? A child sitting in the back seat of a minivan is at X amount of risk from second-hand smoke, (from maybe one or two cigarettes per car ride) but that same child, living in a two bedroom apartment with his smoking parents (who smoke a pack a day) is at X-Y risk?

            I’d like to see that data on that study, that you just now made up.

            • johnva says:

              Engage in denialism all you want. It doesn’t make it any less harmful. Do you even believe that second-hand smoke is dangerous at all, or do you think all of those studies are “made up” too?

              This is basic, basic science: when you mix one thing into a smaller volume of air vs. a larger volume of air, it’s going to be at a higher concentration in the smaller volume of air. If that same substance is harmful to human health, it’s generally going to be more harmful at higher concentration.

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                Oh, I don’t deny the danger of second hand smoke at all. In fact, as of this past Monday, I’ve been a former smoker for one month. I’d like to see an outright nationwide ban on cigarettes, not a misguided state ban on basic liberties.


                “It’s generally going to be more harmful at higher concentration.”

                Yes, and smoking more cigarettes in the home would result in a higher concentration over time than a few in the car (especially with the window open). This proposed ban is unnecessary and is yet another example of the result NY financial mismanagement. Health has nothing to do with it.

                • Randell says:

                  You make no sense at all. I have no problem with people smoking. If you want to kill yourself, go for it. BUT, when you inflict your addiction on your child, you should have them removed. I feel exactly the same about alcohol. If you are an alcoholic, you should have your children removed until you have your addiction under control,. The same as a heroin addict. I think people should be allowed to use all drugs at their own risk. Just not when it risks others who can not make an informed decision to leave (children)

                  • chaesar says:

                    did you just compare a smoker to a heroin addict? did you? why not introduce Hitler into the argument and bring this thing to its logical end?

                    • HogwartsProfessor says:

                      For an addict, yes, it is like heroin. Or booze, or crack or meth or whatever. Name your poison. Some people can have an occasional ciggie and not smoke again for months, like my sister. She will go out with friends for a glass of wine and bum a cig. Addicts can’t; they have to stay away from it altogether or start up again. I know, because I’ve been one for twenty years, been smoke-free for three.

                    • chaesar says:

                      he was using it in reference to an addiction inflicting harm on a child

                      a smoker may give their child long-term respiratory issues, BUT

                      a heroin addict may let their kid starve or fall down a flight of stairs and break its neck, or drown in a bathtub or cook in a hot car with the windows rolled up because they’re passed out from shooting heroin

                      not to mention smokers can be completely successful adults and only have to interact with a convenience store owner to get their fix, but heroin addicts usually cant keep the rent paid or food on teh table and hang around all sorts of criminal element for theirs

                    • bigTrue says:

                      Is there a difference? Being addicted to anything is in the same boat, if it’s cupcakes, nicotine or heroin.

                      Just because one is legal and another isn’t doesn’t change the fact they’re all addictions.

            • WhoLikesPie? says:

              your “similar confined spaces” is not true… i don’t know anyone who’s vehicle is the same size as a living room, well maybe an RV but even then i doubt it.
              It’s basic math … (all hypothetical numbers, but the algebra should stay the same)
              your vehicle has 100 cubic feet of space and you fill it with 1 cubic feet of smoke. Your living room has 1000 cubic feet of space, that same cigarette will fill it with .1 or 110 cubic feet of smoke… this should reduce the PPM of smoke per volume of air. therefore you’d be breathing in less and you’d have to smoke 10 cigarettes to equal that one in the car. again, the numbers aren’t from anywhere other than my imagination, but you could see that the rate of smoke inhalation would increase in a vehicle… just pray it isn’t a Geo Metro…

              again, it’s more about the rate of inhalation / exposure than it is the principle of where you’re smoking… hell why don’t we just let parents exhale into a tube that feeds the smoke directly into their children’s lungs.

      • chaesar says:

        but what if the windows are closed cause its winter and the kid is grounded, then he has no where to go, and its a small apartment and and and

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Except when you rent. I hate cigarette smoke, and I will never live in an apartment or condo complex where it’s allowed inside. Every time I come home after work, there are always a few people in the courtyard smoking away. When we had our gigantic Snowpocalypse in February, there were people shivering outside to get their smokes. I just shook my head and walk past them.

        • johnva says:

          That’s a private contractual condition that the smokers voluntarily agree to by signing a lease that prohibits them from smoking indoors. They’re not losing any “freedom” because some landlords don’t let them smoke indoors (because it stinks up the place and can be a fire hazard): they can just not live there if they don’t like it.

      • Alexk says:

        And how long before someone suggests Child Protective Services be able to unilaterally declare you an unfit parent for smoking in your home?

        Either ban smoking or live with it. This incremental invasion is not a good thing.

        • jurisenpai says:

          I saw someone in my complex standing outside in a *huge* thunderstorm, smoking away while getting soaked.

          I cannot imagine being so addicted to something that I would risk my safety for a fix.

    • leprechaunshawn says:

      Exactly! If cigarettes are “so dangerous” why not just ban them outright? Wait that’s right, they’re too much of a tax cash cow.

    • rpm773 says:

      Can’t happen. There are several city and state governments that are completely funded by cigarette taxes at this point. Running on fumes, as it were.

    • JF says:

      Well for one, outright prohibition does not work. It didn’t work for alcohol and it hasn’t worked for drugs.

  3. farcedude2 says:

    I’d agree with this, as they really don’t have a choice, and there are proven health risks. Also, it couldn’t be any harder to enforce than texting bans – cop sees someone smoking in a car, kid in the back seat, and bam, you pull them over.

    • longdvsn says:

      I agree that it isn’t any harder to enforce than a texting ban. But texting bans are actually quite hard to enforce (I was just dialing to make a call, I was looking up directions, etc…many reasons that are not ‘texting’). Here, it’ll be “I put it out before the kid got in”, or “it wasn’t actually lit…I was just holding on to it and will wait until I drop the kid off”, etc.

      Either way, I support the legislation. At the very least, it sends a message.

    • Kragma says:

      I think if the health risks were “proven” they’d be banned. Actually if the studies are even close to right, we’d probably be putting people on trial for murder. But the studies are flimsy and there’s too much money involved to even try it.

      Fact is anti-smoking is as much a business as tobacco companies are. They’re both run by vile people with agendas that have very little interest in promoting pubic health. If these groups actually cared they’d be pushing for a ban, not more fines and taxes that line their own pockets.

      • johnva says:

        I don’t agree that it makes you “vile” to want to protect public health (and yes, get paid for doing it – it’s a job). Especially not as “vile” as someone who sells a deadly product for profit, and lies about the risks.

        The risks are proven, so it’s pure denialism at this point to claim there aren’t any. We don’t ban cigarettes for adults because we assume that adults are free to make their own decisions about engaging in a dangerous drug habit. Subjecting kids to it against their will is another matter.

    • harrier666 says:

      They SHOULD ban it for those reasons – driving distraction and littering. It may not be their main motivation for banning it, but it would smooth the road for doing so. I get so sick of jerks throwing their butt out the window on the street. And sick of smelling it as I drive by. I do have asthma and it is a trigger for me.. ban the crap!

  4. daveinva says:

    No. No more nanny state rules. New York has more important things to worry about, like a terminally broken state employee pension system.

    Totally unrelated, I’m not sure I understand the concept of Max Cigarettes. Sure, you could smoke *less* cigarettes by smoking *longer* ones, but you’re still getting the *same volume* of cigarette, no? My head hurts…

    • LINIStittles says:

      They were sold before math was invented.

    • partofme says:

      Ahhh, thus illuminating the difference between “less” and “fewer” (no, they’re not interchangeable). Learn it. Use it. Love it.

      • chaesar says:

        the cigs were probably skinnier so the manufacturer could use the same amount of tobacco but give the idea of “more cigarette”

        even if you smoke longer cigarettes of the same width, your body will become accustomed to more nicotine and you will eventually smoke the same number of cigs in a day

        oh tobacco marketing, you taught me so much about myself

    • thrillhouse says:

      Isn’t this precisely where the nanny-state metaphor is okay, i.e., when we’re trying to look after the interests of small children?

      This isn’t nannying of full-fledged adults: it’s saying to them that if they can’t stop being negligent toward their children (rather than themselves — they can put whatever they want into their own lungs), somebody else is going to step in and do it for them.

    • ej84 says:

      I am so tired of the expression “nanny state”. What is wrong with doing things to protect people? What is wrong with asking and expecting the government to take this role when that is the only way things that need to get done will get done?

      “Nanny state” is an expression that tries to link things that are protective and/or nurturing to something that is supposedly bad because it is not tough or masculine. It tries to make it seem as though people who want protection are “sissies”. It castigates those who are weaker or need protection by implying that they are wimps. I think that using the expression “nanny state” is very closely linked to bullying.

      • wheeldawg says:

        The term isn’t really correct in this case, as it is usually used in a negative sense to refer to laws that protect from something that really isn’t dangerous.
        Smoking actually is dangerous, so I wouldn’t call that being a nanny state. I’d love a complete ban on cigarettes nationwide, and I’m not ashamed to say so. It’s not going against my masculinity to refuse to inhale cancer.

  5. Vandil says:

    I’m a grown man and I hate it when people smoke in the same car as me. When it’s my car, I get to set the rules, but in other people’s vehicles, perhaps even the smoker’s, I have to choose between the ride with smoke or walking.

    Children don’t have the choice, so I agree that there should be some way to discourage parents from smoking in cars, but I don’t think this law will do anything except annoy people.

    As a New Yorker, this law just makes me laugh at the idiocity of the state government, though, if passed, I would at least get a few laughs at the expense of a few smokers I know that have kids.

    • johnva says:

      What I would hope would come out of a law like this is primarily awareness. A $100 fine is pretty trivial, but it might wake a few smoking parents up to the fact that they’re harming they’re childrens’ health. I’d guess at least some of them just aren’t aware that they’re doing that, or are in denial about it (as opposed to the ones who just value their nicotine more than their children).

    • Southern says:

      Then you ride with rude people. When I have a non-smoking friend ride with me, I don’t smoke in the car, or in the case of longer trips, I’ll pull over into a rest area or something and smoke every now and then.

      I won’t even smoke in my own home if there’s company over (that are non-smokers).

      It’s just rude. *Shrug*

  6. Osi says:

    Umm no, they should be taken to court for attempted murder per offense.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      When is your birthday? Because I’d like to buy you a copy of Black’s Law Dictionary.

      • Osi says:

        Speaking english, or in case of this site, american will do you some good. Come back when you pass first grade.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          It’s generally accepted that while I may be a bit arrogant and obnoxious, I speak and write English quite well. The sentences to which you responded are perfect in syntax and structure; your reply is puzzling at best, and at worst, indicative of your relative intelligence.

          • Osi says:

            Wow, this troll do not know when to stop. Don’t worry, maturity is just around the corner.

            • chaesar says:

              I like where this is going

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              Case in point.

              • Osi says:


                • pantheonoutcast says:

                  Coconut water.


                  • Osi says:

                    Lol, you still believe in myth? Check Mate.

                    • pecan 3.14159265 says:
                    • Osi says:

                      Yep, check out the Amazon coupon section :) OMG it’s on the interwebz, it must be true ;)

                    • Fidget says:

                      For Christ’s sake, just leave. Take your softcore porn avatar, your pseudo-English and not-even-trying logic, and get out. You degrade the value of this site. Your existence degrades the value of this planet. Go in your back yard and tase a fucking dog, you worthless piece of commenting shit.
                      “Troll” does not mean what you think it means. “Grammar” does not mean what you think it means. “Check mate” does not mean what you think it means. So I’m hoping we’re both speaking the same American when I tell you to go to hell.
                      For the guy who comes by to disemvowel this, is there any way at all to flag a commenter? Really, go through any thread this person is on; they really are taking away from the value of the comments section as a whole.

                    • Osi says:

                      Fidget, uhh … you might want to actually reply to the person you are commenting on. If you know how to read, you would look over my comment history and clearly see your comment have no basis in reality.

                  • psm321 says:

                    WTH? I disagree with pantheonoutcast on almost everything, but his grammar is almost perfect, while you have made multiple mistakes even in your comments attempting to claim he made mistakes. Criticize on the merits of the arguments, not grammar, and especially not when there’s nothing wrong with the grammar.

            • nbs2 says:

              “Does,” not “do.” I believe that was covered in first grade.

            • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

              I agree, but only if you’re using “this troll” as a descriptive term for yourself.

              I don’t agree with PantheonOutcast much of the time, but his sentence constructs, grammar and word usage is always spot on. However, if checking your comment history is an adequate representation you need to either find a better translation program or just stop rambling simply to see your avatar in a thread. Most, if not all of your comment history consists of vapid and ill constructed comments.

              But, points for at least spelling the word Troll correctly.

      • partofme says:

        Don’t let a perfectly good copy be a complete waste…. my birthday is in November.

    • justdragit says:


  7. pantheonoutcast says:

    Ah, New York, my home, the “Anything For a Dollar” state.

    How exactly is a police officer going to know how old the kid in the backseat is? People under the age of 16 who are not actively driving a car are not required to carry ID.

    “Sir, we observed you smoking with a child in the car. Going to have to give you a ticket.”

    “Actually, he’s my 15 year old son. He’s a dwarf.”

    For that matter, how exactly is the cop going to prove in court that you were smoking? There’s no radar gun for documenting someone lighting up a Winston.

    “Your Honor, I don’t smoke. Prove that I do.”

    There seem to be fewer and fewer reasons to live here each passing day.

    • denros says:

      the same argument could be made for alcohol, before the invention of the breathalyzer.

      I’d imagine, if anything, a tobacco version would be easier. You could probably even tell how long ago the person last smoked.

    • Chmeeee says:

      “For that matter, how exactly is the cop going to prove in court that you were smoking? There’s no radar gun for documenting someone lighting up a Winston.”

      How is that different from any other law they enforce? The radar gun doesn’t print anything out showing the proof. They don’t have to have proof saying you ran a red light or made an illegal turn. Them witnessing the act is proof.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        I’ve only been pulled over twice for “speeding” – both times on Long Island. I went to court to fight them both. The first time, the cop had a LIDAR printout, the second time, he didn’t. No printout, no proof, no ticket. But that’s Long Island. I don’t know how it works in other municipalities.

        Oh, and just for sake of storytelling, I got out of the first ticket by helping paint my town’s firehouse. Cool judge.

    • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

      The same way they prove that you weren’t wearing a seat belt when you’re ticketed for that offense. It’s the officer’s word against yours, and much of the time in a court of law that’s all it takes.

      But I do give you points for the dwarf analogy.

  8. tedyc03 says:

    I don’t think enforcement is an issue (the cop would see the cigarette plus the kid). But while we’re at it why don’t we ban doing anything in the car with your hands besides operating the vehicle’s controls? Wouldn’t that accomplish the same thing plus add a safety bonus in that people wouldn’t be eating, drinking, smoking, doing their makeup, etc?

    • kccricket says:

      Ah, yes, drinking from my bottle of water during the four-hour drive to see my parents is so dangerous.

      • consumerfan says:

        But it is. You’re supposed to pull over safely and drink with the engine switched off.

  9. denros says:

    not going to say yes or no, because arguing with the “right to smoke” people is like arguing with a choose your own adventure book that only has one ending.

    But before you weigh in, just consider that parents can and do get in trouble for things less harmful (psychologically or physically) than 2nd hand smoke is.

  10. Abradax says:

    My parents smoked with us in the car, and it absolutely sucked. We had no choice in the matter, we couldn’t tell them to put it out.

    I have breathing problems to this date because of it.

    • unchainedmuse says:

      Same here. When I was growing up, everyone in my household smoked except me. I get bronchitis and/or pneumonia just about annually and I blame the second hand smoke!

      • lifeat24fps says:

        My mother would light up when driving me to school so would reek of cigarettes when I got there. I even got sent to the principals office once because one of my junior high school teachers because they thought I was smoking. It was incredibly embarrassing.

    • Difdi says:

      Well, you could, but I imagine that would lead to some form of punishment, then they’d smoke anyway.

  11. iggy21 says:

    this is getting ridiculous. Why not make it a fine if you feed your kid’s McDonald’s more than once a week, or how about if you let them stay up past 10 to watch tv, or let them play video games for more than an hour.

    • Daverson says:

      Give ’em time.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Because if your parents feed you a lot of McDonalds you could probably reverse some of the effects, but who knows when second hand smoke will catch up to you and you get lung cancer at 50 because your parents smoked a pack a day when you were 5? Kids can be doomed before they even get the chance to speak up.

    • johnva says:

      How is it “ridiculous” to ask that you not expose your children to a proven health risk against their will, when you can perfectly easily avoid doing so and there really is no grey area? NOTHING makes a smoking parent smoke in the car with their kids: they just choose to because they want to and they don’t care about their kids’ health as much as they care about smoking. If you’re so addicted that you must have a cigarette during the car trip, just pull over and smoke outside for a minute.

      • iggy21 says:

        Maybe im the exception, but my mother smoked like a chimney my entire childhood. Guess what, i have no connected medical conditions. And I’m also extremely healthy. But the point is invasive laws that restrict the rights of people.

        The smoking issue if the blanket that is hiding what I fell is to come. Obviously I am against all parents smoking in front of there kids, however, I do not feel that it is the right step to start fining parents for these infractions.

        • johnva says:

          There is no “right” (ethically or legally) to harm your children.

          At some point, we might have been able to bury our heads in the sand and say that people didn’t know it was harmful. But at this point, there is no excuse. That’s the difference.

          Your paranoia about totalitarianism aside, you’re just lucky you didn’t get any health issues. The science shows that children of smokers do suffer from several health problems at a much higher rate than the children of non-smokers. That doesn’t mean ALL of them will have problems, but it means that more of them will.

        • zandar says:

          I don’t think not smoking in front of your kids is a solution, any more than trying to candy-coat any other difficult information helps.

          I’d be a lot better for your health to have to explain to your children why you are ok with a physiological / psychological addition to inhaling poison rather than try to hide it from them.

          If it’s about the kids smoking, my parents smoked a lot when I was growing up. Didn’t bother to hide it. I hated it. It smelled awful. THEY smelled awful. Hugging them was not pleasant. That is a really terrible feeling to a kid. It disgusted me, and I hated it so much I have never tried it my entire life, and never will. So you won’t necessarily turn kids onto it by smoking in front of them.

          The issue is this: People aren’t considerate enough to avoid smoking with other people in ENCLOSED places. Smoking out of doors is not as big a deal as indoors or in a close space like a car. I have been in a car full of smokers and that stuff floating around is not breathable air. And some parents aren’t nice enough to roll down their windows.

          So, what do you so with people like this? Let them be assholes because it is their right to be assholes? Let them go on because the kid doesn’t know how to bring it up (or feels too threatened to), and the adults around them don’t care or are too stupid to realize how inconsiderate it is?

          Yes, people are allowed to be assholes, as long as it doesn’t affect the health and well being of others. This is why we outlaw assault and battery and murder. Smoking in enclosed spaces with your kid is a form of assault and battery- it just doesn’t leave bruises.

    • tonberryqueen says:

      All of those things are also things that are in some way giving the children enjoyment or pleasure.

      A parent smoking in the car is doing something specifically for their own enjoyment or pleasure, regardless of the possible negative effects on the child. At the very least, I certainly doubt any child *enjoys* the smell or breathing in the smoke. It is a wholly selfish act.

  12. Thyme for an edit button says:

    As a child of a smoker, I am for this. Kids should not be exposed to cigarette smoke in cars.

    I hated having to smell the smoke and breathe it in when I was a kid, but I was powerless to do anything about it. My dad always cracked his window when he lit up, but that didn’t actually help a whole lot.

    • iggy21 says:

      As a child of a smoker I am not for this. I even had an allergic reaction to smoke, but it should not be the State’s or Government’s role to control this. This issue will not be the only attempt to make a personal (and legal) habit a finable offense. There are lines that should not be crossed.

      Now, do I wish that people wouldn’t smoke in front of their kids, absolutely, but there are some things that you cannot rely on Big Brother to take care of.

      How far do we go with this? What happens when an ‘independent’ group comes out with a study that outlines the proper diet that your kids should get? Will you be in favor of fining a parent who does not follow that diet?

      • johnva says:

        So we shouldn’t regulate against a serious proven hazard, just because you’re afraid of some OTHER things being regulated also? This isn’t convincing logic to me. The existence of smoking regulation does not really increase the chance of something else being regulated. And some other things SHOULD be regulated, as well.

      • Thyme for an edit button says:

        Cigarette smoke is a poison. I am totally for adults being able to voluntarily poison themselves. However, I am not okay with them poisoning children, who have no choice in the matter. Public health is a matter for the state to control and children are a particularly vulnerable population.

        I agree there are some lines the government should not cross. This, however, is not one of them.

        How far do we go with this? What happens when an ‘independent’ group comes out with a study that outlines the proper diet that your kids should get? Will you be in favor of fining a parent who does not follow that diet?

        That would be a totally separate issue. It is also entirely hypothetical on your part and not an actual issue. Ask me again when this legislation happens.

      • chargernj says:

        Well drinking alcohol is also a personal (and legal) habit, yet we see fit to regulate that also. The fact is that nicotine is addictive, and the nature of addiction is that it affects your judgment. So yes, we should be regulating people smoking in a car with their children. Perhaps it will make people think twice about it.

      • kujospam says:

        I agree, the government should never get involved in anything. So the next time some smoker has smoke blow by my face, I have the right to use deadly force. The government does not have the right to do anything, I agree completely. After all, using force is part of my speech on how much I hate it. It is like threatre only more realistic.

        Anyways, you are seriously more insane than the comments I typed above because that is what you want to live in. Your state and local government has a lot more rights then our federal government and that is the way it was meant to be. America is the failed Canada in idea. You have to understand Canada’s history to know what I’m talking about.

  13. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Fined? CPS should just place the kid in a foster home. That’ll teach them to smoke with a kid in the car.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Did you and Osi go to the same law school together?

      • denros says:

        I think the statement is a little hyperbolic, but, WTF? Only lawyers should decide public policy? I’d rather vote for Kodos.

      • Osi says:

        Grow up kiddo and quit being a troll .. A little maturity will do you and everyone on this site a bit of good.

        • Veeber says:

          I don’t understand your hostility. He made a comment about what appears to be an extreme opinion of yours and segfault. If you disagree with him why not engage in a discussion about why you believe your opinion is better instead of attacking his maturity? They way I read his commentary is that he believes your view would be illegal by citing a legitimate and widely used legal reference book. Yet your first response is to suggest that he is immature and does not speak or write comprehensive English?

  14. NarcolepticGirl says:

    No. Please stop babysitting everyone.

    Pretty soon there will be fines for overweight kids and adults, kids with sunburns, arresting parents who smoke within 40 feet of their child, the banning of all snacks, fines for changing your radio station while driving, fines for giving your kid soda, etc.

    My father chain-smoked when I was growing up. I didn’t give a shit then and I don’t now.

    • denros says:

      yeah, next thing you know, we won’t even be able to let our kids huff paint or install insulation without a ventilator! how are we supposed to toughen up their lungs if we can’t expose them to toxic gasses and carcinogens!

      • iggy21 says:

        yes, ignore a valid point by bringing up a ridiculous counter-argument.

        Notice how Denros is arguing the concept of the fine, but you try to pull it back and argue that denros is encouraging ‘second-hand’ smoke. You missing his point. It’s not that we should allow parent to smoke in the car with the kids, it’s that we should be fining these occurrence because there is no limit once we open these scenarios to fines.

        • iggy21 says:

          replace Denros with NarcolepticGirl. I mixed up the comments

        • denros says:

          I’m all for whatever measure best reduces parents smoking in the car with their kids. If there’s a better solution than fines, I’d vote for that.

        • kujospam says:

          Well, we shouldn’t do anything because it might make things limitless. What a quack of an argument. Please use some logic, I mean, just a little.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      I agree with you that it doesn’t bother me and sometimes I even like the smell, and I hate imposing my values on others, especially by fiat. Both my parents chain smoked. During a crisis, they could put away a carton of cigs each, per day. Of course now my mom’s got COPD and sucking oxygen and my dad’s had 4 heart surgeries, but I still don’t mind the smell of cigarette smoke.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      For each one of you who say you didn’t suffer any ill-effects from second-hand smoke, there are multiple people who can say the opposite. The numbers don’t lie, your healthy status aside. If even one out of a hundred kids suffered later in life, that wouldn’t be acceptable. Would it?

      (Asthma, allergies, respiratory infections here for two kids. Two chain smoking parents. Our parents didn’t know. This generation of parents does.)

  15. chaesar says:

    is this supposed to keep NY state from going broke?

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      Probably. Have you noticed that as the push to get more and more smokers to quit rages on, the taxes get higher? I wonder if the increases taxes are because of the loss of revenue to the state or if the number of people quitting is more related to the price of a pack. I tend to believe the former.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        When Okla finally caved and raised their cig taxes significantly, there was a large drop in revenues that they weren’t expecting.

  16. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I hate the nanny state, but I would be for this one. I hated riding in the car with cigarette smoke. Why stop at 14?

    I had teachers in high school ask if I was smoking one day because my mom gave me a ride!

    • JF says:

      When I was 17 I had a friend’s mother “accuse” me of smoking and being a bad influence on her daughter…… all because of the second hand smoke that permeated my clothes from living with smokers.

      Good times.

    • Griking says:

      When I read the article I asked myself the same question. Why stop at 14? Aren’t 15 year old lungs worth saving too?

  17. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    Should have made this a poll.

    I would have to say yes, and it should be a consideration (all else being equal) in custody decisions regarding which parents home is a healthier environment too. I would get so frustrated when my girlfriend’s 5 year old would come back from a weekend at his Dad’s or his Grandmothers’ place, smelling like smoke and wheezing.

  18. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I think that smoking in the home, car, or anywhere near a child should bring a fine. Smoking in public should bring a fine as well b/c many of us are severely allergic and have asthma to boot. No one, children or adults, should have to suffer b/c of other people’s bad habits.

    I think people with kids should smoke in their garage or outside if they have kids. In public places, maybe they should have covered smoking areas away from the buildings. Or, people could just quit smoking…

    And, smokers need to make sure they are using ashtrays for their butts. Cigarette butts are the number one littered item I see, followed by beer cans.

  19. scientific progress goes boink says:

    Sweet Zombie Jesus… as a kid my mom would smoke like crazy and would refuse to put the window down AND would recirculate the cabin air! I don’t know how my lungs survived 16 years of that.

    My eyes used to burn, my nose would run and I’d cough up a lung… did my mom care? She certainly didn’t show it… I would have loved for someone to at least force her to keep the windows open.

    But even with open windows it’s still an issue. One of her friends flicked a lit butt out the window and it blew back into the car and landed on her baby in the back seat.

    • evnmorlo says:

      You can’t fine people into loving their kids.

      • johnva says:

        That’s not the point. A fine is meant to create a selfish reason to behave properly and not in an anti-social manner.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          You can’t legislate morality. Or common sense. Keep in mind that the intent of this bill is NOT to increase the health and well-being of NY children. It’s to generate revenue because the people who run the state are incompetent buffoons. If they were so concerned with the general welfare of children, they wouldn’t have cut the city school budget by 12%. My school alone lost $580,000.

          NY gov’t officials do NOT care about children – not in the abstract, at least. They care about inflating their coffers so they can get back to their primary job of irresponsible spending.

          • johnva says:

            That’s your opinion, not fact.

            Almost all states are in financial crisis right now because of the recession and the resulting loss of tax revenue. Since apparently raising taxes on the rich isn’t an option for Republicans, they’re coming up with other ways to increase revenue. So what?

            A fine, furthermore, can serve dual purposes. It can increase revenue AND discourage a behavior. This is a totally voluntary “tax” given that nothing makes you smoke in the car with your kids.

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              You apparently don’t live in NY. Cigarette taxes, soda taxes, fast food taxes, smoking fines, banning salt – all proposed or enacted laws in order to legislate behavior in the populace. And of course, to increase revenue because NY politicians cannot, for any reason, cut spending. Just last month they forced everyone to buy new license plates, for the sole reason of increasing revenue. Living in NY is a financial vacuum.

              I completely understand what you are saying about dangerous secondhand smoke. I do, I really do. The issue I, and so many other people (especially those who actually live here) have is the rampant, creeping incrementalism of NY State Laws and their attempt to legislate behavior in order to restock the treasury.

              The question is, where do we draw the line? Should the state come in and legislate what kind of movies or music an adult enjoys in his house while there are kids around? Surely certain forms of entertainment can be more psychologically destructive to children than others. How about a law against serving fried chicken, or chocolate ice cream or Pepsi to one’s own children? Or – now here’s the most hyperbolic, but I think you get my point at this juncture – how about legislating against teaching kids religion? I can’t think of anything more destructive to a child’s psyche than forcing them to go sit in a room once a week and be taught that they will burn in damnation for all eternity unless they give some guy in a toupee 10% of their salary.

              Where does it end?

              • johnva says:

                It should “end” where the democratic consensus ends. Ostensibly, your state has a representative form of government. If you don’t like a particular law, call your state legislators. Work on activism against it. But don’t just whine because the majority disagrees with you.

                You libertarian types act like the government acts without any input from public opinion whenever you disagree with a particular law. In fact, if something is too unpopular, they won’t want to do it. Smoking is unpopular for a number of reasons: it’s addictive behavior; it’s engaged in by only a minority of the population; it’s annoying and disgusting to other people; it’s harmful to other people; and smokers are very often self-centered addicts who disregard the rights AND WISHES (just as important when you’re trying to court favorable public opinion) of others instead of showing careful consideration. So smokers should face up to the fact that the reason there is so much support for regulating their habit is for valid reasons, instead of just whining about their “rights”. Most non-smokers don’t want to ban smoking, but they don’t want to be subjected to it either. So it would be wise for smokers who want to keep their right to smoke as they please to not be dicks about it. Then less regulation is necessary.

                This is basic government 101.

                • pantheonoutcast says:

                  Then, if what you say is true, the NY gov’t should move the issue to a referendum and let the public decide. I know of no NY politician that has run on the “We’re going to look out for the public’s best interest and tax / fine / ban everything because you’re too stupid to watch out for yourself or your children” platform. Logically, if there must be a law, it should read, “If you are smoking in your car with a child, then you must keep a window open, otherwise you will be subjected to a fine.” Sounds like a nice compromise.

                  BTW, I am not a libertarian (the whole pro-marijuana thing). Nor am I a conservative (too much God and not enough science) or a liberal (too much compassion and pandering and not nearly enough logic, common sense or fiscal responsibility). I don’t like labels.

                  • johnva says:

                    Nevertheless, you’re advocating a libertarian view of government here, so the comparison is valid. You may not like the label, but your views on the structure of government match up with theirs.

                    I said that government is REPRESENTATIVE democracy, not direct democracy. You don’t get a direct say on every law that is considered, because you’re not a lawmaker (you could always run for office if you do want such a direct say and think you could convince others that you’re the person they want to represent them). The democratic process (not just elections, but the whole system) is supposed to make representatives accountable to the people. Which means that if they go too far with something, they will lose their elections, or lose the support of their colleagues or political party or financial campaign backers, and so on. The system doesn’t always work perfectly, and representatives have some latitude to make their own judgments. But if the system doesn’t work well at representing us, that’s really mostly OUR fault as citizens for not fighting the bad influences in the system harder.

                    The point I’m making is that there is a reason why lawmakers target smoking for regulation frequently: it’s popular to do so. So the system is working the way it’s supposed to in that regard. If smokers want to change the laws on smoking regulation, they need to change public opinion. And one way they can do that is by self-regulating better: ie, by not being dicks without anyone making them. Most of them miss this point entirely.

                    The reason I pegged you as a libertarian is that libertarians frequently conflate all government action (or at least all government action that they personally disagree with) with a slippery slope to totalitarianism. In reality, NO, there is no slippery slope just because government is regulating something. It’s not all-or-nothing: most non-smokers are simply requesting an in-between level of regulation of smoking in that they’re not asking for a ban, but they are asking for restrictions on time and place in which you can smoke. Where the line is drawn by our democratic form of government. And if democracy stops working altogether, we’ll have much bigger problems than whether you can smoke in the car.

                    • pantheonoutcast says:

                      “most non-smokers are simply requesting an in-between level of regulation of smoking in that they’re not asking for a ban, but they are asking for restrictions on time and place in which you can smoke.”

                      And I’d like to see the number of non-smoking New Yorkers who support a fine for smoking in one’s own car. I’m willing to bet it’s lower than you think.

                    • johnva says:

                      Government isn’t supposed to directly represent the direct desires of the people as expressed by polling: that’s why we don’t take a vote on everything. I’m not sure why you’re having such trouble with this concept. They also have other considerations they’re supposed to take into account. For example, government has a responsibility to promote a healthy populace because that’s the responsible thing to do and most people support that broad goal. So if they consult with medical experts and the experts tell them that smoking in cars is hazardous to kids, it’s perfectly reasonable for them to impose a regulation that’s designed to promote public health. Most of the job of legislators is balancing competing interests, and in this case public health conflicts with smokers’ desire to smoke in cars around their kids.

                      You’re also mischaracterizing this regulation, because it’s not smoking in your car that is being banned; it’s smoking in a car with kids in there.

                    • pantheonoutcast says:

                      And you still think this has something to do with public health. It doesn’t. It has everything to do with attempting to squeeze more money from New Yorkers, while draped in a gossamer veil of “children’s welfare.”

                      They didn’t meet with any medical experts or consult the scientific community or conduct public opinion polls. They have, and will continue to, unilaterally slap taxes and fines on everything they possibly can in order to correct their own financial screw-ups.

                      If you were aware about the repeated failings of the DOE, the State Ed Dept, and ACS, you’d know that the last thing on NY State’s list of things to improve (or even worry about) is the general well-being of NY’s children.

          • Difdi says:

            If that were true, murder would not be illegal.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        No, but maybe you can bribe them into not slowly killing their kids.

    • Rain says:

      My Gramma did this to me when I was little. My Mom was not impressed when I returned from my outing with a burn on my hand.

  20. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Just tuck and roll, kids. And watch for cars in the other lane.

  21. macdude22 says:

    Yes, thanks to my parents smoking I had the pleasure of two throat biopsies to remove malignant masses at the ripe old age of 25. Having never smoked a cigarette in my life. I now get bi-monthly cameras stuffed down my nose to make sure it doesn’t come back.

    I draw a fine line, I’m 100% pro you can do whatever the hell you want to your self. However when it becomes a danger to other people, then by all means it should be regulated. Drink draino for all I care, but don’t force it on me (and especially not me as a gdamn child).

    • johnva says:

      Damn, that really sucks to go through. Like I said upthread, $100 is a trivial fine, but it might just wake a few parents up to the fact that they’re harming their kids. Probably a lot of them continue their behavior because they rationalize in their heads that there isn’t anything harmful about it (since I would HOPE that most parents don’t want to harm their children knowingly).

      Oh who am I kidding. Smokers will just continue in their denialism and whine like babies about the “nanny state” and “anti-smoking Nazis” whenever regulation (not bans) are imposed on their bad behavior (and typically, regulation is only needed because smokers can’t seem to bring themselves to not be dicks about smoking around other people).

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        You know, I don’t like to generalize, but I see this so much. I work in four-block area that’s like a shopping/office building plaza, and last week, signs went up saying there was no smoking allowed. Probably because every office building has so many people standing outside it smoking that customers can’t get inside, and there are so many cigarette butts on the ground that they have to pay 2 people full time to keep the pavement clean. Those of us with asthma have to hold our breath walking in and out. I’m not exaggerating. It’s a constant cloud.

        So instead of being adults and walking 15 more steps to smoke (there’s a loading dock out back, nearly as close) everyone in my building is complaining, and bitching that “they’re not gonna be told what do to”, and making a point of making little piles of cigarette butts everywhere where there used to be ashtrays. So there are just twice as many butts on the ground.

        It’s to your point that people are in denial about the fact that other people truly are harmed by their actions, and really see these bans as a “nanny state”. And are determined to be dicks about it.

        Let’s not talk about how employees who smoke (in almost every job I’ve ever had) are somehow magically able to take a ten-minute break every hour to smoke. If you can’t hold your habit back even an hour, you’re not fit to work in my opinion. If I had to sneak out for a drink every hour, I’d be fired. None of it endears smokers to non-smokers.

        • Difdi says:

          Heck, if you took a video game break whenever the smokers took a smoke break, you’d be fired.

        • redbess says:

          My husband and I were just talking about this yesterday, that smokers justify a ten-minute break whereas anyone else who just wants a quick breather or to snarf down a candy bar or take a quick walk doesn’t get that same amount of time. He used to work at a bookstore and had to threaten legal action against a manager who told him he couldn’t take a 10 because he didn’t/doesn’t smoke, pretty heavily implying that smokers “deserve” a 10 just because they need their nicotine fix.

  22. El_Fez says:

    Actually, no I’m not in favor of this law. Smoking is a filthy, disgusting habit – but if we’re going to outlaw it, then grow a pair and actually outlaw it. Dont fuck around with these half measures. Ban it and make the whole thing go away.

    • petermv says:

      They can’t ban it, they make far too much money from it. Just magine the black hole there would be if states and the feds no longer had the tax revenue.

      They also tried doing that with alcohol back in the 20’s, didn’t work, but I’m sure someone will want to try it again.

    • johnva says:

      Why do so many people think this is a reasonable argument? Regulation is not the same as a ban. We’re allowing smokers the freedom to kill themselves, but only within narrowly defined parameters. What’s the issue?

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I don’t get why this is such a huge deal. It’s been possibly to highly regulate alcohol without banning it. We know that banning things that people are addicted to is not a good idea, thanks to a little experiment in the 20s. Why is regulating cigarettes so different from the heavy regulations around the sale and use of alcohol?

  23. banndndc says:

    Jeez people. Hell no. Stop with the freakin nanny state. Govt should not get involved in personal decisions. I dont the police going after people for smoking, what an absurd and obscene waste of their time and our tax dollars. And then there’s the slippery slope and consumer freedom arguments. Stop being lazy and demanding the government fix everything (and then complaining about the government wasting money).

    • Randell says:

      The police should not spend time stopping parents from killing their children? I think that is the MOST important use of their time.

      • banndndc says:

        please. there is a huge difference between actual murder and second hand smoke and to imply otherwise is highly offensive to all those who lost friends or family via actual murder or violence.

        i want the cops focusing on actual crimes and cant believe yall want to give the State more power and control over our lives.

        • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

          Tell that to all the people who have died young of lung cancer.

  24. petermv says:

    The kids, along with everyone else for that matter, are breathing in far worse stuff just by being in the car amonst al the other cars, trucks, busses factories etc. They don’t do anything about that though do they

    If you believed all this hogwash about second and now third hand smoking, we all should be pretty much dead by now considering how common smoking was. But common sense is pretty much lacking these days….

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Even if kids spent an hour and a half every day in a car, isn’t it so much worse if their parent is smoking in the car and at home? It shouldn’t be necessary for kids to roll down a window just to breathe.

      • petermv says:

        You are missing my point, it has nothing to do with smoking and being the car. The chemicals that get emitted into the atmosphere everyday are far worse than breathing in a bit of burning leaves.

        • johnva says:

          Your logic makes zero sense.

          Even if car exhaust were just as harmful as cigarette smoke at the concentrations typically breathed in by passengers in cars (almost certainly false, given that smoke from a cigarette in a car is at a far higher concentration and doesn’t go through an air filter before coming into the car), car exhaust PLUS cigarette smoke is going to be even more hazardous. The poison is in the dose, not just the poison. Uranium particulate matter is emitted into the atmosphere by coal-burning power plants, but it’s not at a high enough concentration downwind that it’s going to kill you, even though it would be quite hazardous to breathe it in at a high concentration.

          Your denialism is silly. Again, it’s proven fact that children of smokers have much higher rates of several serious medical conditions (including asthma) than children of non-smokers. If second-hand smoke is harmless, then why is that the case?

          • petermv says:

            If breathing in a bit of burning leaves was so deadly then there would be so many people dropping dead left and right given the concentration of smoking prior to the “age of enlightenment”.

            Has it happened, no, will it , no.

            You do realise that even direct smoking is not a guarantee that it will kill you.

            The biggest reason people are against it these days are because they don’t like the smell and find it a convenient excuse.

            • johnva says:

              I’m not against your right to smoke. I’m against your “right” to impose your smoking on other people. Even if it were true that it’s only the smell, you’re still a dick to impose that on other people against their will.

              And you’re simply factually wrong. It is proven to be harmful over time, both to smokers and to the children of smokers. You can deny that in order to make yourself feel better and persecuted all you want, but it just makes you look like a fool.

              You also fail at statistics. The risks of smoking are that statistically, a larger percentage of people will come down with certain health problems. That doesn’t mean that it’s harmless if not ALL people exposed to it suffer problems as a result. It simply means that it’s elevating your risk rather than a guarantee.

            • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

              You do realize that the cigarettes on the shelf today are more than “a bit of burning leaves”, right?

  25. Riroon13 says:

    New York’s late to the game. The rule is already in effect in Louisiana, and has been for a few years now.

  26. P_Smith says:

    What’s the difference between DUI with kids in the car and smoking with kids in the car?

    How quickly it will kill the kids. One happens instantly, one takes time, but if the kids are exposed to both enough times, either will kill them.


  27. crashrider says:

    plain and simple. yes.

  28. JF says:

    I hate the whole nanny state thing, but…… my parents smoked in the house and in the car while I was growing up. I had lots of respiratory infections that suddenly disappeared after I moved away. I once got so ill from the cigarette smoke at my dad’s house that I vomited from coughing so fitfully.

    I do believe that smoking around children is a form of child abuse.

  29. Jacquilynne says:

    I think Ontario already does this. I know they talked about it, thought I’m not sure if it was ever enacted, since I neither smoke nor have kids. I do have a car, but no one is allowed to smoke in it, and to the best of my recollection, it has never contained a child at any point in the 10 years I’ve owned it. So, yeah, this comment was pretty much pointless.

  30. Joe Gamer says:

    Yes they should be fined, in fact cigarettes should just be illegal already.

  31. lukesdad says:

    I’m torn, but I lean toward support for this. Maybe I wouldn’t have before I had kids?

  32. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    I am 100% for this, and wish they’d do this in every state.

  33. Arcaeris says:

    Sure, tax and fine the shit out of smokers. Why the hell not?

  34. casematthew says:

    My hometown was the first to get on the “ban smoking in cars with kids present” bandwagon:

  35. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    These are THEIR children – THEIR responsibility – GET THE HECK OUT! None of yer dang business !

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      FYI- My parents smoked around me. I smoke. My sister does not. She has no health problems due to my parents smoking.

      You all have fallen for fear tactics based on studies done in (yes) real science..With the results geared to scaring you into doing whatever they want.

      Now – you want them to have more control over how you raise your children?
      You think this law wouldn’t be a stepping stone to them interfering with you even more?

      Respect other Parents rights to make their own decisions.

      • johnva says:

        I care much more about the rights of the children to not develop chronic health problems through no fault of their own than I care about the supposed “rights” of parents to harm their children. The only way you can disagree is if you either believe that the harm being done to the children is negligible (proven false), or you believe that children have no rights just because they’re children.

        When there is a conflict of rights (in this case, children vs. parents), we should err on the side of one person not harming another person against their will.

      • JF says:

        ….I’m fine with that, but when said kids grow up and will not allow their children near grandma and grandpa because they continue to smoke…… I don’t want to hear any whining about grandparent’s right to see their grandkids.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        FYI my parents smoked around me. My sister and I have lots of respiratory problems. Just, you know, FYI.

        Are you saying that if 100% of kids aren’t harmed then it’s not a problem? What’s your tolerable threshold?

    • NumberSix says:

      Their children are not their property. Their children have rights of their own and it IS our business to make sure those rights are protected.

  36. coren says:

    If this passes

    “Should parents be fined for smoking in a house where a kid lives?”

    Anyway, are kids at 15-17 now immune to whatever harmful shit is getting to the 14 year olds?

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      At 15 years old, the mutant gene kicks in, where one gains the ability to inhale cigarette smoke and excrete strawberry-scented rainbows.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        At 15, a kid is more likely to know the danger, possibly open a window. At 16, many kids start driving on their own. Kids become more independent at this age and are less likely to be trapped in a car.

        And yes, developing lungs are more likely to be affected.

  37. MuffinSangria says:

    I’m a smoker and people who smoke around kids, especially in the same home or car, makes me sick. I also hate the whole “nanny state” we are becoming, but some people are just too stupid/self-centered/oblivious to be counted on to do the right thing.

  38. hypochondriac says:

    I in favor of it. Then again if I had the power I would making smoking illegal. I really really hate cigarette smoke

    • halo969 says:

      I hate it too. There’s nothing good about it and I don’t understand in this day and age when people know how bad it is for your health why they even start. I was just at my community pool this afternoon and every adult except my husband and myself was smoking. It’s so disgusting.

  39. InsomniacZombie says:

    What the hell does the state of New York have against cigarettes. First they jack up the taxes and make them stupid expensive, and now this. Can’t we just let people make their own decisions? My dad smoked in the car with three sons and none of us are the worse for wear.

    • banndndc says:

      easy scapegoat that allows them to ignore more serious problems. nobody ever stands up for smokers and due to the success of anti-smoking education efforts large portions of the younger generations think it’s worse than clubbing a baby seal.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      So because you weren’t affected, screw those of us that were, and those that might be in the future? Nobody ever said 100% of kids suffered adverse effects. There’s a high risk they will. It’s ok with you to take that gamble with kids who can’t get away? How many per 100 getting sick is ok before you say we should do something?

  40. crunchberries says:

    To answer your question, yes, I think they should. However, this measure seems more like a ‘too little, too late’ action that NY otherwise wouldn’t have proposed had they not been trying to tax the living shit out of its citizens due to their own lack of budgeting prowess.

  41. drburk says:

    It’s no different than anything else’s that harms a kids health so yes FINE them.

  42. dush says:

    Will it be illegal to feed your kid mcdonalds or soda or not make them exercise or anything else that’s unhealthy?

  43. Vjeszczi says:

    I smoke, but I don’t smoke with my kids in the car, and I smoke outside at home. I do smoke in my car after I have dropped my kids off at school/daycare on my way into work, but not when going to pick them up after work. I don’t see what the issue is really.

    • johnva says:

      The issue is that not all smokers are actually considerate of their children’s health like you are.

  44. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    My parents were heavy smokers and routinely smoked in the car. With everything we know today, only a self centered SOB would subject their children to it. However, as a society we can only go far in regulating good parenting. If parents are fined, then they might as well start fines for those who feed their children McDonalds more than once a month, don’t go to PTA meetings, don’t read them bed time stories, don’t encourage physical activity, etc.

    That being said… I do find parents who smoke in front of their kids to be despicable. My wife is pregnant and every time we go to the obstetrician, we see pregnant women either holding packs of cigarettes or smoking in front of the building. I don’t know if it’s an educational thing and they honestly don’t know smoking while pregnant is dangerous or if they know and just don’t care.

  45. BenjaminCachimbear says:

    We already have that law locally(North Louisiana of all places), don’t know if it’s state wide; it’s 13 and under for us, but it has had no noticeable affect on the driving populous here from what I have seen(i.e. they haven’t stopped smoking in the car).

  46. Pasketti says:

    Yes, because they never ever smoke anywhere else where their kids are.

    Oh wait.

  47. Dallas_shopper says:

    I say this as a smoker….I support this law.

    Now, parents…do us dirty smokers a favor. When you drag your kids out to a bar at night (where they really shouldn’t be anyway), do us a favor and stay inside while we indulge in our filthy habit outside. You’ve chased us outdoors and we’re OK with that, but don’t sit down next to us while we’re smoking then cough passive-aggressively and complain about what we’re doing to your kids’ lungs. Why not go inside? Unless they ban smoking on restaurant and bar patios, that’s where we’ll be. Thanks.

  48. Geoff says:

    In Louisiana, it’s a primary offense to be smoking in a car with anyone under the age of 12. That means if a cop sees you doing it, he can pull you over and ticket you.

  49. deadbird says:

    As a child of a smoker and I feel that this would be a good thing. I remember asking mom to put out the cig as it was making me feel sick. The usual response was something like “Oh, the windows down! Stop complaining!” or along those lines. This stopped after one day when I just vomited all over the back seat out of the blue. Turns out some people are more sensitive to smoke than others! However, I find the idea of banning smoking in bars ridiculous and communist! People who go to a bar know what goes on there and they are free to leave at anytime!

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      And the people who work there should just suck it up. Or they should only hire smokers. /sarcasm

  50. deadbird says:

    As a child of a smoker I feel that this would be a good thing. I remember asking mom to put out the cig as it was making me feel sick. The usual response was something like “Oh, the windows down! Stop complaining!” or along those lines. This stopped after one day when I just vomited all over the back seat out of the blue. Turns out some people are more sensitive to smoke than others! However, I find the idea of banning smoking in bars ridiculous and communist! People who go to a bar know what goes on there and they are free to leave at anytime!

  51. DJSeanMac says:

    I’m more inclined to use a shaming punishment, like making them put a bumper sticker on their car exclaiming they chose cigarettes over their child. As the child of a smoker, I will personally attest that (a) yes, second-hand smoke brings on asthma-like issues; (b) rolling down the window does *not* cause all the smoke to get sucked out; (c) all my breathing issues disappeared when I left the smoking household. Thankfully, smoking is becoming less and less accepted on all levels.

  52. wcnghj says:

    It’s already illegal here in Maine. I think it’s a great law!

  53. NumberSix says:

    Sure, why the hell not? There is no reasonable argument for smoking with your kid in the car. It is a know danger to their health and the smokers who do it are lucky all they might get is a small fine. $1000 and a punch in the throat would be better.

  54. Suburban Idiot says:

    People in Texas have been charged with felony child endangerment for smoking pot in a house where a child was present (with others not smoking pot also present, so the pot smoker wasn’t the sole caregiver at the time). Seems like cigarette smoke results in just as much, if not more, endangerment (especially in the more-enclosed space of a car).

  55. tape says:

    the sooner the smoking of tobacco is eradicated from the earth, the better.

    I see this law as largely unenforceable, though.

  56. RayanneGraff says:

    I vote a resounding YES for this. My dad smoked around me all the time when I was growing up- in the car, in the house, everywhere. I now have asthma because of it. I literally want to injure anyone I see smoking around kids & their pets too. YOU have a right to ruin your own damn lungs, your do NOT have the right to ruin your kids’ & your pets’ lungs.

  57. Cleo256 says:

    I hate smoking as much as anybody, but if it’s their car and their kids, it’s their choice. Is a kid being exposed to smoke for the duration of a car ride really that much worse than the constant exposure they get at home? That said, I support pulling the parents over and forcibly showing them graphic pictures of the dangers of secondhand smoke.

    • johnva says:

      They shouldn’t be exposing them at home, either. And kids are not the property of the parents to do with as they will. You cannot abuse or neglect your kids, legally, because they have rights that are independent of the parents’ rights.

  58. CitraBenzoet says:

    Yeah the kids cant get up and leave if their parents are smoking in the car with them. But then again children shouldn’t be living on soda pop and fast food, but no one is making parents who feed their children crappy food pay fines? I say its your kid, if you don’t care enough about their future health to smoke around them thats your business. And beyond that you should fine parents who have ever lived in a house with lead paint, sharp corners,stoves or stairs because of the potential hazard. And while you’re at it fine people who have unhealthy habits like drinking/smoking/eating bad food and have children or are at risk to become pregnant or impregnate.

  59. peebozi says:

    this is an issue the free market can take care of. no need for government involvement in this either.

  60. Wolfie XIII says:

    *facepalm* no more. Enough liberty trouncing laws that force other peoples moral judgments on others. This makes me sick, if this sort of change keeps up the country that was the USA should be pronounced dead, and renamed and refounded as something differnt.

  61. peebozi says:

    who’s to say the children don’t like the second hand smoke. let’s allow the free market to work this one out.

  62. doobiewondersmoke says:

    Another case of government intruding on the private lives of citizens. I’m not saying it’s healthy or OK to smoke around kids, but why is it just fine for government leaders to impose their will on the citizens of this free (not for long) country? We should just all begin learning to goose step now.

  63. Thumbmaster says:

    It’ll just end up being another law that doesn’t get enforced (enough). Just look at the “no cellphone while driving” law. It’s practically free money to local municipalities but very few officers enforce it. A law is only as good as the enforcer.

  64. levelone says:

    I don’t know if there should be a law against it or not, seems kind of unenforceable. I do know that when I was little, I used to put my entire head in the freezer to get a breath of fresh air because the air in our kitchen was blue with cigarette smoke. At first I was too short to get my head in there on my own, so I’d drag a chair over to the fridge so I could reach. I’m sure my family thought it was either cute or that I was nuts, but they knew why I was doing it and didn’t seem to care one tiny iota about my health. My entire family smoked, and we lived with half of them when I was young, so there was no getting away from the smoke. I don’t even know how I didn’t develop asthma from that constant cloud of toxic smoke.

    I hate being around cigarette smoke now that I’m an adult, and I stay away from it as much as possible. I don’t mind public smoking as long as it’s not done in a place I can’t walk away from, like train platforms and covered bus shelters. People should at least care about their kids enough to abstain around them.

  65. dancekat1 says:

    Parents caught smoking with a kid in the car have to eat the whole pack while the police officer watches

  66. BradenR says:

    Studies of children at many universities show a definite link to smoke with chronic illness, and mental deprivation. This wouldn’t be bad except tax payers who wouldn’t be that stupid get stuck with the bill. Same goes for children who are allowed to be overweight. My car carries two bumper stickers, smoking is child abuse and an overweight child is child abuse.

  67. brianisthegreatest says:

    I wonder how many of those in agreement in these comments support abortion… I’d hope not. I’d say no. I’m a smoker, but it seems like people want to make non child related decisions for me about how I go about this. I am polite as I can be about it. I don’t have children, but if I did, one does have the ability to make a moral decision, without legislation. Again, as I commonly reply to these threads: Yes, smoking kills. Other things kill too, and I don’t see the support like this in other areas of health and life. Commendable, that you would have such a strong point for children. Non impressive that you probably are lacking in other areas that are more dangerous.

  68. StitchPirate says:

    I’m all for this. I grew up with smokers (and my father died of lung cancer a few months ago, at 63). He smoked two packs a day, we did a lot of driving and he smoked in the house, so I smoked at least a pack a day secondhand. I had no escape. When I was a kid I was so used to the smoke it sort of didn’t bother me, until the other kids in school started teasing me for smelling like smoke. In my teen years I developed severe allergies and asthma. I had no safe place in the house other than my bedroom (where smoke still seeped in through the door), and until I had my own car I had to ride/drive in a smokey car, the best I could do was hang my head out the window like a dog. I loved my dad, but hated his disgusting, deadly habit. It would have been really wonderful if there was a law that stopped him from smoking around me. I’m really worried about my risk for lung cancer now.

  69. JeremieNX says:

    I agree with the “spirit” of this law, but I do know what the real motivations are behind it. Just like seatbelt laws, speed laws, etc. The main goal is revenue. Police in many areas are required to meet “quotas” and are often rewarded for high ticket revenue. This is just one more thing our corporate-bought-and-paid-for legislators to churn out.

    Safety is always just a “pleasant side effect” of any of these laws.

  70. Hanshiro says:


    No question whatsoever.

  71. FiorellaMajumdar says:

    Well, if the parent were smoking pot in the car, they would go to jail despite the fact that pot smoke contains fewer carcinogens and other poisons than your typical industrialized cancer stick. No, I’m not advocating making pot legal…don’t lump me into that category…but, instead, making cigarettes illegal.

  72. FrugalFreak says:

    So this consumerist is anti-tobacco? a LEGAL product in the USA! This ISN”T the place to discuss these matters on a consumer blog. Using this blog for your own agenda is wrong in my opinion. Go create a blog titled “Nanny consumers against liberties”

  73. &_I'm_Not_Gonna_Take_It_Anymore says:

    I’m pretty darn sure my mom smoked while she was pregnant with me and my sister – we were both underweight babies. And we were held hostage in the back of the two door car with the windows up in the rain or severe cold. To this day I hate being around cigarette smoke of any kind. She quit in 85 and it made my childhood so much better. Other kids I knew – had two parents that smoked and they would hack and cough like they were already getting emphesema. Smoking with buns in the oven and in other confined spaces – yeah – it should be outlawed.

  74. Unicorn-Chaser says:

    In response to the articles title: No.

  75. Unicorn-Chaser says:

    In response to the title of the article: No.

  76. Eric Y. says:

    It was miserable riding in the car with my father when I was younger. He smoked like a chimney.

    I would have loved if there was some way to discourage him from smoking with me in the car.

  77. SundanceKid says:

    A few Canadian provinces have already passed this type of law. Generally I don’t support laws which dictate what we can do in our own homes or vehicles but I support this one.

    It is extremely selfish for smokers to expose children to second-hand smoke. When they light up they are saying “Its more important to satisfy my addiction RIGHT NOW than wait until everyone is out of the car.”

    I sincerely hope they pass this law in NY and that other American states follow their example.

  78. CookiePuss says:

    Its so obvious these smoking laws keep pushing further and further. It started with no smoking on planes. Ok, understandable with the whole recycled air thing. Then restaurants and bars. Kinda pushing it now when they had different sections in place. Then it leaked into the workplace. Certain long haul trucking companies were contemplating banning smoking in trucks. Guys that literally spend days at a time in the cab cant smoke because the guy who uses the truck the following week don’t like the SMELL of smoke. Thats not even a health concern any longer and is beyond insane. Now its to the point where there’s even restrictions when your outside. No smoking on the beach, so many feet from this building, no smoking on this property, no smoking in your own car with a kid, etc.

    There’s little difference between smoking in a car with your kid and feeding them garbage processed foods/fast food on a daily basis. Police better start rolling these fat asses onto flat bed trucks and taking em to fat camp. Banning soda in schools wont cut it.

    And while we’re saving the children from everything, why not put seat belts in school buses? Isn’t that pretty vital considering its the law for everyone else to buckle up? Not the kids though eh? Too much money to implement I guess? Poor kids.

  79. Ce J says:

    Yes. This is to protect kids. I don’t give a flip about your right to puff up. Do it when the lungs you are messing with are your own.

  80. khooray says:

    I think it’s stupid that everyone is shoving their opinions on EVERYTHING down everyone else’s throat.
    Stay out of my life and worry about your own.

  81. Wolfbird says:

    I could get behind this.

    I’m kind of neutral on nanny-state rules for adults, but it infuriates me to see mothers and fathers breathing smoke into their childrens’ faces. Christ, if you care so little about your children why did you have them in the first place?

    It’s not a matter that it’s your “right” as an adult to do whatever you want to your own lungs. You’re bothering other people, plain and simple. In the case of kids, they don’t have the choice of going somewhere else.

  82. wheeldawg says:

    I say fine smokers for everything. Make cigs $100 a pack. There’s no good reason for them to exist.

    /puritan rant

    Seriously tho, I’ve yet to hear one single, defensible argument about why smoking is allowed to exist at all.
    Hurts you, hurts everyone you’re near, the smell is honestly unbearable (not to mention allergic issues), and I feel terrible for the non-smoking SOs of smokers.
    And in a time when everyone’s budget is missing more than a few bucks, wasting money on these just doesn’t make sense at all.

  83. Zarile3 says:

    I would agree with this…

    but I’d rather see people getting fined for smoking while carrying a child in there arms. Does anyone else this is as sick as I do, I hate seeing a mother carrying there toddler or baby in one arm, while smoking with the other, it’s disgusting and downright bad parenting.

  84. proscriptus says:

    Man have I been waiting a long time for this to come up. How about anyone who smokes not only in a car, but the same house, with a minor be charged with child abuse? If there were a way to ban smokers from having kids, I’d do it.

    Anyone who hurts children should be put down, end of story.

  85. DragonThermo says:

    As much as I hate the despicable things that people do for the benefit of “the children”, this sounds like a good idea. However, it will be about as much of a success as the prohibition on cell phone use and texting while driving. Like driving a couple mph over the speed limit. Yes, it’s illegal but is a cop going to go through all the trouble for a minor infraction when surely someone much worse will come along any minute?

  86. SarasiPolyxena says:

    Already law here in Manitoba.