(WatchDogReport.org) – The state of Alabama has passed a law that prohibits smoking or vaping in any vehicle where children aged 14 and younger are present. The law covers tobacco products like traditional cigarettes and vaping products like e-cigarettes. The fine for being caught is $100.
Smoking or vaping with a minor in the car is classified as a secondary violation. This means if a driver is pulled over for any other traffic violation and the driver or any passengers are smoking or vaping while children are in the vehicle, the $100 fine can be added to the list of offenses. The law applies even if windows are rolled down, or the car is stopped.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) posted about the new law on social media. The department claims that the smaller bodies of children breathe in larger amounts of air, therefore giving them more exposure to the toxins in second-hand smoke.
The Mobile Police Department also commented on the new law stating that keeping children healthy and protecting them is a “shared responsibility” and believes it will provide children with a “safer environment.”
Second-hand smoke from traditional cigarettes has been linked to many health problems in children, including sudden infant death syndrome, ear infections, respiratory infections, lung disease, and asthma. Although vape products were once considered a safer option than other tobacco-containing products, the American Heart Association now says the smoke from vaping is just as toxic as cigarette smoke, especially for children. However, this is disputed, and critics on the other side point out that it does not make sense to claim that a product that releases no combustion or smoke is as bad as one that does.
The law has received mixed reactions from the public. While some believe it is necessary to help protect children’s health, others see it as government overreach or a distraction from things that “really need to be taken care of,” and claim it will be difficult or almost impossible to enforce.
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