While it may feel like a no brainer, only a little over a handful of states and Puerto Rico have regulations banning an adult from smoking in a car where a child is present. Most recently to throw their hat into the ring are Indiana lawmakers.
A bipartisan bill was introduced into Indiana State Senate that would slap a fine of up to $1000 on the smoking offender if convicted of smoking in a vehicle with anyone six years of age or younger. Most interesting, and possibly important, in the proposed Indiana law, is that every time someone is convicted of smoking in a vehicle while in the presence of a child 6 years old or younger, they will get hit with a steeper fine. By the fourth conviction, the offender could face up to a $10,000 fine. There is a caveat to these convictions and fines — would have to take place within a 12-month period.
Florida does not have any such laws set up at this time. In fact back in 2017, when a few counties and local municipalities tried to make their own smoking laws regarding smoking at public beaches and state parks. As it turns out, judges had to overturn the mandates because, in Florida, the state has the ultimate authority over smoking laws. While it does appear that some state lawmakers have tried to take up the issue and allow local lawmakers to have autonomy over their smoking governances, the resolutions have failed.
So, even though Florida doesn’t have a specific law banning smoking in a vehicle with a child present, health experts urge adults to consider second-hand smoking effects on children. If you are looking to stop smoking speak to your health care provider who can provide you with tools to help you quit the habit. You can also visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway/ to learn more about programs available to help you quit smoking.
Other things to keep in mind about smoking in your vehicle… Your car insurance premium may not be affected by smoking but your health and life insurance policy premiums will be. Not only that, your vehicle’s valuation diminishes annually when second-hand smoke infiltrates the vehicle’s interior fibers.