smoking man

UPDATE 2/11/13


The Senate today passed a bill to prohibit smoking in a vehicle when a child under 15 is present.

Senators voted 30-10 for the bill, which now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration. All Democrats — including Manassas Park and Manassas Sen. Charles J. Colgan— supported the bill, along with half of the Senate Republicans.

Under Senate Bill 975, proposed by Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Virginia Beach and Norfolk), people who violate the proposed law would face a civil penalty of $100.

Have you ever run into a law that you know is for the good but you also feel goes overboard? My common sense tells me this is a good law and that I should hope it passes. My old smoking self jumps into over-drive and starts thinking about those long car trips and how the kids would just have to stay home.

Other bills are proposed that restrict where people can smoke.  One involves health care facilities and another would restrict smoking in parks and beaches.

Actually, the question should  be is the state getting ready to really over step its boundaries? In your own car, don’t you have a right to smoke it up if you want to?  Cigarettes are a legal substance.   Those same kids can go right into the house and breath the same smoke. This really isn’t an issue about driving, therefore I question if the bill should pass.

I have very mixed feelings. How about you all? I can play devils advocate on this one regardless.

15 Thoughts to “Bill passes VA senate to prohibit smoking with kids in the car”

  1. As the child of a former smoker, and as a non-smoker….all I have to say is..

    “Aren’t there windows in those cars?”

    1. You can’t roll them all the way down in the dead of winter, Cargo.

  2. Steve Thomas


    Like you, I am a bit torn on this. I opposed the bar/restaurant smoking ban, as I felt it should be up to the owner as to whether or not to make their establishment non-smoking. However, I did note that most that have smoking areas, isolated their bars, and that still where the smoking is done. Smoking in cars with kids is a bit different for me though. Growing up, my family were smokers. I can remember traveling to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving, my uncle driving, Mom in the middle, Grandfather shotgun, all smoking, windows barely cracked (cause it was cold outside) while me, my sister, and my grandmother sufferred in silence in the back seat. I don’t smoke, and wouldn’t want want anyone smoking in my car, if my daughter were in back, nor would Mrs. T. I believe smoking is a personal choice, and people should be free to smoke in their personal spaces, but a car is a very confined space, and a considerate smoker won’t do it if it’s going to bother the child. My sister, who became a smoker, doesn’t smoke in the car with or without her kids present, nor does she smoke in her house.

    1. Very mixed. There is the mix of personal liberty, old smoker, protection of kids and in general the feeling that if I could change one thing in my life it would be to have not ever smoked.

      I saw the article and the conflict began. It is a smart bill that tramples ones’s personal liberty. Very smart.

  3. @Moon-howler
    If you crack a front one and a back one, the draft sucks out any smoke.

    I know this from experience. You just turn up the heat.

    1. Here I thought I knew all the tricks. I opened the side window about 4 inches and opened the sunroof tilt.

      Hell, I didn’t care. to this day I love fresh 2nd hand smoke. I hate nasty stale smoke though.

  4. punchak

    Getting into a smoker’s car is not a pleasure. The smell is always there
    and stale cigarette smoke aint nice. Side effect = resale value goes waaaaay down!

  5. Lyssa

    But the kids can be given back to people that beat them. Or use drugs…

    1. They often are given back.

  6. Censored bybvbl

    Ha ha. Thanks for tips on airing out the car. I hope it works for stinky dogs as well. We’d been opening the back window near the offenders but that just wafts the dog stink forward toward us.

    How are the police going to know that a child is under fifteen without stopping the car and inquiring?

    1. That brings up an excellent point. If you see a cop, throw the cig out the window. Then you can’t be charged with smoking since the evidence is no where to be found. This is waaaaaayyyyy too nanny state for me. It is like ultrasounding your lungs now. The state has to go for some body part, I guess.

  7. Lyssa

    This is the fellow that went up against Jill Vogel on abortion.

    1. yes it was Sen. Northam. Specifically he challenged her over ultrasound.

      He is a pediatric neurologist, so I guess he is weighing in with a professional opinion.

      He is also going to be running for Lt. Gov.

  8. Lafayette

    Throwing the cigarette out will land you a littering ticket, Moon.

    As a smoker, I have mixed feelings about this law. I know smoking is bad for me and others around me. I can use common sense. It starts with the car, then next it’ll be our homes.

    I want to confirm that yes, Moon does love that smoke to this day. Her, my mom, and dad were the best reformed smokers ever. They all love to be around smoke years after not smoking. If Moon stops and that curb for a chat in her car, she asks that I bring a lit cigarette. Oh, and she lets me smoke in her ride. My mom still allows me and my sister to smoke in her car and house.

  9. Pat.Herve

    This is a tough one.

    Do we need laws to tell people to wear a seat belt, not to talk on a phone while driving, not to drive too fast, etc. Well, we do – cause people are stupid. Any intelligent person would not smoke around children (knowing the impacts that second hand smoke has on others) – so, for those of us that are intelligent, the law will not affect you one bit.

    For the stupid people that want to deny the science behind second hand smoking – well, that is why a law like this is proposed.

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