Smoking has been one of the top causes of illness and diseases both among men and women. According to several studies made, every year in the U.S., secondhand smoke causes about 34,000 deaths from heart disease and 7,300 deaths from lung cancer, the CDC says. Kids are particularly at risk for the effects of secondhand smoke because their bodies are still growing and they breathe at a faster rate than adults. This is why smoking in cars with children is now prohibited starting October 1 of this year.
Starting October 1, 2016, it will be illegal to smoke in a car or other vehicles, with anyone under the age of 18. The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Both the driver and the smoker in the car could be fined as much as $80. This law applies to every driver, including those age 17 and those with a driving permit.
According to the Department of Health, every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals. This puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It can also make asthma worse. The law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air-conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of a vehicle. The law won’t apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down.
The rules also won’t apply to boats, ships, and aircraft, as they all have their own rules. Work vehicles and public transportation are also not affected, as they already are covered by previous smoke-free legislation. Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone, but children are especially vulnerable, because they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Over 80% of cigarette smoke is visible and opening windows does not remove its harmful effects. These rules do not apply to e-cigarette.
Your car, next to your home, is probably the most important place to keep smoke-free, especially if you have children. Keeping kids (and adults) far away from smoke can help lower their chances of having respiratory infections, severe asthma, cancer, and many other serious conditions.
What are your thoughts about this new law? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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