A brand new law would penalize parents who light up while kids are in the same car.
There’s an economic principle called ‘externalities’. Put simply, these are actions which have impacts—however non-deliberate they are—on those around us.
At times, externalities can be good, like when an orchard benefits from pollination, as bees from neighbors beehive fly over. More frequently, however, they give rise to negative consequences, like if pollution causes asthma in a town’s residents. Externalities aren’t just an economic principle, however; our everyday actions often have unanticipated outcomes, too. Smoking is one great example.
For ages, people were unaware of how damaging second-hand smoke can be. Over the past fifty years, though, and according to Disease Control and Prevention statistics, around two and a half million humans have suffered the fatal consequences of second-hand smoke. And that’s just in the US.
The initial concern is usually lung cancer when we think about smoking. While it’s a brilliant example of how dangerous smoking can be, there are a lot more negative outcomes of smoking and second-hand smoke. Especially for kids.
Breathing in others cigarette smoke often triggers coughing, difficulty breathing, and can even bring on asthma. Not only this, but it contributes to ear infections and weakened immune systems for kids.
It’s likely the reason that so many states now have bans on grown-ups smoking in cars with kids. Since December last year, the Legal Beagle reports, this is the case in Louisiana, Maine, Arkansas, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and a whole host more.
And now, Indiana is soon to feature on this list. The state’s legislators have proposed a bill that tries to stop adults and parents from smoking around kids when they’re all in the car together.
Should this bill pass, offenders face USD 1,000 fines on their two first violations. On the third smoking offense, this penalty rises to USD 10,000. They are tough fines, however, Senator Merritt mentions that enforcing this legislation might be tough. His hopes are that the law educates and brings the risks of second-hand smoking to public notice—especially by highlighting how it can affect children.
Do remember, however, that this particular bill has only been proposed within Indiana state. Any gossip you hear about a US-wide ban isn’t accurate.
Nonetheless, and no matter what regulations your area has, it’s crucial to accept responsibility for our actions. Even though you may not choose to quit for yourself, you can always try to do it for your kids