Smoking In Car With Kids Present Is Closer To Being Banned In Florida: Good Call Or Government Overreach?

A new “smoking in car” bill is moving forward after clearing Florida’s Health Policy Committee on Tuesday.

The bill would ban cigarette smoking and the smoking of other tobacco-related products in an automobile in which at least one of the passengers is 13 years old or younger.

Sponsored in part by Sen. Don Gaetz, a Republican, the bill would impose a $30 fine on anyone caught violating the law, but critics of the bill point out that actual court costs would go well above that fine, moving past the $100 mark.

Gaetz acknowledged that some feel the “smoking in car” ban would be an example of government intrusion into the lives of its citizens, but said he supports the bill anyway because “children don’t have a choice about whether to be in a car and suffer the possible smoking-related health effects,” he told WFTS-Tampa Bay.

Many of the commenters on the ABC affiliate’s website echoed Gaetz in his support, though there were some detractors, like Sue Emmons.

“With all the problems in our state seems like passing a bill for something like HELP FOR THE HOMELESS would be more important,” Emmons wrote.

Cindy Lawrence Arold agreed.

“Sunlight causes skin cancer, are they going to start giving tickets to parents if they can’t prove they have applied SPF 50 on their kids to prevent sun cancer? A lot of people with cancer have NEVER smoked Or been Around SMOKERS in their life [sic]…. Just another way to take money from people for NOTHING…. This is no longer THE LAND OF THE FREE!!!!!!!!! It has become the land of how can we take more from the POOR and give to the RICH $$$$$$$$$”

“Don’t we have enough government intrusion already?!” asked commenter Marguerite Mitkus.

The bill is reminiscent of another the Inquisitr recently reported that occurred in England. Similar to the “smoking in ban” bill that Florida is entertaining, detractors were mostly saying the same thing: it isn’t necessary.

“This is not about protecting children,” said Pat Nurse of the U.K. ban.

Nurse, a smoker since the age of eight, felt that her government was “using children as human shields and exploiting people’s children to push through a political agenda, which is ultimately the eradication of tobacco by any means even if it means criminalizing consumers and actually preventing them from enjoying a legal product in what is actually their own property.”

What do you think of the pushback these “smoking in car” bans are getting? And is the government overreaching with these types of laws or protecting children?

[Image via ShutterStock]