New smoking law protects children from harmful health effects


Victoria Wendt , Staff Writer

What do you think about the law that bans parents from smoking with their children in their car?

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On Oct. 1, 2015,Michigan law will stipulate that smoking with children 18 and under in a vehicle is illegal. This law is beneficial because it will save the voiceless children from the dangers of secondhand smoking.

A critical result of secondhand smoke are the medical conditions. Children who have been exposed to secondhand smoke have showed connections to having conditions like SIDS, frequent asthma attacks and an overall poorer respiratory system than kids not exposed to breathing in smoke-filled air. Dealing with these issues at such a young age is not safe for a child’s health. The compact space of a car makes for poor ventilation, making smoking around kids more dangerous while in a car, where there is a lack of fresh air. Adult smokers are in control in this situation because if they don’t care about breathing in the second hand smoke; they are choosing their fate. A child inside a car isn’t allowed to make those decisions, which affects his or her health.  

As well as smoking with children in the car being bad for the everyone’s health, it’s also a distraction to the driver. While driving, the driver needs to pay attention to the road, so having one hand on the wheel and one holding a cigarette to their mouth isn’t safe for the passengers in the car. Distractions while driving are the reason for 80 percent of car crashes. Not having both hands on the wheel is one of those distractions and smoking while driving requires having one hand off of the wheel. Car rides will be safer for the passengers in the car, regardless of their age because the driver will be driving responsibly.

Some may argue that it’s the smoker’s own right to do what he or she wants and that lawmakers are infringing on his or her rights. The law doesn’t say that a person can’t smoke in a his or her own can when alone, but instead tries to protect the children who don’t have a voice and will be better off if they are not exposed to the secondhand smoke. 

Smoking in the car with children negatively affects their physical and emotional health as they grow up. The law that passed to prohibit smoking in the car with a child under the age of 18 is going to benefit our youth by preventing them from suffering from medical diseases caused by secondhand smoke, as well as protecting them from being involved in a crash. This law is beneficial because the focus is put on the well-being of children rather than smokers.