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Smoking near children now illegal in Oregon

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See caption [Secondhand smoke]. Retrieved from:

More specifically, smoking with a child in one's car is now illegal in Oregon, effective January 1, 2014. It is the first state to pass a law of this kind. Those caught smoking with children in their car are fined $250 for a first offense, and $500 for all subsequent offenses. Unfortunately, despite the well-known risks of secondhand smoke, to which children are especially vulnerable, it is still common for parents to smoke in the presence of their children.

However, the officer is not permitted to pull over a parent simply for smoking with a child in the car. Instead, some other violation must precede this one, in the form of speeding, changing a lane without signalling, or running a red light. Rep. Jim Thompson, R-Dallas, insists that it is the right of the state to protect children from such behavior, saying that parents who smoke with their children in the car would "strap [their] kids in the back of a car and smoke them like bacon."

Hopefully, comparable laws will be passed in the future. Cigarettese kill more people than illegal drug use, alcohol use, vehicle injuries, HIV and gun-related deaths combined, and highly increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, various cancers, and numerous other diseases. As noted, children are especially susceptible to its effects, with exposure to secondhand smoke during childhood and infancy being correlated with behavioral and neurological problems.

Froelich, Amanda (2014). Smoking with Children in the Car now Illegal. Retrieved from:

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