If you haven’t already, stop smoking in the car with your kids. It’s the law
It’s no secret nowadays that secondhand smoke leads to short- and long-term health issues, meaning there’s no safe level of exposure.
That’s why Alabama in April passed House Bill 3 proposed by District 58 Alabama Rep. Rolanda Hollis, who represents Jefferson County.
The bill, which went into effect Aug. 1, makes it illegal to smoke or vape inside a vehicle when a child 14 or younger is inside. Yes, even if the windows are down.
It’s a secondary violation, meaning law enforcement can’t pull you over for that reason alone. Instead, they must have pulled you over based on probable cause of a separate violation like speeding.
Violating the law could mean a fine of up to $100 for each incident.
Alongside the bill’s implementation, the Alabama Department of Public Health is reminding parents that tobacco smoke is particularly hazardous to children because it can cause complications including:
- Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS
- Respiratory or ear infections
- Asthma attacks
Children who are commonly exposed to secondhand smoke are also at an increased risk for:
- Pneumonia and bronchitis
- Wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath
- Middle ear disease
- Frequent ear infections that require ear tubes to treat
- More frequent and severe asthma attacks
- Slowed lung growth
And if you’re thinking “that’s no problem for my family because I vape instead of smoke,” there are hazards regarding e-cigarette exposure, too, including:
- Aerosols released via a vaporizer may contain cancer-causing chemicals including heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead
No e-cigarette or vaping product has been approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration as a smoking cessation aid, but many people have used them to do so. Consider your options carefully if you’re interested in dropping the habit.
If you’re ready to quit, help is available at the following:
- Call the free smoking quit line at 1-800-784-8669
- Visit the Quit Now Alabama website right here
- Text “QUIT” to 205-900-2550
Many employers and insurance plans offer assistance for employees seeking to quit smoking. Help can include access to nicotine replacement therapy and mental health services.