Florida Bill Bands Smoking with Kids in the Car

03/24/2015 - Kendra Hooks

SB 548, filed by Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), would ban smoking in a car with a child under the age of 13 inside. Officers will be required to issue a non-moving violation to drivers who violate the statute.  This bill has passed and will be effective October 1, 2015. 

Dr. Lindsay Thompson, who specializes in pediatrics at UF Health, said the proposed bill is a step in the right direction toward protecting children from being exposed to secondhand smoke.

“At least every hour, we have a child come in with an illness that’s been made worse by exposure to smoke,” said Thompson. “There have been very important studies that show one cigarette in a car is worse for a child than bringing them to a smoky bar. So, I’m incredibly pleased to hear that this may be addressed in the state of Florida.”

Some debate that this bill is an intrusion of their rights while others are in full support.  The biggest message overall is that this bill was proposed with child health in mind- not to infringe on a smokers right to smoke.