I’m not a smoker and I don’t have any kids, so I don’t have any real stake in a fight over parental and smokers’ rights. However, I’m going to wade into it anyway. The Virginia state legislature is considering a new law to make it illegal for parents to smoke in a car with children who are under the age of 15. I hope lawmakers defeat this bill.
First, let me be clear. I think it is very bad thing for parents to smoke in a car – or in their home for that matter – when any child is present. I’m so glad I never had to endure either of my parents smoking in the family car with me along when I was a child. As bad as my asthma was when I was growing up, it would have killed me, I’m sure. Fortunately, neither of my parents smoked, and they were too poor to afford a car. Yes, we had to walk almost everywhere we went. The only exception was when we were lucky enough to find someone to take us where we needed to go. And, thank God, I can’t recall any of those people ever smoking while we were in their car.
With being said, I still don’t think this is any of the government’s business. It’s just another attempt by an overbearing government to usurp the rights of parents and put further restrictions on smokers. If it does become law, there’s a good chance that parents will ignore it, just like bar owners in Virginia have basically ignored the law requiring most of them to disallow smoking in their establishments. Good for them!