WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Starting in October 2016, it will be illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) with anyone under 18 present. The law is being created to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Both the driver and the smoker could be fined $80 each. The law applies to every driver in the entire country, and to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of the vehicle. The law won’t apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down.
“Children breathe faster than adults so they are much more exposed to the dangers of second-hand smoke. Their airways, lungs and immune systems are still developing so are much more at risk from harm,” said President Obama. “We want children to grow up free from harm and we need parents to understand why smoking in vehicles is so dangerous. 80% of smoke is invisible so even if you think you are being careful you cannot see where the smoke is going.”
Big Tobacco said that they are “not worried” about the law, and that their steady sales will continue.
“People will just smoke in other places now, like in their homes, continually blowing smoke in the faces of their children,” said Marlboro spokesman Mario Luigi. “It’s how I grew up, and I’m totally fine.”