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Bill by Sen. Scott White would ban smoking in cars with kids

Post by Katie Schmidt on Jan. 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm with 15 Comments »
January 7, 2011 8:23 pm

A bill by Sen. Scott White, D-Seattle, would expand Washington smoking regulations into your car, at least while children are riding there.

According to the text of the bill, which White prefiled Dec. 17, smoking pipes, cigarettes or cigars in a car with a passenger under 18 years old could be grounds for a ticket if the legislature approves it during the upcoming session.

White’s bill, SB 5016, would make smoking in your car a secondary offense, meaning law enforcement officers would have to detain a driver for some other reason before giving out a ticket for smoking, and getting a ticket for smoking in a car would not go on your driving record.

This is not the first time such a bill has been considered in Olympia—in 2008 bills making smoking in cars with children a traffic infraction were considered by both the house and the senate, but never became law.

Other states, such as Arkansas and Louisiana have already passed similar laws.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. Level 2 offence but can you say seat belt law as level 2, can you say cel phone use. All of our prior level 2 offenses are now level 1.
    Again we see the Nanny state raise its ugly head.
    NO scientific proof exists that 2nd hand smoke is harmful. Yes it stinks so I expect the next important bill he will introduce will be to fine us for stinking like cigarretts.
    We have more important items in this state that need fixing. (BUDGET).
    This is a man whom needs to get a life and out of the senate. How much is he making for his bill and from whom? Oh sorry just fund raiser for election.

  2. vikefan66 says:

    @Ron1: The EPA, the US National Toxicology Program, and the Internation Agency for Research on Cancer ALL clasify secondhand smoke as a KNOWN HUMAN CARCINOGEN – otherwise known as a cancer-causing agent. I’m pretty certain that they wouldn’t make this classification without some sort of proof that it causes cancer. Perhaps you should read up before spouting on about “proof” and such:


    I’m in no way in favor of supporting Big Brother any more than I want them telling me how to dress in my own home, in the event that my poor taste in clothing might offend the sensibility of my pets. However, perhaps this should be some indication that people with children shouldn’t smoke in general. I used to smoke and stopped when I became a parent. If you want to kill yourself slowly with a carcinogen, fine. But a parent should feel ashamed of contributing to their childrens’ asthma/shortened life span/cancer/heart disease/etc…

  3. princessnancy says:

    This is long over due! If parents don’t have enough sense to stop smoking in a car carrying their children, then I guess Big Brother needs to do their job for them. I am very excited to hear this! Thank you Senator White!

  4. cclngthr says:

    Asthmatics also suffer due to second hand smoke. I don’t like the smell either.

    Take this a step further. If you rent, you also need to be aware that smoking in your rental home may be banned as well.

  5. bgtown49 says:

    I consider my self pretty open/liberal, but I gotta say when “Big Brother” starts making my car payment, insurance payment (which he requires me to have) gas then he can start telling me what to do in “MY” car. Just like the seat belt law. Now to let you know I’ve worn a seat belt long before it was law, but it’s my decision. I agree with an earlier post, lets worry about things that need to be fixed. And before anyone jumps on me I don’t smoke in the car nor do I smoke in my home, but if I wanted to, again it’s my decision.

  6. They tried to pass a similar law a few years back and it failed.
    Move on to more pressing needs and stiop grandstanding to bring attention to yourself Mr. White.

  7. surething says:

    my neighbor used to drive the kids on our street to school when I was young and chain smoked the whole way there. i HATED going to school smelling like an ashtray.

  8. aylawoman says:

    Yeah, like the Government isn’t already trying to control every aspect of our lives.

    Yeah, like the cops don’t have any other crimes that deserve their attention.

    Yeah, like the Legislature doesn’t have important financial problems to solve.

    If he’s going to waste everyone’s time with stupid laws like this, the Democrat clown Scott White should resign right away and make room for a useful Senator…

  9. aranciata says:

    I have no problem with people smoking, but would like to see a $20 deposit (representing $1 per cigarette butt) placed on top of the price per pack. In other words, unless you have proof that you have not thrown your cigarette butts from your last pack on the ground you will be paying a dollar to someone else to clean up after your filthyass disgusting pig self.

  10. dirtydan54 says:

    Hey Bill,

    I was born with asthma and allergic to just about everything under the sun as a child. As I grew older I outgrew the asthma and allergies and have been a professional athlete since age 16.

    At age 54 I still compete successfully as a professional athlete. As for second hand smoke I myself would have to honestly say being a child of two parents that were smokers that the second hand smoke concerns you seem to place as a concern to others does not exist.

    Being a legislator you want to enact more feel good legislation on a very reasonable concern, children.

    Quit with your attempts to control peoples actions in regards to child concerns as most parents do make reasonable decisions regarding the care of their children all by themselves.

    You wonder why people have such contempt towards legislators? Legislation such as what you propose is a good indicator of why.

  11. But, keep paying outrageous taxes on them, right? Taxes needed “for the children?”

    Democrats will never learn and we have to pay in the end.

  12. Proconsul8 says:

    For Cripe’s sake. Will you Dims puhlease just make smoking tobacco illegal in the entire state of Washington? Make sale of tobacco products illegal. But wait…. this will harm a major source of income for Native Americans and a loss of tax revenue in a state that already is trying to figure how to cut services to the poor and disadvantaged. So instead, Scott White does the typical political ploy of writing a solution for an inconsequential problem and then bragging about it “saving the children” from harm. Yuck and yuck.

  13. I don’t smoke. I can’t stand second-hand smoke. I never go anywhere that allows smokers.
    BUT, Mr. White, for Keerists Sake, get to the business of balancing the budget without cutting any essentail services. You are wasting my time and yours with nonsense.
    This is “Grandstanding” of the pickle principal and you need to find another line of work. I hope the voters send you, very quickly, out the door, if this is the statement of your legislative worth.

  14. Wow this is unbelievable, I do NOT see any reason why this law should not be passed. I think it should also be passed for all minors like Californias law.Not this half way measure for 6 year olds and 13 year olds.I also think the penalty for breaking the law is too lenient. This is NOT about smokers giving up rights. This is about children’s safety first. Personally I think guilty parties should be punsihed for negligence, child abuse, and reckless endagerment of those children. Somebody has to protect the children for God knows those people smoking those poor little ones lungs out aren’t looking after their best interest. Call the Law Children First and see how many people will be too shamefaced to act selfish about it.

  15. I’m sorry I flagged princess comment to agree with her did not realize I was reporting her.

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