Ohio Might Soon Ban Smoking in the Car With Children Under 6
Ohio is currently considering banning smoking in cars with young children under the age of 6 years. Senator Tina Maharath is the primary sponsor of the legislation, referred to as Senate Bill 78. First-time violators of the law will have to pay a $500 fine, while repeat offenders will have to pay the $500 fee plus an additional $250 for each additional violation.
Secondhand smoke statistics
The new legislation will significantly improve the health of Ohio children. Per the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke takes a significant toll on young children’s health on an annual basis, according to national statistics.
- Fluid buildup in the middle ear, resulting in 790,000 medical office visits
- 150,000-300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in those under 18 months of age, resulting in 7,500-15,000 hospitalizations
- 202,000 asthma flare-ups in young children
- 430 sudden infant death syndrome fatalities
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Positive strides to improving its track record
The proposed bill also promises to help the state boost its national ranking when it comes to protecting children from second-hand smoke risks. Per the Health Policy Institute of Ohio’s 2017 Health Value Dashboard, Ohio ranked 49th out of 50 states when it comes to states with the highest percentage of children living in homes with a smoker.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently reviewing the bill. Though some view the bill as an infringement on their liberty to smoke in the vehicle, others view it as a necessary safeguard of children’s wellbeing. If the state does approve the new legislation, young Ohioans will have a healthier future.
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