Smoking in Cars with Kids is Illegal after October 1st-Mostly Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
It became illegal to smoke in the cars with children passengers on October 1st.
There are ordinances that prohibit smoking in cars with children in some cities, but reports that a widespread smoking ban took effect on October 1st is false.
A law against smoking in cars with minor passengers did, however, take effect in England on October 1st.
The British Parliament approved a ban on smoking in cars with children in early 2015, and the new law took effect on October 1st, the Telegraph reports:
A change in the law will come into force on October 1 after 342 MPs voted in favour compared to just 74 against.
More than 700 senior doctors backed a legal ban last year, saying that being in an enclosed space like a car significantly worsened the harm done to children by cigarette smoke.
The issue has divided political parties and provoked a fierce debate about public health and individual freedom, particularly in the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg previously argued that the ban would be “profoundly illiberal”.
Mr Cameron himself had previously questioned the practicalities of a ban, alongside Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, but both changed their minds.
As drivers in England geared up for the ban on smoking in cars that have children passengers, rumors spread that the law took effect in the U.S. on October 1st — but that’s not the case.
A fake news website called Now 8 News fueled the confusion with a report about the smoking ban in cars with minor passengers:
New 8 – starting October 1, 2015, it will be illegal to smoke in a car or other vehicles, with anyone under the age of 18. The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Both the driver and the smoker in the car could be fined as much as $80. This law applies to every driver, including those age 17 and those with a driving permit.
Now 8 News is one of many fake news websites designed to look like local news stations to trick readers into believing its fake reports are true.
Still, some cities across the U.S. have passed ordinances that prohibit drivers from smoking in cars with children passengers. The city council in Tempe, Arizona, passed one such ordinance in early 2015, the Arizona Republic reports:
Last month, Tempe City Council passed an ordinance to fine drivers $50 for a first offense and $100 for subsequent violations if they smoke while a child is in the car.
The ordinance applies to smokers of all types, including e-cigarette smokers.
However, police cannot pull over a driver solely for smoking with a child in the car.
Police can issue a ticket only if drivers are stopped for another infraction, such as speeding, and have a lit cigarette with a minor present. Officers could cite drivers for each child in the vehicle.
A judge could waive the fine for first-time offenders if they enroll in a smoking-cessation program.
So, it’s illegal to smoke in cars with minor passengers in some places in the U.S., but reports that a widespread smoking ban took effect on October 1st are false.