Lawmakers have banned smoking from restaurants and bars, and now the government is considering a ban on smoking in cars. House Bill 341 would prohibit adults from smoking inside a vehicle when minors are present.
Five other states have similar laws. If passed in Florida, it would be a non-moving violation, or secondary offense, and carry a fine of about $30.
Bill sponsor Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, says the fine is not the point of this bill.
"What I'm really trying to do is to educate the dangers of secondhand smoking," said Rep. McBurney. "This isn't about ‘big brother,' this is about little brother in a car seat, in the back seat. This bill is simply to protect children; it has nothing to do with adults."
Many parents seem to love the idea.
"I'm 100 percent for it, because I've said this all along that it should be against the law to smoke in the car with your children inside and when the windows are up," said Orlando mother Heather Diehl. "You're exposing them to secondhand smoke, and when you smoke in the car, it's on the seats. That's all third-hand smoke and that's very, very dangerous for them, it shouldn't be allowed."
Mark MacFarlane has a 3-year-old son. He doesn't like when 'big brother' infringes on people's rights but feels differently about this bill, because it deals with kids.
"I don't think kids can be their own advocate. We are their advocate and we should be out for their best interest. So if a child was over 18 maybe they can make their own decision," he offered.
The bill was filed last week. It will be up for debate early next year.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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