Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car With a Child in Ohio?
Updated: Aug 5
It is still legal to smoke with a "child" in the car in Ohio. There was a recent senate bill proposed, which would have made it illegal for people to smoke with a child in the passenger seat younger than the age of 6. This proposed Ohio law did not pass, and smoking with kids in the car is allowed. In other areas, smoking laws vary. For instance, the legal age for this in many other states like California and Oregon is 18 years old. In Vermont and Virginia, the minimum age is 8, and Arkansas, for example, went with 14 as the minimum age.
In What States Is It Illegal to Smoke in a Car With a Child?
Not all of the states have strict policies regarding this particular situation. As we've mentioned, there are some states, like California and Oregon, where the law is stringent. Some states have a bill in the works, but as of the time of writing, none have turned into law. Plenty of news outlets speculate that the law for the age of 6 or younger, which recently failed in Ohio, could increase in the coming years. Plenty of tobacco-free associations have been trying to push similar legislation across America. Still, Ohio remains a state where proper legislation on the matter doesn't exist.
What Is The Fine Or Punishment For Smoking With Young Children In The Car?
If the bill had passed, a person could have potentially been fined in Ohio up to $500 dollars for smoking with children in the car. Even local lawmakers admit that the current bill is kind of odd. Senate Bill 106 contemplates some of the heftiest fines in the entire country for this offense. At the same time, it allowed smoking with young children in the car at an early age. At 7-years old, or any age over 6, second-hand smoke indeed continues to present a considerable health risk. The fine for this type of offense in California is $100 in comparison.
Is This Senate Bill Ever Going To Pass?
Although the bill had plenty of support, many people in Ohio also believed that it was stepping over the line and infringing on rights. Recent news indicates that Ohio is in no hurry to make smoking with children in the passenger seat illegal. Quite frankly, that age 6 requirement would make policing the new law nearly impossible. Young children of that age don't generally carry around ID to verify their age, and inspecting virtually every passenger on a vehicle doesn't make much sense, even if there is a definite health risk.
What Are The Smoking Laws in Ohio?
Smoking in public places is banned in Ohio and has been since 2006. For many people who smoke, their vehicle is one of the few places that they can still do it legally. That is one of the reasons that they opposed this new legislative proposal. Even as news continues to pour in over how harmful smoking near young children can be, people still feel the need to fight for their rights.
Beware Crossing State Lines
If a person lights up a cigarette in their vehicle with kids on a trip across state lines out of Ohio, watch out! Some areas do have laws like this, and people could be surprised by the news that it is illegal. Then, they are forced to pay a fine even if they are doing it in their own vehicle, health aside. As mentioned, Ohio is one of the few states where there is no regulation about doing this in a vehicle. The problem is that legislation is all over the place; it would make sense to have a clearer vision on this on a national scale. If someone is in a vehicle, though, and they feel it would make their day to light one up, remember this news and check the legislation that applies to where they are traveling.
To read more about Ohio's criminal laws and statutes, visit our criminal laws in Ohio blog.
Visit the previous blog to learn if it is illegal to blow grass into the street in Ohio.
Is collecting rainwater illegal in Ohio? Read our next blog to learn more.
Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.