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Four U.S. states, one Canadian province and one territory have already banned smoking in your car when children are present. Next up to potentially adopt the legislation is Ontario, Canada. A bill has been introduced into parliament that would fine anyone smoking in a car when someone under the age of 16 is also in the car.

The bill makes no exceptions for, well, anything. It doesn't matter if the car is stopped or moving, if all the windows are down and the sunroof open, or whether the smoker is driver or passenger. Smoke inside a motorized vehicle with a "child," and it'll cost you $250 Canadian.

While we don't argue with the supposed spirit of the law -- protecting children from the ill health effects of smoke -- we do wonder about the relevant age. Sixteen years old seems kind of long in the tooth to be classified as a "child," while 17-year-olds are suddenly adults who can handle it. There would also seem to be more dangerous things out there than traces of smoke at 55-MPH with the windows down, but it is Canada after all, so maybe not.

Thanks for the tip, Rodstar!
[Source: Canadian Driver]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Sixteen years old seems kind of long in the tooth to be classified as a "child," while 17-year-olds are suddenly adults who can handle it." Surprised that a law comes with limits? Want to check each child for lung capacity or propensity for contracting lung cancer? Every law has a line drawn somewhere - drinking, driving, running for president. Wolfville, Nova Scotia was lauded and hated when the enacted a similar ban, but townsfolk seem to cope. (http://goodcarbadcar.blogspot.com/2007/11/smokecarkidsticket.html)
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think the distinction comes more from the fact that a 16y.o. might have some more say in how clean the air ought to be around them. Also gives the OPP free reign to pull over any car with smokers in it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      reality is that most people that are against smoking are former smokers. its mostly just a situation where goverment want more money because of the ressecion and tax things like this while the spend millons on marajuana enforce ment lets say. they should just ban it all together or just give smoker a certain place or room like they do in casino's. that way everyone wins.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What if the smoker in the car IS the 15-year-old?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ahh, don't you just love government trying to protect us? You'd think that IF they really wanted to protect us they'd outlaw the sales of tobacca products altogether.

      But then they'd lose all that money support they get from the tobacca lobbyists.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Tobacco makes too much money. Both farming and taxes for the govt. The govt has to present Tobacco as bad (because it is in most cases), but they don't want to eliminate it. Imagine the tax revenue the govt makes off just cigarettes ...
      • 7 Years Ago
      screw the smokers. ban it.
      flame on smokers. damn junkies!

      the receptionist at work smokes and is pregnant. she wont listen to
      her, boyfriend, and mother sit in the car outside of work everyday
      smokin up a storm, sometimes with her other 2 small children.
      in bad weather the windows are sealed up. its cold outside, i dont
      wanna be cold. or its raining...
      poor kids.

      what the windows are cracked you can smell it. yeah right.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thats great, the government should squeeze every sent out of those dumb smokers that poison our precious air.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Except that the government has dedicated all the revenues from the cigarette taxes to education. The higher the taxes, the less smokers, the less tax-base, the less taxes, the less money going to the children.

        And I thought this was all about the children.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nothing to fret about, all smokers will quit sooner or later. Likely sooner...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really have a hard time understanding this anger towards smokers when a child will certainly be in more danger if mommy or daddy happen to be DRUNK behind the wheel.
      Last time I checked, it is still legal to smoke cigarettes and no I am not a smoker.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not with a class G license. You can drink AND drive with that, there's some limits though, but it's possible you're ALLOWED to.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Drinking and driving is already illegal in Ontario
      • 7 Years Ago
      Its likely that the cutoff age they choose was 16 due to a number of legal changes that occurs with kids once they turn 16 here in ontario. At 16 you are able to obtain your drivers liscence and it is no longer mandatory to attend school. While your are not a true adult in the eyes of the Ontario government, they assume at the age of 16 you can make decisions for yourself.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The is the fourth item Ontario has banned in an equal number of weeks. Unable to deal with the recession that is rapidly engulfing the province, the lackluster Premier has chosen this method to distract the masses.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Perhaps you should concentrate yourself on the Gardiner.

        This is a rather weak argument. Neighbouring Québec is still booming economically and has also introduced measures against drivers effective April 1st; cell-phone ban, mandatory Winter tires, doubled fines for speeding, and photo-radar.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Would be nice if they banned smoking all together. Smokers are so selfish.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can't you be tried as an adult if, for example, you murdered someone at 16 or 17?

      The drinking age is like 19 in some places in Canada too, if I am not mistaken.
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