Smoking In Cars: FL Smoking In Cars

Florida Florida lawmakers are considering a crackdown on parents or adults with an affinity for smoking while driving.

Crackdown on smoking while driving

March 17, 2010

Bay News 9 — Florida lawmakers are considering a crackdown on parents or adults with an affinity for smoking while driving.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Victor Crist (R-Tampa), the bill moving through Tallahassee would make it a secondary offense for anyone driving and smoking with children in the car.

In essence, it would be illegal for drivers to smoke in their cars while children under 16 are present.

Anti-smoking advocates argue second-hand smoke is dangerous in an enclosed car because it’s a direct threat to a kid’s health. In many cases, children don’t have the option of finding another ride or forcing mom or dad to extinguish their cigarette.

Jolene Bivens from the American Lung Association in Florida released this statement about the bill: “Children are frequently exposed to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke in vehicles.”

“The American Lung Association in Florida has been a long-standing advocate for smoke-free laws; therefore, we strongly support efforts to protect Florida’s children from exposure to secondhand smoke in automobiles and other vehicles,” said Bivens.

The bill is a secondary offense, so the driver would only face a $100 fine if pulled over for another primary offense, such as speeding.

Smoking rights advocates say the legislation reaches too far and infringes on people’s rights. The critics’ argument: the bill is another assault on individual liberty.

In an email conversation, Gary Nolan Regional Dir. of Citizens Freedom Alliance asked “where do we draw the line?”

“They are now claiming ‘third hand smoke’ is a risk! Can we punish parents for providing a diet too high in fat or refined carbs? Law enforcement doesn’t have enough to do without pulling people over for DWS with a minor,” wrote Nolan in his email.

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Roy,
Here is an excerpt from OSHA I was telling you about. It also tells you where to find the entire letter.
“Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Ass’t Sec’y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997
I am curious to see if you “followed the money” for the group supporting this legislation. The money USUALLY comes from big pharma. (They make an alternate nicotine delivery system and if they can get SHS laws passed their sales skyrocket.) If research underwritten by big tobacco is suspect, so should research by big pharma. Look for links to Johnson and Johnson through the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (the largest share holder of J&J; stock and most of their board are vested with that stock too.)
In 1999, comments were solicited by the government from an independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke.
Using EPA figures on the emissions per cigarette of everything measurable in secondhand smoke, they compared them to OSHA’s PELs.
The following excerpt and chart are directly from their report and their Washington testimony:
CALCULATING THE NON-EXISTENT RISKS OF ETS
“We have taken the substances for which measurements have actually been obtained–very few, of course, because it’s difficult to even find these chemicals in diffuse and diluted ETS.
“We posit a sealed, unventilated enclosure that is 20 feet square with a 9 foot ceiling clearance.
“Taking the figures for ETS yields per cigarette directly from the EPA, we calculated the number of cigarettes that would be required to reach the lowest published “danger” threshold for each of these substances. The results are actually quite amusing. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a situation where these threshold limits could be realized.
“Our chart (Table 1) illustrates each of these substances, but let me report some notable examples.
“For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes would be required to reach the lowest published “danger” threshold.
“For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes would be required.
“Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.
“At the lower end of the scale– in the case of Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up simultaneously in our little room to reach the threshold at which they might begin to pose a danger.
“For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes are required. Perhaps we could post a notice limiting this 20-foot square room to 300 rather tightly-packed people smoking no more than 62 packs per hour?
“Of course the moment we introduce real world factors to the room — a door, an open window or two, or a healthy level of mechanical air exchange (remember, the room we’ve been talking about is sealed) achieving these levels becomes even more implausible.
“It becomes increasingly clear to us that ETS is a political, rather than scientific, scapegoat.”
This is about control, not ETS. Where do we draw the line? They are now claiming “third hand smoke” is a risk! Can we punish parents for providing a diet too high in fat or refined carbs? Law enforcement doesn’t have enough to do without pulling people over for DWS with a minor!?
– Gary Nolan

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