Massachusetts may ban smoking in cars with children

Once you find out you're expecting, you're likely going to do everything in your power to ensure healthy fetal development. However, your attitude might change once your pregnancy is over and you can go back to indulging in habits such as smoking. Many moms who give up vices while expecting take them back up once the baby has arrived, which can still negatively impact the health of the child. 

If you're a smoker who lives in Massachusetts and went back to lighting up after the arrival of your baby, you might want to think twice before reaching for a pack. Legislators are now trying to pass a bill in the state that would fine individuals for smoking in cars with young children. Rep. Paul Heroux from Attleboro is heading the bill, titled "Act To Protect Little Lungs." If the bill is enacted, police officers will be able to give warnings to people within the first 90 days of it coming into law. Afterward, smoking moms could be fined for their actions, according to Boston Magazine.

Heroux claims that the overall goal of the bill is to raise awareness of smoking, which can cause immense damage to children as well as adults. Additionally, Heroux understands that the law would be difficult to enforce - similar to the texting while driving initiative. However, it can potentially discourage parents from lighting up.

Children and secondhand smoke
Little kids have no control over whether they're exposed to secondhand smoke, which means it's up to parents to ensure that they're not including it in their environment. Secondhand smoke contains many of the toxins included in cigarettes which can cause lung cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Approximately 3,000 people in the U.S. die each year from inhaling it despite not smoking cigarettes themselves.

Exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to issues such as asthma and bronchitis, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. However, parents can dramatically reduce the likelihood of these problems altogether by staying away from cigarettes and not allowing tobacco products in their households. Individuals who want to quit smoking altogether can do so with the help of their primary care physicians. Medical experts can provide parents with options for smoking cessation and tips for keeping kids away from the by-product of cigarettes.

Were you a smoker prior to becoming pregnant? Did you quit after your baby arrived? Leave your feedback in the comments section!