posted by Josh Goodman
Here's an idea that might catch on around the country. Arkansas just became the 17th state to ban smoking in workplaces, but, more interestingly, it may be the first to prohibit motorists from smoking in cars with small children.
The bill, which Governor Mike Huckabee says he will sign, allows for $25 levies on people who smoke in vehicles with children who are under the age of 6, weigh less than 60 pounds and are restrained in car seats. The sponsor of the bill says that he doesn't know of any state with an equivalent ban, although at least a couple of states ban foster parents from smoking in vehicles with their foster children.
The legislation sounds like something that would appeal to supporters of workplace smoking bans around the country. From their perspective, if it's unfair for waiters or bartenders to be subjected to second-hand smoke in their workplaces, it seems even more unfair for a small child who is stuck in a car.
On the other hand, I'm sure libertarians will say regulating an individual's conduct in his or her car is only a small step away from regulating it in the home.