SMOKIN’ MAMA’S NOT HOT

The lovely park near me has no sign that bans smoking. And yet, you seldom see people smoking there. Perhaps that’s because walkers and nature lovers also tend to be health conscious individuals.  But as I walked home  on Labor Day, a car exiting the park caught my eye.  First, I saw a young child in the front seat.  As the car stopped to wait for traffic, the female driver  lit up a cigarette and puffed away. , I guess she didn’t know that  smokin’ mamas are not hot.

What is wrong with that scenario?  Let’s give the mom some credit.  She  made the effort to take her child to the park.  Maybe they spent some time on the playground, or even had a little picnic in a quiet place under a tree.  It was a good day.  She was a good mother.   Let’a assume she didn’t smoke publicly in the park for whatever reason.  Why, then, couldn’t she control the urge once she and her daughter were confined in that small space?

Actually, it would have been better for the child if she had smoked while outside, on the playground.  At least the smoke would have dissipated before reaching the child’s lungs.  By waiting to smoke in the car, she was exposing her child to far more secondhand smoke.

Is  smoking with children considered  child abuse?    Some physicians believe that it is.  A few states ban  smoking in a private car with a minor.    They are: . They are  Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Virginia  Also,. Puerto Rico.   What’s the matter with my state of Indiana, which has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation?

It is considered child abuse to smoke in a car with a young child
SOME STATES HAVE LEGISLATION BANNING SMOKING IN A CAR WITH A CHILD

Scientific research over the last decade has  shown that second hand smoke  may cause several diseases in children, include asthma and pneumonia. Exposure to secondhand smoke is not simply a nuisance; it is deadly.  .Second hand smoke is a major cause of sudden infant death syndrome and may cause lung cancer and heart attacks with repeated exposure.   No safe level of exposure exists.

In cases where a child suffers from asthma and other second hand smoke induced diseases the legal system has begun to initiate  court-ordered termination of parental rights, changes in custody status, and other actions.   

Most of us are hesitant to intervene when we see a stranger smoking while with a child  .  After all, they know it’s wrong, but are doing it anyway.   Okay, I won’t say anything, but I can certainly frown and show my disgust.   Smokin’ mamas are definitely not hot.

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