Saturday Soapbox: Smoking

I climbed on my soapbox last week to vent about parents that don’t put their kids in carseats. You folks responded really well to that and a good dialog was started.

I was thinking that I could do this more often.

So I have decided to have Saturday Soapbox. Basically,  I’ll voice my opinion about something that bothers me and the you all discuss your thoughts and and feelings on the issue.

For today’s Saturday Soapbox,  I’m going to talk about smoking with your kids in the car.

This has been a pet peeve of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ve never understood why someone would knowingly put their child at risk for things like,  asthma,  cancer or countless other illnesses.

Personally,  I don’t understand smoking in general. I know that it’s an addiction and a powerful one at that but it says Causes Cancer,  right on the package. A person is well within their rights to smoke and likely loose many years off their lives but forcing your kids to breath that same,  unfiltered,  toxic air is simply not right. You have made the  choice to smoke,  your kids haven’t.

It drives me crazy to see someone driving around,  with their windows up and chain smoking.  Especially when their children are in the back seat.

I’ve seen little kids coughing and Mom or Dad keep puffing away,  completely oblivious to what they are putting their kids through. At the very least,  roll the friggin Window down.  For the love of God,  think about your innocent kids,  choking in the back seat.  It’s bad enough that they aren’t in a carseat but now they can’t breathe either.

I don’t understand why this isn’t considered child endangerment.

We know it’s dangerous for both the person behind the filter and for the person in front of the filter.  It’s not like these are just my opinions,  these are undisputed,  scientific facts.

Even Big Tobacco knows that their product kills. It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that you are directly affecting your child’s health and potentially even their future.


Please,  please,  please,  if you must smoke do so away from your kids. Please don’t smoke in the house or car,  especially if it’s in the presence of your children. You have the right to do this to yourself and I respect that,  just please don’t make that same decision for your children.

Most of my siblings smoke.  It doesn’t make them bad people. Like you,  they are good people who are making not so good choices.

Please,  if you’re not going to care enough about yourself to either quit smoking on your own or get to help to do so,  at least think about what your unfiltered,  secondhand smoke is doing to your precious children.

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Raynette Jones

i am so grateful my kid does not have upper respitory issues. it would make me more crazy than i am now about his health. I can imagine me running to the ER every time he coughed and he wouldnt go for that. I have a no smoking policy at home or in the car or anywhere. when i had my first child they allow smoking in the mothers room even when the baby was in there. i think there is enough education out there that we know it would hurt the kids. i dont like a bunch of laws though. you never know when you might be on the wrong end of them. i have enough to worry about

Heleen Langdon

I know a lot of smokers, none of them smoke around their kids, house, or car.

Leslie Kresack

Actually where I live it is illegal to smoke in a car with a child, you can recieve a large fine. You also can not smoke at playgrounds, within 9 metres of a building entrance, or in any public building or business. I smoked for like 13 years and I never smoked in a vehicle with children in it, nor in a home with children, I always went outside. Children(and everyone else) are passively smoking every ciggarette lit up around them, its not fair to non smokers or children to have to breathe in toxic fumes for the sake of any smoker. Everyone who smokes that doesn’t want to quit has a million excuses why they can’t quit but the fact is that they don’t want to quit. When you want to quit its because you’re ready to do it, plain and simple, and when you’re redy all the excuses go out the window.

Tina Banks

I’m the same ! I make sure no one smokes in my house, and ask them to go out side if they want to, also if out and about I tend to stay away from places where people would smoke…am I a snob for this? I don’t care, I grew up with both parents smoking and I remember suffocating in the back of the car while they smoked with no windows open…don’t want that for my children.

Jen Buttermore

Especially when it comes to autistic kids…do you know how many things we do on a daily basis that cys would rip our kids away from us for?
Locks on doors…etc…
More laws involving kids is a horrible idea. Especially when the ones that get hurt by them are not the ones that should be…
I can picture it now…get pulled over…my daughter in the car…your car smells of cigarette smoke…yeah always does…there are laws against that…cys is called…

Jen Buttermore

I read your article and want to chime in on the comments that were made.
I smoke…it’s really the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind at times…I cannot get PRN medication for anxiety..and the anxiety meds I’m on do not work at times.
I work 56 hours plus a week…have a disabled husband (aspergers) and a disabled daughter (severe autism) I handle all the therapy and wrap coordination because I’m the only one who can…I handle all the finances, bills…etc…
Now people commented about smoking in your car should be illegal with children…I agree it’s wrong…but laws? We’re these the same people that decried the “big pop” law in New York? Probably so.
My Windows are tinted in my van…you can see a car seat..but maybe not be able to see a child or not…I swear, working in low income areas as a nurse I get pulled over enough for being in the wrong areas and being white…seriously…i get pulled over just to be asked “what are you doing here?”
Do NOT say more laws against your freedoms are a good idea unless you’re willing to give up way more…that ban on oversized soda was after all..for your own good…but people knew what they were doing to their bodies right?
I know what I’m doing to MY body. I work in health care. It’s my choice. My vehicle. No laws should be made suppressing that.
I.don’t smoke in the car with my daughter, but laws are a slippery slope.

Lost and Tired

Dwayne Murphy thanks.  I ran I to this last  I get at a school function.  We parked next to a family with kids in the back seat, the windows cracked and both parents smoking.  It was so bad that I could smell it the moment I stepped out of our car. It was disgusting and I feel so bad for those kids.

Dwayne Murphy

I’m 37, and my father smoked in the house like a chimney all through my childhood, teen years, and early adult years when I was still living at home. I’ve never smoked cigarettes myself; being a long-distance runner, I know for a fact that I would have been able to run considerably faster if I hadn’t been forced to breathe in all of that crap for so many years. The second-hand smoke did cause some permanent, superficial damage to my lungs, and who the fuck knows what conditions I might develop later in life as a result of it. And my mom had breast cancer, and it has been proven that second-smoke causes that type of cancer. Thank God it was only level-zero, and she was able to make a quick and fairly easy recovery. Kudos to you Rob for taking a stand against smoking.

Stephanie Scott

I live on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada where it is illegal to smoke inside any business, including bars, casinos, restaurants and must stay a minimum of 6' from the door. It is also illegal to smoke in any vehicle with a child under 16 years old. Laws are very strictly enforced too! Lots of controversy at first but no issues now. Many playgrounds in our area are also no smoking zones. Anywhere that there are kids should be smoke free.

midwest mom

We never smoked in the house or the car, but I ultimately gave up smoking because my daughter followed me every where I went. When I tried to sneak outside to have a smoke, she would find me and always seem to stand in the way of the smoke. With her having asthma, it was easier (and safer) to just give up smoking then to keep trying to sneak away and have a smoke.


I live in CA where the anti-smoking laws are pretty tough, but I am still constantly subjected to clouds of smoke when I enter and exit buildings. It has always been a pet peeve, but now when I have my daughter, a cancer survivor at just 20 months old, it makes me irate. No one has the right to poison my child (other than the doctors who pumped her full of chemo, of course!). Unfortunately, I automatically assume that smokers are not very intelligent – a bias based on their bad decisions, whether it's true or not – so I rarely expect them to understand the effect of their choice. Complaints to store owners is more effective.
My recent post Big Changes

Amber Spangler

I completely agree. There should be laws passed in the United States not allowing smoking while children are around. I also don't understand why people see no smoking signs around bus stops and decide to light one up anyways. Have a little respect for those around you especially when there are children around.


I live in Vancouver, Canada and about 3 or 4 years ago they passed a law making it illegal to smoke in your car if your children are in the car as well. They actually have tough anti smoking laws here all around, no smoking near door ways or air intakes, no smoking in parks or beaches or inside any public building, it's fantastic for our kids!


I totally agree with you. There really should be a law passed. It would be no different than exposing a toxic substance other places. Corporations are sued and found criminally responsible for this. Why aren't our children protected?