Slight majority oppose law banning smoking in cars with children - 411 participants

Feb 06, 2017

Sen. David Watters is sponsoring SB 145, a 2017 bill that would make it a violation to smoke in a car with children under the age of sixteen.  Police would only be able to enforce the law if they first cited the driver for another violation or offense. The violation would come with a $100 fine. Read more about this issue here. On February 6, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you support a bill that would make smoking in cars with children a secondary offense?”

“Do you support a bill that would make smoking in cars with children a secondary offense?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Smoking in Cars with Children New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 411 participants gave 1,298 responses 

A total of 92% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 8% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 411 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 1,298 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 110 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said:

No: A majority, at 59% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to banning smoking in cars with children.  

  • “While well intentioned, this is a clear example of government overreach.”
  • “Educate parents. We don't need police looking in cars to see who's smoking. This is wrong.”
  • “My car, my kids, my business. Doesn't matter whether I smoke or not.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 41%, were in favor of banning smoking in cars with children.  

  • “While I don’t agree with it being a primary offense, if you are already pulled over for something else like speeding, having it be a secondary offense is just fine for me. I have always felt that smoking with minors in the car should be child abuse.”
  • “If people are too selfish to care about the wellbeing of their children, they deserve to be punished.”
  • “If you want to smoke, that's fine, but exposing minors to the smoke is dangerous and irresponsible.”

Other: As noted above, 8% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Marijuana: “If pot gets voted in are they going to make [it] illegal to smoke in a car with kids?”
  • Indecision: “While I strongly support not exposing children to secondary smoke, I don't feel particularly positive about increasing the burden of fines and various legal threats on my fellow (usually poor) New Hampshirites.”
  • Broader issues: “I would support a bill banning smoking period.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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Related Bill

SB 145 (2017)
Bill Status: Tabled in the Senate
Hearing date: Jan 31, 2017

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