We're a stubborn and independent people, but here in Texas, we're also all about taking care of our kids and looking out for their health.

Growing up, a lot of us were probably around people who smoked indoors and in the car, because it was just such a common thing. Nowadays, smoking in general is pretty frowned upon, there aren't any more "smoking sections" at restaurants, and people are more aware of how dangerous it is to smoke while there are kids in the car. (Not only is it hazardous to their health, but it also sets a bad example and could encourage to emulate you by smoking themselves.)

My question is, it is actually illegal to smoke with your kids in the car? Well...

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IS IT ILLEGAL TO SMOKE WITH CHILDREN IN YOUR CAR IN TEXAS?

Believe it or not, there's no law on the books in Texas that prohibits you from lighting up with a kid in the car.

The only states that currently have laws against it are Arkansas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. (Puerto Rico and Guam outlaw it as well.)

So no, it's not illegal to smoke with kids in your car in the Lone Star State.

 

SECONDHAND SMOKE IS A KILLER

 

Just because it's perfectly legal doesn't mean you should do it. As I said above, it's setting a bad example for your kids, who probably want to be just like you when they grow up and could take up your nasty habit.

But that's not the only danger. The CDC says children exposed to secondhand smoke are at a much higher risk for acute respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, middle ear disease, more frequent or severe asthma, and slowed lung growth.

Kids exposed to secondhand smoke also tend to have more ear infections, along with more liquid in the ears that could require ear tube operations.

Even if it's not against the law, you really should think about whether it's worth the risks to your kid's health and safety.

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