Mum Says Smoking Around Children Is Child Abuse And Those Who Do It Should Be Fined!
A Sydney mum who was left furious recently after witnessing a group of adults smoking near a toddler has decided to take action.
Nina Belle has started an online petition calling on the NSW government to issue a total ban on smoking around children. Here’s what she writes on her Change.org page:
“The other day outside of my local shopping centre I witnessed three adults smoking next to a toddler in a pram who they were caring for. The smoking was blowing into the child’s face, and the adults had no regard for their actions. As a mother with a two-year-old, I felt disgusted and appalled that the poor child had to sit there and be exposed to these toxic chemicals. It was completely unfair!”
Belle wants to see smoking around children being penalised the same way any other form of child abuse is.
“I believe exposing babies and children to ongoing passive smoke is a form of child abuse. This view might sound outrageous, but it’s not,” Ms Belle wrote in her petition.
“We intervene when children are neglected due to alcohol or drug addictions, and we should intervene when children are exposed to ongoing second-hand smoke.”
“If you choose to smoke, and harm your own health, that is your own decision. But to expose an innocent child, that is not right,” she added.
“I know this issue is more prevalent in disadvantaged communities, but it is still happening everywhere and it’s 2017.”
While smoking is still a legal activity in Australia, doing so while travelling in a car with a child under 16 years of age will see you fined $250 on the spot.
It remains to be seen whether that fine will now be applied to adults who smoke around children outside of a vehicle as well.
While over 500 people have signed Belle’s petition up till now there are others who don’t believe it to be a viable solution.
Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi says, “It’s still a legal activity, you’ve got to allow them to do it somewhere. I do think most parents do the right thing, they do go outside and they try not to smoke in a child’s face.”
What do you think? Should smoking around children be classified as child abuse and come with a hefty fine? Or are we just becoming a nanny state?