Smoking and Driving

Smoking and Driving

Somewhere along the way, a rumor started to spread. The rumor was that you couldn’t legally smoke and drive a car. This has alarmed many drivers who find that smoking helps them relax and pass the time while they’re stuck in traffic. It’s also likely resulted in the police fielding many calls from concerned motorists who report other drivers smoking while behind the wheel.

The Truth About Smoking and Driving

In California, there aren’t any current laws that prohibit you from smoking or vaping while you’re behind the wheel. That doesn’t mean that you absolutely won’t ever get into trouble for the act.

While a patrol officer can’t simply pull you over and issue a citation because you were smoking a cigarette, if you’re smoking causes you to weave all over the road, miss a traffic sign, or do something dangerous, you will likely be pulled over and issued a distracted driving ticket.

If you get into an accident because you were distracted by your cigarette, you’ll be responsible and likely ticketed.

Littering is another way that you can get into trouble for smoking while driving. If you’re caught flicking your cigarette butt out of your window while driving, an officer could decide to issue a littering ticket. If the ash from the cigarette you flicked out the window lands on something flammable and starts a fire, you could face additional legal and civil charges.

You’re Cigarette Could Get You Into Trouble Even if You’re Not Driving

Yes, you’re allowed to drive and smoke a cigarette, however, that same cigarette could get you into trouble if you’re car is parked. If you’re parked in a parking lot of a building where smoking is prohibited, such as a school, you can be issued a substantial fine. If you see a no-smoking sign, it’s in your best interest to park somewhere else or to keep your cigarettes locked in your glove box until you’re back on the road.

You Can Legally Smoke Tobacco but Not Weed While Driving

While you’re legally allowed to enjoy tobacco products and vaping in your car, things change if you’re using marijuana. At the moment, lawmakers view weed much like they do alcohol. You’re allowed to use it, but you have to be sensible. That means you can’t drive after you’ve smoked weed. You’re also not allowed to smoke weed (or consume products laced with marijuana) while driving. 

If you’re transporting marijuana, make sure it remains tightly packaged until you’ve reached your destination.

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Can You Smoke in Public

Can You Smoke in Public

Despite the obvious health concerns that come with smoking, there are still a lot of smokers out there in the world. An estimated 42.1 million people in the United States are smokers. This averages out to roughly 18% of all adults over the age of 18. That is a whole lot of people who still smoke.

The state of California is considered one of the leaders in anti-smoking laws and regulations. If a person violates any of these laws, then they could face fines. This makes it very important for smokers to be aware of all of these laws. A smoker needs to be very careful about where they decide to light up, or they could find themselves in trouble.

You Can’t Smoke Everywhere

Under California law, it is illegal for any person to smoke any tobacco products in an enclosed workplace. This law covers the entire state and cities and counties are not allowed to modify it. This means that is illegal to smoke in any indoor place where people work. This law even applies to people who aren’t employees of the establishment they are currently in, such as patrons at a bar. They may not work there, but other people do and so they cannot smoke in the bar.

Employers can allow smoking in certain rooms of their building if they ventilate it properly. This means pumping the air in the room directly outside, so as not to harm non-smoking employees. The ventilation system has to meet set state standards.

Hotels, and other places that host transient lodging, do have some exemptions to this law. Hotels are allowed to permit smoking in up to 65% of their rooms. Up to 25% of the hotel lobby can permit smoking as well. Smoking can be allowed in meeting and banquet halls as long as no food is present in the room.

A general rule of thumb with smoking is that if a nonsmoker is present in an area, then a smoker shouldn’t light up there. This is because nonsmokers have very little to protect themselves from secondhand smoke. This is why the state of California has adopted such strict laws.

If a person is caught smoking in a non-smoking area, they will face a $100 fine for a first-time offense, $200 for a second offense within a year, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense within a year.

Cities and counties are also permitted to ban smoking completely within their limits. Smokers should be aware of local smoking ordinances in their city to ensure they don’t get into trouble.

Don’t Litter with Cigarette Butts

Something else for smokers to consider is what they do with their cigarette butts. Despite popular beliefs that cigarette butts are just harmless bits of paper and cotton, they are very harmful to the environment. They contain thousands of chemicals within them, which is why they are considered toxic waste.

Throwing away cigarette butts on the ground is illegal here in California under Penal Code (PC) 374. This law makes it illegal to dump waste matter anywhere that isn’t a designated dump. Areas included in this description are:

• Public and private roads.
• Private property.
• Public parks.

The law specifically lists all forms of cigarettes and cigars as types of waste.

If a person is caught tossing their cigarette butt onto the ground, they can face infraction charges of illegal dumping. The consequences for this crime are:

• A fine of $250 to $1,000 for a first-time offense.
• A fine of $500 to $1,500 for a second-time offense.
• A fine of $750 to $3,000 for any subsequent offenses.


Be Careful Where You Light Up

Smoking is very unhealthy and a majority of the population chooses not to smoke. As such, they have the right to not breathe in harmful secondhand smoke. This is why smoking is so heavily restricted across the state of California. If a person chooses to smoke, then they need to be aware of both state and local laws. If they aren’t, they could easily earn themselves some nice fines for lighting up in the wrong area or disposing of the cigarette butt on the ground.

What are your thoughts on smoking, and California’s laws against smoking? Should smokers be allowed to light up wherever they want, or do you think there should be more restrictions? What about the penalties for smoking in non-smoking areas, are they fair, or should they be re-adjusted?

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New California Smoking Laws You Should Know About


It is no secret that cigarette smoking is increasing among teens; not everyone obeys age limit laws. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration are constantly implementing new rules for smokers and the most recent ones focus on manufacturing, labeling and marketing, and not selling to those who are 20 or younger. The new rules apply to smoking cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and also the more popular and “safer” e-cigarettes.

Everyone is well-educated on the risks of smoking – both for the self and for others passing by who inhale those fumes, which is called second-hand smoke. Despite knowing the health risks, people smoke anyway to relieve stress, to calm down, because of peer pressure, or because it’s “cool.”

The new regulations will take time to be implemented but note that violations can result in some hefty fines, losing licenses to manufacture and/ or sell, and even jail time, depending on your role in violating the rules. It is best to read up on current and forthcoming rules and regulations.

Violators who are jailed will very likely be offered bail to get out. If this happens to you or someone you know, please contact Redlands Bail Bond Store. We can provide you with a more budget friendly way of bailing out of jail. Redlands Bail Bond Store will get you out of jail in a jiffy!

Learn more about bail bonds by chatting with one of our representatives online or by calling us at 800-793-2245.

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