RICHMOND - Adults won't be allowed to smoke in cars with children if one state senator has his way.
Sen. Ralph Northam,(D-6th District) introduced the bill specifically targeting smokers in vehicles with children under age 15. People caught smoking with kids in the car would face a $100 ticket.
The goal is to reduce the health risk of second hand smoke for children. The Environmental Protection Agency states secondhand smoke in cars can be especially harmful to children because cars are small, confined spaces where children are closer to the smoker and the smoke. A child’s still-developing lungs can be easily damaged by exposure to the high level of secondhand smoke in a car, the government warns.
Northam’s bill has been referred from Transportation to the Courts of Justice. A similar bill was killed in the House.
According to the group Action on Smoking and Health, at least five states - Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine and Oregon, and also Puerto Rico - have already banned smoking in cars when children are present and others are considering it.
The group Tobacco Free Ca in California produced a video about the dangers of smoking with kids in the car.