Bill targets smoking in vehicle with young kids

4,000 substances in secondhand smoke are known to cause cancer.
TNS Regional News
Oct 20, 2013


Worried about the effects of secondhand smoke on children, state Sen. Charleta Tavares is pushing a bill for the second time in two years that would ban smoking in a car with a young child.

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the effect of secondhand smoke because they are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments,” said Tavares, D-Columbus, during sponsor testimony before the Criminal Justice Committee yesterday.

If passed, Senate Bill 130 would prohibit smoking in a motor vehicle when a child younger than 6 is a passenger. Tavares first presented the bill in February 2012 but it did not make it out of committee.

During yesterday’s testimony, Tavares said her biggest concern is that a child riding in a car with a smoker has no way of escaping the 4,000 substances in secondhand smoke that are known to cause cancer.

Tavares successfully pushed for a ban on smoking in public places in Columbus while she was on city council in 2004, two years before a statewide ban became law.

Other states, such as Arkansas, Louisiana, California and Maine, have laws that ban smoking in vehicles with passengers ranging from younger than 13 to 17, with fines of $50 to $100, depending on the state. Tavares’ bill would impose a $500 fine for the first offense and another $500 fine plus $250 for subsequent violations.

Dr. Tom Houston, chairman of the Columbus Breathing Association, a group that promotes lung health and fights lung disease, said the group supports the bill.

“We feel clean indoor air is very important,” he said. “The issue is when children are exposed (to secondhand smoke), they have a higher risk of asthma and other respiratory disease. So exposing kids (in) the car — in the confined space — is really hazardous to their health.

“The whole point is there are (thousands of) chemicals and kids don’t need to be breathing them."


By Alex Felser - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



I think you should be more worried about parents who take their children with them to buy drugs, and get high and over dose, or have them around while meth is cooking, than Parents who have enough common sense to not smoke in the car while the children are with them.You know who I mean the parents who actually really love their children. why is it you bureaucrats think you need to tell us how to live our lives? you act as if everyone but you has no common sense, and you MUST show us how to live.


when are they going to make laws that protect us from THE GOVERNMENT?


I smoke and I would support this law....


Ferbal, is that because you don't have enough common sense not to do that without a bureaucrat making a law that tells you not too?


I think this is already covered under child abuse laws.




next thing you'll see is them passing a bill that says all homes with young children will be forced to have blunted scissors and steak knives as well as needing elbow and knee pads for play time...


Until the Government decides to make my car payments.. they need to stay out of my business!


and out of your car!


I meant to say that! So thanks for adding the comment! LOL


How about parnets who don't restrain their kids is safety seats or seat belts? Thet is worse then having a smoke in the car. I grew up with two smoking parents, they smoked in the house and in the car. Nobody ever got cancer! And before you comment on my parents, this was the 1960's when the majority smoked.


If you ask me, parents that smoke in their car are as good of parents as those parents that let their children walk around down range on a live rifle range. Nope, actually they might be worse; because those children that are hit by bullets down range will most likely die faster than those that are given cancer by their careless acts of child abuse by smoking in their homes and cars around their children. And to those that would say otherwise underneath my post, you are just an idiot.


I'm a smoker & I agree with you. If I want to fill my lungs with it then so be it. But children can't make that decision as they are at the mercy of the adults around them. There shouldn't have to be a law though!


I completely agree with you also. However, on a daily basis I see people smoking in their cars with newborns, infants and toddlers. Nothing but the window cracked. There shouldn't have to be a law but these people are so addicted to cigs that they lose any compassion for their own child's health. Very sad.

Lin Williams

I bet the majority of you talking about how bad parents smoke around their kids are also the same parents that let your children run wild! Give me a break, what doesn't cause cancer anymore? Everything we eat, drink, breathe in, chemicals we work around you name it! The Government will not tell me how to live my life unless they are going to pay my living expenses! Beings I don't use govt asst they have no right to tell me how I can our cannot live my life! As far as I'm concerned they can dictate those they support but I will defy and dictatorship they try to force upon us!


Thank you for proving my point. You don't care about children or their health. My kids don't run around wild and I don't smoke. That's kind of just a completely ridiculous comment. If it weren't for idiots like you, there would be no need for the government to enact these laws. But since people refuse to use common sense they have to. There wouldn't have to be laws against burglary if people wouldn't burglarize other people. There wouldn't have to be laws against drinking and driving if people just wouldn't do it. Laws are there to protect the innocent from the people who don't care.


What's next?! They should ban parents from feeding their kids fast food too then! Give me a break!


What's happing to our America?
Before you know it, we will not be free.
Government has taken over our freedoms?

Really are you ...

A congress woman is trying to push this bill for a second time. Really? Wait a second here. Congressional shutdown for 16 days, and they want to be able to fine me for smoking in my car. Personally I can hold off from lighting a cigarette with a child in my car. It is being accountable and responsible for my own actions.

With the onboard video,surveillance, and tracking systems they are testing on law enforcement vehicles, what could go wrong? Adults driving, check. An adult smoking in vehicle, check. Child in vehicle, check. Vehicle tagged. Drone strike confirmed.

Hey while congress wants to hold our hands and tell us how to live free, why don't they start working on early childhood obesity. At a certain age a child should weigh so much. If the child weigh's too much, they will be banned from fast food.

Congress should be more worried about the debt ceiling, and the national debt.


I just wonder how they are going to catch these parents. For one the car will smell like smoke from prior travel without the children. 2. They will have smokes on them obviously to light up outside the car when they arrive at their location. What is going to be the determining factor to issue a ticket? The smell? The cigarettes sitting on the dash? They better start paving pull offs if this keeps up. Can't text can't smoke next you won't be able to eat and drive. Nope just a bunch of zombies driving the 2 and 10 hand position so we don't get in trouble from the smoke police. Oh yes and there will always be the ones in the grocery store parking lot that will call the cops on you if they see you puffing away with a little in the car; community heroes.


Well for starters maybe them physically see you with the cigarette? Or did you not think of that..... And technically driving isn't a right. Its a privilege. It does not say anywhere in the constitution that "you will have the right to do whatever you want while driving". No. Roads are GOVERNMENT property. Don't like it? Then don't drive.


Seriously? The people commenting saying "I won't let the government tell me what to do" they aren't telling you what to do, they are telling you what you SHOULD be doing. If you want to smoke that's all fine and dandy, but why force it on your child? I grew up with a father who smoked all the time, and I have weak lungs and he STILL smoked in the car even though I could not breath. If you cannot drive without smoking then you need to find another alternative because it is not fair to be doing that children in such confined spaces. And this bill is calling for under 6, are you REALLY that big of a jerk that you are going to FORCE your 2, 3, 4 year old, or infant for that matter to breath in your smoke? If that is the case you DO NOT deserve to have your child because you obviously do not care enough for their well being. Honestly we shouldn't need a law to tell us its wrong but with as often as I see it happen there needs to be.