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Ban on Smoking in Cars with Kids Proposed in Illinois

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Illinois Rep. Mike Boland has introduced legislation to prohibit smoking in cars when children are passengers, the Associated Press reported March 8.

The measure calls for fines of up to $1,500 and up to a month in jail for drivers caught smoking while driving with passengers ages 8 or younger. Boland said he was moved to introduce the bill when he walked past a smoke-filled car. “I saw some little heads in their little car seats and thought 'Gee, that's really awful,”' he said.

Such bans are already in place in Arkansas and Louisiana, and California, Massachusetts, Arizona, and other states are currently considering similar measures.

Boland said that police and judges would likely not impose the high fines and jail terms in most cases, opting instead to issue warnings or smaller fines. He said age 8 would be an appropriate cutoff since the law already requires children 8 and under to be in car seats, making offenders easier to spot. 

5 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Billy Scott
    Billy Scott / March 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I have been talking about some kind of law just like this for years!!!! We ban smoking in bars where adults can choose whether to be there or not because second hand smoke is so harmful. yet it’s ok to expose children to it because they are in a car?! it should cover any minors.

  2. Avatar of Laura
    Laura / February 19, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I look at it like this when these people buy my personal stuff or pay for my personal use of anything I (key would I) pay for then they can tell me what i can or can’t do.

  3. Avatar of KrisI
    KrisI / January 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    There is nothing worse than an arbitrary law. If second hand smoke is bad for an 8 year old it is bad for a 9 year old, isn’t it? And a 9 year old has no more ability to get out of the situation as the 8 year old. If you are going to make this a law then the age should be at least 17.

  4. Avatar of MickeySue
    MickeySue / December 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Why not make it no smoking in a car with a minor. It is not like they have control on what adults do to harm their lungs.

  5. Avatar of Mike
    Mike / May 5, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Sorry, no matter who is paying for your stuff there is no reason to subject a person to second hand smoke in a car. Your comment implies that since you paid for your house you can commit a crime against anyone entering your house for no reason which goes against everything the government has established to protect the rights of others. It’s that ignorance that hold up laws like this that look out for the health and well being of others when they cannot speak up for themselves. Mind you i am at 15+ year smoker with two small children and never once let my habit effect their health in a confined space.

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