California bans smoking in cars with kids ..

October 11, 2007 - California bans smoking in cars with kids - California has added another place where the state's 4 million smokers may not light up – in cars when any child under 18 is inside. Starting January 1, 2008 motorists will face a $100 fine if caught smoking with a child in a vehicle, on the road or parked, under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday. The car-smoking measure, Senate Bill 7 by Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, was hailed as a safeguard against exposure to toxic secondhand smoke. Similar legislation had been repeatedly blocked by lawmakers in recent years. ( A Harvard School of Public Health report indicated that secondhand smoke in cars can be up to 10 times more of a health risk than secondhand smoke in a home.) Major limitation of this legislation: Violations would be a secondary offense, which means motorists could not be stopped solely for smoking with a child on board. Most likely this is the reason - there was no official opposition from the tobacco industry. California becomes the 3rd state along with Arkansas and Louisiana to protect children in vehicles from secondhand smoke. Arkansas now bans smoking in cars with children age 6 and younger, while Louisiana has limited the ban when children 13 and younger are in the vehicle. A number of municipalities such as New York City are considering a similar ban - see related news briefs. August 16, 2007 and August 15, 2007.

The City of Bangor, Maine has a ban in place.