Maine - bill to ban smoking in cars with children enacted in the State of Maine..

April 10, 2008 - Bill to ban smoking in cars with children enacted in the State of Maine.. Maine's law, modeled after an ordinance adopted by the City of Bangor, which will take effect 90 days after this spring's legislative session ends, will outlaw smoking in cars in which youths under 16 are present. The bill authorizes $50 fines for violations, but only after the first year. In the meantime, warnings will be issued. The bill was weakened from the original version, which would have outlawed smoking if someone 18 or younger was in the vehicle and imposed fines right away. While the changes disappointed some of the bill's most ardent backers, legislative support remained strong and the bill encountered no serious setbacks. California, and Louisiana have passed similar laws, as have Puerto Rico and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Other states now considering bans include Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana and Utah, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. and South Carolina. Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, board chair of the Ontario Medical Association, said the concentration of smoke in cars can be up to 60 times greater than the concentration of smoke in a room inside a house. The risks to children from exposure to second-hand smoke include respiratory illnesses, middle ear disease, lower respiratory tract infections, sudden infant death syndrome and increased risk cancer and heart disease in adulthood. Surveys of smokers have found that 90% would support a ban on smoking in cars when children are present. Some related news briefs: Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels.. and Australia ban on smoking in cars when children are present.. Click on image to enlarge..