New York State - on verge of passing law that makes it illegal to smoke if there is a child in your car under 14

July 1, 2010 - State lawmakers on Wednesday, June 30th were on the verge of passing legislation that would make it illegal for occupants of a car to smoke if there are children on board younger than 14. The law would carry a maximum fine of $100 fine for those who are caught, said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, a Democrat from Queens, who sponsored the bill.

Children are far more susceptible to childhood diseases like asthma when exposed to secondhand smoke, and unlike adults they do not have the choice to avoid it, Ms. Stavisky said. “A child gets in the car where mommy or daddy or Aunt Nancy are smoking and doesn’t have the option of leaving,” she said.

The law was approved by the Assembly this week and was expected to be passed by the Senate later Wednesday.

The law is intended to make parents aware that secondhand smoke can be harmful to their children and help them understand the risks, said Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn, a Democrat from Flushing, Queens, who sponsored the Assembly bill.
Originally, the bill created penalties of possible jail time and up to a $500 fine, Ms. Mayersohn said. But lawmakers chose to make it an “educational bill more than a punitive bill,” she said. “We just want to give the kids a voice.”

New York would join a handful of states with similar laws. Arkansas, Louisian, Maine and, most recently,California have adopted similar bills, said Russell Sciandra, a tobacco policy specialist with the American Cancer Society.
Considering the risk of secondhand smoke to children, it is an appropriate use of governmental power, he said.

The law would be enforced much like a traffic violation, with a police officer having the authority to cite someone for having a lighted tobacco product in a car with a child. The fine would be handled by a jurisdiction’s health department, Ms. Stavisky said.

This is a NO Brainer - do you want the best for your children??

A few directly related news briefs..let's get the law passed already.. Senior British Doctors demand banning smoking in vehicles when children are present...

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Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels..;
New South Wales politician smoking comment totally inaccurate..; .
U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke..

A Move to Ban Smoking in Cars With Children by STEPHEN CEASAR, City Room, The New York Times, 7/1/2010.
(kids, child, children, vehicle, auto, automobile)