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Proposal to Ban Smoking in Cars Headed to Hearing

The bill would apply when children 6 years old and younger are in the car.

Described as an effort to educate the public on the health risks of second-hand smoke, a proposed bill seeks to ban smoking in cars with passengers 6 years old and younger.

The bill, introduced by state Rep. Henry J. Genga (D-East Hartford), calls for a warning for the first violation and a ticket and fine for subsequent violations. "A violation would be considered a secondary infraction because the intent is to educate the public on the health risks of second-hand smoke," according to a press release from House Democrats.

The proposal (HB 5380) will be the subject of a public hearing before the legislature’s Transportation Committee, at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20. It will be held in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Do you support this bill?

Elicia R. February 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM
It's controversial, but I do support it, not only for children under the age of 6 but for all minors under the allowed smoking age. Secondhand smoke is dangerous for a teenager as well as for a toddler. It is dangerous and deadly.
Paul Bahre February 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM
I don't smoke and don't really want to be in a car with someone smoking. That said I believe that a car is somewhat a personal space and laws like this are too intrusive into people's lives. Next thing you know they will ban all smoking inside someone's house. I also do not believe they should require adults to wear seatbelts for the same reasons, it's coming inside and telling someone what they must wear in their own space. I do believe that banning cells phones is OK because it's regulating behavior that endangers the rest of the road. A seat belt and smoking have no causal effect on driving and these laws are intrusive into our own personal space.
Fred February 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Next thing you know a goverment official in a brown shirt will tuck you in at night.
Gary Dumas February 19, 2013 at 09:34 PM
GOVT LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!!! Why don't we work on getting are streets plowed instead of adding another damn law
Peter Dinella February 20, 2013 at 02:43 PM
The pure hypocrisy on this subject from our government (federal and state) has always amazed me. On one hand they put health warning labels on cigarettes, propose "deflecting laws" like this one to show how concerned they are about us, and avoid the real tough issue:making cigarettes illegal. On the other hand, they collect hugh taxes on the sale of cigarettes. In CT the excise tax on a pack is $3.40 (third highest in the country) and the feds jump in and collect their $1.01. Money rules! I quit smoking 43 years ago. I also watched my mother die strapped to an oxygen tank after smoking for 60 years.
Brigid February 20, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Obviously, not smoking in your car when children of any age are present is a good practice. But how enforceable is this law? So a cop is driving down the highway; he sees that the driver is smoking; now he's supposed to scan the car to see if there are children. I know they're trained to look around for danger while driving but I'm pretty sure they'd end up in a ditch during this process.
Peter Dinella February 20, 2013 at 06:46 PM
PDY, you should have stopped after your first sentence.
Brigid February 20, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Peter, if you have anything constructive and non-snotty to add I'll be happy to respond.
John P. Flanagan February 24, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Well intentioned! However, our police officers are over worked as it is. When it comes to actual enforcement, put this one right next to the statute that prohibits use of a cell phone while driving. That's about how often it would be used.

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