NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 11, 2007

California motorists will risk fines of up to $100 next year if they are caught smoking in cars with minors, making their state the third to protect children in vehicles from secondhand smoke, says the Associated Press.

Under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger' bill:

  • Smoking in a vehicle if someone under age 18 is present will be an infraction but the traffic stop would have to be made for another offense, such as speeding or an illegal turn, before the driver could be cited for smoking.
  • The ban, which takes effect Jan. 1, joins a string of smoking prohibitions adopted in California, including a ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces and within 25 feet of a playground.

At least 20 states and a number of municipalities have considered limiting smoking in cars where minors are present. Arkansas now bans smoking in cars with children age 6 and younger, while Louisiana has limited it when children 13 and younger are in the vehicle. Maine lawmakers will take up the issue in January.

Source: Steve Lawrence, "Calif. Bans Smoking in Cars With Kids," Associated Press, October 11, 2007.


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