Measure Would Ban Smoking In Cars With Children

Apr 7, 2015

Credit Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Illinois has been "smoke free" since 2008, when a state law banned anyone from lighting up within 15 feet of public places and businesses. Now legislators are considering broadening where smoking is prohibited.

I recently saw a bumper sticker that read "At Least I Can Still Smoke In My Car." Not for long, if a measure that recently got the approval of a Senate committee continues to advance.

The proposal would forbid adults from smoking if anyone under the age of 18 is in the car; doing so would trigger a $100 fine.

The American Lung Association's Kathy Drea says second-hand smoke is harmful to kids.

“We do so many things in cars already. We regulate seat belts, we regulate... child safety seats, we regulate cell phone use in cares, we regulate alcohol use in cars... this is just another one that would help improve lives for our children," she said.

Although the measure recently passed out of a Senate committee, Drea acknowledges it's a sensitive topic.

Opponents include an organization for African Americans. Already, studies show black drivers are more likely to be pulled over than white drivers.