ira-smok-carsSPRINGFIELD – Legislation creating a penalty for adults who smoke in a car with anyone under the age of 18 was approved in the Senate Public Health Committee today. State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) is the sponsor.

“If adults choose to smoke in their homes or vehicles, they choose for themselves alone. However exposing children to smoke in a confined setting where they cannot protect themselves is dangerous and causes life-long health problems,” Silverstein said. “As with child restraint seats and seat belts, we are obligated to protect children from known risks.”


The plan, Senate Bill 729, creates an up-to $100 fine for any motorist who smokes tobacco, marijuana or any other combustible substance in a car with a person under the age of 18. Smoking in cars with children is banned in seven states, Puerto Rico, and numerous nations around the world.

“Children have a higher risk from second-hand smoke for respiratory diseases, asthma, bronchitis and cardiovascular disease,” Kathy Drea of the American Lung Association told the committee. “Toxic levels of smoke in cars can be far greater than in a home.”

Several states have already enacted smoke-free car laws: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah and Vermont.

The proposal will now be considered on the Senate floor.

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