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Bill Bans Smoking In Cars With Kids

Secondhand tobacco smoke cigarettes is a known cause of cancer, lung and heart diseases. Children are even more at risk for health problems, with immediate effects of exposure including respiratory problems, increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome and ear infections.

Secondhand smoke cigarettes in both large public indoor and outdoor areas can cause these maladies and the small, enclosed space of a vehicle only increases these dangers. Children are in a precarious position if their parents smoke, especially in the family car – they cannot protest and they cannot escape.

That is why Assemblymember David Weprin and I are sponsoring legislation that will outlaw smoking cigarettes in cars with passengers under the age of 14. Weprin is optimistic about the chance of passage in the Assembly.

Together we held a press conference in Albany with representatives of the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatricians and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) to highlight the need to ban smoking cigarettes in cars when children are present.

The bill would allow for a $100 penalty to drivers stopped for smoking cigarettes with underage passengers. Just as restaurant employees and patrons were forced to breathe secondhand smoke cigarettes from patrons, children are stuck breathing unhealthy air in the confines of a smoker’s car.

The bill was originally sponsored by Assemblymember Nettie Mayersohn; upon her retirement, Weprin sponsored it. We as parents believe it is simply the right thing to do for children, and Weprin has been a vocal champion of this bill in his house of the Legislature. Four other states have similar laws, and Rockland County has banned smoking cigarettes in cars where children up to 18 years of age are present.

Children cannot speak for themselves. As legislators, we are pledged to serve the people, but it’s also our duty to protect the unprotected, which is what this legislation will accomplish.

Secondhand smoke cigarettes has been strongly linked to chronic adverse health outcomes that disproportionately affect children – asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, among others. Research has shown that similar bans decrease the overall number of people who smoke cigarettes and in some cases, actually result in people quitting.

The EPA estimates that secondhand smoke cigarettes causes up to 62,000 deaths each year among nonsmokers in the United States, including 3,000 deaths due to lung cancer alone. Children are especially susceptible, as an estimated 300,000 children nationwide develop respiratory infections each year as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke, with approximately 15,000 of these children hospitalized due to these infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke cigarettes is a primary cause of asthma. Moreover, the direct medical costs of second hand smoke cigarettes exposure among U.S. children totals approximately $4.6 billion each year.

Most parents would be horrified at the thought of someone blowing smoke cigarettes in their baby's face, but when a child is riding in a car with an adult who is smoking cigarettes the result is the same.

In New York, we regulate conduct within a motor vehicle by providing protections for both children and drivers. We mandate the use of car seats and seat belts in private automobiles. This bill is only an extension of those protections. It will help children breathe clean air while they are riding in automobiles. There is no constitutional right to smoke. It is not a protected activity.

The research has clearly demonstrated that second hand smoke cigarettes is toxic to children. More than 5,000 pediatricians across the state work hard every day to ensure healthier environments for children. Getting adults to not smoke cigarettes around children is critical. It is a public health priority.

Passing this bill will help us ensure a healthier environment for all children and that makes for healthier families and communities, with lower public health costs, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.





The term cigarettes, as normally employed, refers to a tobacco cigarette, but can be utilized like devices holding in other herbaceous plants, such as eugenia caryophyllatums. A cigarette is differentiated from a cigar by its modest sizing, utilization of treated leafage, and paper wrap, which is usually white hot, though other coloring materials are sometimes usable. Cigars are mostly compiled totally of whole-leaf tobacco plant.

Rates of cheap smokes changes widely, and have altered substantially over the course of human history since cigarettes were 1st wide used in the mid-19th century. While rates of smoke have over time leveled off or turned down in the highly developed world, they continue to up-rise in evolving states. Nicotine, the main psychotropic chemical substance in baccy and therefore cigarettes, has been shown to be psychologically habit forming, although it does not generate a physiologic addiction.

Cheap cigarettes usage by pregnant women has also been shown to stimulate birth defects, including mental and physical disabilities.