(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - A proposed Ohio law would ban adults from smoking in a vehicle with a child under the age of six.
"We're trying to ensure that the responsible person, the adult, does what is in the best interest of the child," said Sen. Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat who has introduced the bill for the second time in two years.
Tavares says young children don't have the ability to protest riding in a vehicle with someone who is smoking. She worries about the effect of the 4,000 substances in second-hand smoke.
"Children are more vulnerable to the effects of this second-hand smoke because they're still developing," she said.
Her legislation would make it a primary offense, meaning you could be pulled over just for violating the law. Ohio wouldn't be the first to take this action. Arkansas, Louisiana, California, Puerto Rico and Maine along with several municipalities have similar laws. Tavares’ bill carries a $500 fine for the first offense. Each additional violation tacks on an additional $250.
Tavares says smoking in a vehicle is much different than smoking in your home around children.
"I don't think we have rooms as small as the inside of a car with the windows rolled up," she said.
The last time the bill was introduced it failed to make it out of committee.
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