Saturday, December 20, 2014

Smoking ban in cars could come to New York

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Connecticut lawmaker has proposed a bill banning smoking in cars with a child or children under 7 years old. Local lawmakers say New York could be next to take action on similar legislation. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi says a similar bill has been proposed in New York State for a number of years.

While some people are against the legislation coming to New York, feeling it's the government is reaching too far, others like Assemblyman Brindisi feel since its about the health and safety of kids, the government should play a role.

"I think you have a special circumstance because you're dealing with children if you look at where we do regulate smoking now we don't allow smoking on school grounds, we don't allow smoking in restaurants or in malls, other places where children do frequent," said Brindisi. "This is just another measure to help protect our children as they're developing."

California, Maine, Louisiana and Arkansas already have legislation banning smoking in cars. At least 15 other states and the District of Columbia have similar bills pending.

New York's proposal calls for an amendment to the states vehicle and traffic law prohibiting smoking in vehicles with children less than 14 years old. Violators would face a $100 fine.

"If you look at a child that's 14 or younger that's a time when they're developing their lungs are developing," said Brindisi. "Their bodies are developing, being exposed to second hand smoke can cause all sorts of health concerns."

Studies show that second hand smoke exposure is to blame for many children's lower respiratory infections is and the primary cause of asthma.

A 2006 Harvard University study shows that even with the windows slightly opened a single cigarette can produce hazardous levels of contaminants.

Assemblyman Brindisi says the bill is in the Assembly right now and has a sponsor in the Senate as well and that it is now in the Codes Committee.

While the New York proposal has been brought to the floor, it's never been voted on.