MEDFORD, Ore. – A bill in the Oregon legislature would make it illegal for anyone to smoke in a vehicle with children.
Senate Bill 444-A passed by a 19-10 vote and is now on its way to the House for consideration.
If passed, the bill would make smoking with a child in the car a secondary offense, meaning drivers would only be ticketed if they are already pulled over for another violation.
Supporters of the bill say it would reduce the risk of second-hand smoke on children, whose lungs are especially susceptible.
“If we confine the space that the cigarette smoke is limited to, doses are much higher,” said Dr. Kevin Parks of the Allergy and Asthma Center of Southern Oregon. “Not just of nicotine, but also the particulate pollutance that can accumulate in the lungs of a child.”
Opponents of the bill say it reduces the right to legally smoke, and lawmakers opposed to the plan called it a “nanny bill.”