Virginians support bill banning smoking in cars with children

Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 17:48:42-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Virginia may join a list of states fining people for smoking with kids in the car. We've all seen it, someone driving in the car, windows up and smoking with children in the car. Doctors say even rolling windows down doesn’t make it safer. Now, the Virginia General Assembly is taking action.

It's a vote aiming to make Virginian children traveling in cars safer and some residents like the idea.

“I think it`s good,” Colin Ursus, who supports the bill, said. “I think it`s good because smoking in cars itself is dangerous and especially when you have someone who`s underage."

“I think it`s wonderful and I think it should be older than eight,” Connie Cistola said. “Kids don`t have a choice of their own and it`s our responsibility to keep them safe and keep them healthy."

Receiving overwhelming support, legislators voted to ban smoking in the car while children under eight are riding. Health professionals applaud the effort.

“Second hand smoking can cause a lot, more frequent health risk for children, specifically respiratory problems,” Grassfield Medical Associate’s Physician Assistant Monique Brock explained. “They can have an increase in ear infections."

Even with all of the health concerns, some of the people I spoke with say they don`t agree with the bill because if the government`s involvement. However, others say the government just has to step in and take charge.

“Young kids who can`t think for themselves, can`t tell their parent`s that `Hey, I don`t like cigarette smoke` or whatever,” resident Joel Tortoriello said. “No absolutely. The government shouldn`t be involved in my private life but because I have to take my private life into public, I definitely should be subject to what society deems as safe or normal."

Governor Terry McAuliffe must decide if he will sign the bill; until the decision is in smoker's hands. If the bill is signed into law, police wouldn`t be able pull someone over for smoking, it would be a secondary offense.