Virginia Seeks To Pass Anti-Smoking Law for Children - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Virginia Seeks To Pass Anti-Smoking Law for Children

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

NEW CHURCH, Va..- Driving and smoking with kids in your car in Virginia could cost you big bucks. The Commonwealth is moving to pass a law making it illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 8.

The state is trying to protect children from the dangers of second-hand smoke in cars. If the law is passed, a driver would be fined $100 for smoking in a car with a passenger younger than 8. 

Views are mixed about the proposed law and it has stirred a lot of opinions. Tony Waters, who lives in New Church in northern Accomack County, said Virginia is going too far.

"I don't think its right. It's your own personal vehicle; you smoke in the house with them, why not smoke in the car with them. I think it's definitely going too far privacy-wise," Waters said. 

According to the proposal, drivers could not be pulled over simply for the smoking violation. They would have to be pulled over for other reasons, then assessed the $100 fine. 

Cara Cooper has children of her own and said the health concerns for children outweigh her concerns about privacy.

"I think it's a great law," she said. "With your child they don't have the option to be able to protect themselves with different things."

The proposed bill for the smoking ban has initially passed approval in the House. Only seven states currently have smoke free laws, according to the non-profit Americans for Non-Smokers' Rights. None are on Delamrva. State lawmakers in Maryland have introduced similar bills, but so far none have passed. 

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