Virginia: Fines for Exposing Kids to Tobacco Smoke

Smoking in Car

An official in the state of Virginia wants to protect kids from tobacco smoke in vehicles and proposed to introduce a bill which would make it an illegal action.

The talk is about Todd Pillion, who has filed House Bill 2171. The bill prohibits use of cigarettes in cars where kids under eight are present. Infringers will be subjected to a $100 fine, which would go into the state literacy fund.

Pillion is from public health department and sees often the negative effects of smoking in kids, He is a dentist elected in the course of a special election in December 2014. When asked what are the effects of secondhand smoke on kids, he answered that those kids are at high risk for ear problems, acute respiratory disease and asthma.

Pillion says that it is all about children and we must do our best to protect them from tobacco and its hazards. Adults and especially parents should become more responsable about their kids. They should be informed about the negative effects of secondhand smoke exposure and not light up in presence of children. Smoking-related diseases are preventable, therefore it is a priority of Ministry of Health. Moreover, prevention is cheaper than treatment.

The bill bans use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes in vehicles. However, allows use of e-cigarettes. The ban does not touch smoking in homes and in public, only vehicles.
Studies show that  secondhand smoke can be up to 27 times more concentrated in a car than in a smoker’s home, therefore more harmful.  However, in 2014 a similar bill failed in the General Assembly.

The bill awaits committee referral.

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