Smoking with kids in car could soon be illegal

Published 01/23 2014 05:57PM

Updated 01/23 2014 06:15PM

ILLINOIS -- The state has been smoke-free indoors for more than five years. Now, one lawmaker wants to take it a step further. He wants to ban smoking in cars if there are children in the car with you.

The idea is to keep them away from second-hand smoke as much as possible. Experts say it can be just as dangerous as lighting up. Restrictions also mean kids don't see people smoking quite as much, so the hope is they might not pick up the habit as easily.

Six other states already have a law just like this on the books. Some people say, if it becomes law, police would not be allowed to pull you over for it, but if they caught you speeding or not wearing your seat-belt, you could get the $100 smoking fine tacked on.

The bill is in its early stages. Both houses still need to weigh in. Lawmakers come back to work next week, so this could be an issue this spring.

If the measure passes, Illinois would become the seventh state to adopt the legislation. Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine and Utah already fine people caught smoking with a minor in the car.

Arkansas was the first to pass it seven years ago. This month, Oregon was the sixth state to pass it. Those caught violating the law get a $250 fine for the first offense. After that, the fine doubles.

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