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News Summary

House OKs bill that bans smoking in cars with kids present

Publication Date: 2013-02-12
  • Author:Billy Hesterman
  • Publication:Daily Herald

A proposal to make it illegal to smoke in a car when a child age 15 years or younger is present is one step closer to becoming law.

On Monday morning Utah's House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill in a 41-30 vote that would ask police to issue warnings to those caught smoking with a minor present in their car for the first year of enactment of the bill. Following the first year officers may issue a fine up to $45 if they catch a person with a lit cigarette and a child in the same car.

"If government serves any purpose at all, at the very least it must serve those who cannot protect themselves," said Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake City, the main sponsor of the legislation.

Arent argued before the predominately Republican House that she is very serious about sponsoring a law that tells someone what they cannot do in their own car. However, she went on to state that the bill was about protecting those who have no choice. She stated that secondhand smoke is severely dangerous to a child's health and that children exposed to smoke in that way were more likely to smoke themselves....