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News Summary

House bill bans smoking with kids in car, considers raising tobacco age to 21

Publication Date: 2014-03-04
  • Author:MORGAN TRUE, VTDigger.org
  • Publication:Bennington Banner

The Vermont House passed a bill Friday that expands smoking bans to all hotel and motel rooms, outside state buildings and in cars carrying children.

"This public health measure continues to protect Vermonters from the impacts of tobacco," House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morrisville, said in a statement.

The bill includes an amendment that would prevent Vermonters from smoking in the car with children present.

"An infant strapped into a car seat is involuntarily and intensely exposed to more than 400 toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke," said Rep. Patti Komline, R-Dorset, citing an American Lung Association study, according to the statement issued by the speaker's office.

On the House floor Friday, Komline, the lead sponsor of the amendment, cited data showing that exposure to secondhand smoke is 27 times greater in a car than a residence.

The bill, H.217, would also prevent people from smoking within 25 feet of a state building or its property. The ban prohibits smoking on public school grounds and at child care facilities...