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News Summary

Lawmakers advance measure to limit secondhand smoke in vehicles with children

Publication Date: 9/20/2007
  • Author:Lisa Rosetta
  • Publication:Salt Lake Tribune

Puffing on a cigarette in a car while a young child is along for the ride may get snuffed out by the Utah Legislature next year.

The House Health and Human Services Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would make it an infraction to smoke in a car if a child 5 years old or younger is strapped in, or is required to be strapped in, a car seat.

The bill, which passed in the Senate in the 2007 session but stalled in the House, isn't "anti-smokers" but rather "pro-children's health," said its sponsor, Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City.

"They [children] are essentially captives in a very small space with deadly smoke," he said.

The law would only be enforced as a secondary action, meaning a person couldn't be pulled over solely for smoking. The fine for violations would be up to $45, unless a person enrolls in a smoking cessation course, McCoy said.