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Drivers In Some States Could Get Fined For Smoking With Children In The Car

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The state of Virginia may soon impose a new law that will fine citizens $100 if they smoke while children younger than 8 are in the car.

Why that age? Children under the age of 8, by Virginia law, are required to sit in car seats. That will help law enforcement determine a child’s age without being too intrusive.

As the public becomes more aware of the dangers of smoking, more states have started to take action about protecting the younger generation from secondhand smoke.

Sine 2006, Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Utah and Vermont have adopted Smokefree Car Laws. Here’s the provisions and effective dates from each state, according to no-smoke.org.

U.S. State / Commonwealth
Smokefree Provision
Effective Date
Arkansas Persons < than age 6 and under 60 pounds in a child safety seat. Effective 07/21/2006
Persons < age 14. Effective 07/27/2011
07/21/2006
07/27/2011
California Persons < age 18 01/01/2008
Louisiana Persons < age 13 08/15/2006
Maine Persons < age 16 09/01/2008
Oregon Persons < age 18. The Legislature enacted SB444, which prohibits smoking in any motor vehicle in which a child under age 18 is a passenger. Enacted 6/11/2013 as Chapter 361 2013 Laws. 01/01/2014
Puerto Rico Persons < age 13 03/02/2007
Utah Persons < age 16 07/01/2014
Vermont Persons aged 8 and under 07/01/2014

So what’s defined as “smoking” in the car? According to POPSUGARR, the legislation says any lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe. It excludes electronic cigarettes.

The money collected from the fines will be used to help the State’s Literacy fund.

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