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
|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
|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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