Md. legislator wants to ban smoking in cars carrying children


(bigstockphoto)

Even with all the stories and warnings about secondhand smoke, it’s a question I hadn’t pondered before. But state and local governments have apparently been wrestling with the question for the past few years.

Arkansas bans smoking in cars when children under 14 are present. Louisiana, Puerto Rico, California and Maine also have similar laws.

Maryland Sen. Jennie Forehand, a Democrat from Montgomery County, who has worked to ban smoking in public places, tried last year to pass a law banning smoking in cars carrying children, but she failed, according to the Baltimore Sun. A legislator who opposes such a measure “likened it to legislating sunscreen requirements or restricting the foods that parents feed their children,” according to Patch.

Now Forehand is trying again.

She has authored a bill that would make it illegal for anyone — driver or passenger — to smoke in a car with children under 8 years old. You can read the bill here. Violating the law would not be a moving violation, and the penalty would be a fine of not more $50.

(If you are wondering about mobile homes, the proposed law addresses that: “THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO A MOBILE HOME WHEN THE MOBILE HOME IS BEING USED AS A PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY LIVING OR SLEEPING PLACE AND NOT A CONVEYANCE ON HIGHWAYS.”)

What do you think? Do you support Forehand’s proposed law?

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.
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