Smoking in car with child illegal under bill

January 28, 2013

RICHMOND — Smoking in a car with a child inside would be illegal in Virginia, a state with historic ties to the tobacco industry, under a bill that cleared a state Senate committee Monday.

Sen. Ralph S. Northam (D-Norfolk), a pediatric neurologist and candidate for lieutenant governor this year, proposed the measure, which would subject anyone who smokes in a car carrying someone under the age of 15 to a $100 fine.

Northam unsuccessfully pushed a similar bill two years ago.

Officials with the American Cancer Society and American Academy of Pediatrics spoke in favor of the bill, noting the dangers of second-hand smoke. No one spoke against the measure, which passed 10 to 5.

The bill now moves to the full Senate.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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