- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lawmakers in Florida are considering a ban on smoking inside a vehicle when minors are present.

If House Bill 341 is passed, the offense would be a non-moving violation and would be considered a “secondary action,” which means an officer could not pull a driver over simply for smoking with a child in the car. He or she would have to be pulled over for some other driving violation first, the Miami Herald reported.

The offense would carry a fine of about $30.

Bill sponsor Rep. Charles McBurney, a Republican, said the point of the legislation is to educate.

“What I’m really trying to do is to educate the dangers of secondhand smoking,” he said. “This isn’t about ‘big brother,’ this is about little brother in a car seat, in the back seat. This bill is simply to protect children; it has nothing to do with adults.

“Among very young children 18 months or younger, secondhand smoke is responsible for estimated 150 to 300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia and 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations a year,” Mr. McBurney said. “The EPA has estimated that 200,000 to 1 million children with asthma have had their condition worsen due to exposure to secondhand smoke.”

The bill, which was filed last week, currently has no Senate sponsor, but Mr. McBurney said he has some lawmakers lined up. It will be up for debate early next year, WFSU reported.



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