Bill to ban smoking in cars with kids moves ahead

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: February 25, 2009 - 4:58 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Smoking is already banned in places like bars where only adults can go, so some Minnesota lawmakers say it only makes sense to outlaw smoking in vehicles when children are present.

A Senate committee approved the bill Wednesday after a doctor and an 11-year-old asthma sufferer testified that children are especially vulnerable to secondhand smoke in a car.

Sen. Sandy Pappas, a Democrat from St. Paul, says her bill isn't meant to catch parents in the act. Instead, she says having a law will help educate people about the potential health hazards.

The bill would make the violation a secondary offense, meaning a law enforcement officer would first need another reason to pull over a motorist.

One person testified against the bill, saying it was another example of government trying to trample on people's rights.

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