Smoking to Be Banned in Cars?

By Jeff Saperstone
|  Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013  |  Updated 10:49 AM EDT
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A Connecticut state representative looks to ban smoking in cars where a child is present.

A Connecticut state representative looks to ban smoking in cars where a child is present.

It's already happened in restaurants and businesses, but will smoking be banned in your own car?

State lawmakers want to make smoking in cars illegal if there is a child under 7 years old inside.

Parents like the idea.

"We want our kids to be in safe places, always," Chris Liss, a Granby parent, said.

A 2006 Harvard University study of smoking in cars shows that even with the windows slightly opened, a single cigarette can produce hazardous levels of contaminants. 

"It's going to help," Rep. Henry Genga, the bill's sponsor, said. "No question about it."

Opponents are concerned that this law may be too intrusive, and many wonder how it will be enforced. Genga said he has supporters in the law enforcement community who tell him it will be as easy to enforce as the seatbelt law.

The first time someone is caught, they will get a warning. The second time will involve a penalty.

"When you put a child in, you have a responsibility," Genga said. "The right thing to do is to take care of that child."

Lawmakers on the transportation committee will hold a public hearing on this bill on Wednesday morning.

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