Illinois Considers Banning Smoking While Driving With Kids
There is a bill working its way through the Illinois Legislature focusing on secondhand smoke that could have drivers paying a hefty fine for smoking behind the wheel with children in the vehicle.
State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) introduced the bill, aiming to stop drivers from lighting up in their vehicle when anyone under 18 is riding along.
Violators would be fined up to $100.
Lawmakers are hoping this measure will help cut back on secondhand smoke and many Illinois residents we talked to expressed support for the measure.
"When I see anyone smoking around children I'm thinking, well that's not really healthy for your child," Angela Schmocht said. "I understand it's their own car, but then again, there's children involved."
Illinois lawmakers who support the bill say secondhand smoke affects children in the worst way. Again, many Illinois residents seem to agree:
"It's very damaging to your lungs and your body and so kids shouldn't be forced to breathe it in a small area like a car," said Vicki Mall.
But while many lawmakers and state residents have expressed support for the idea behind the bill, the details about enforcement protocols and effectiveness still need to be worked out.
"When they go home the child is still going to be exposed so its really hard to say what you can't do in your car," said Schmocht.
We spoke with some smokers who don't agree with this bill, telling us legislators shouldn't be able to tell them where to smoke.
Either way, the point lawmakers are trying to make remains clear: Don't smoke around your children.
A State Senate committee talked about the bill this week.
There has been no vote at this point, but more testimony is scheduled.