RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia is just one step away from banning smokers from lighting up in their car with children ages eight and under. A bill just passed in the house and senate and is now on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's desk, which, if signed, subjects these smokers to a $100 fine.
"I don't see the point. No more laws," said smoker, Shirley Moore, who has smoked for over 40 years and switched to vaping within the last few years. When her children were young, she admits she smoked in the car with them.
"I did when they were little, yes," said Moore. "That was before we knew. That was a long time ago."
Now even she agrees there's no denying the negative effects smoking has on your health.
"If you can't breathe in the car cause of the smoke, obviously your kids can't," she said.
That's why Del. Todd Pillion says he's confident McAuliffe will sign into law his bill, aimed at keeping children away from that, at least while they're confined in a car, where he says cigarette smoke is even more toxic.
"Children should be afforded the protection of our laws," said Pillion, who is also a pediatric dentist. He says he's seen the effects exposure to cigarette smoke has on children first hand. "I see it on a daily basis. Children that come in reeking of smoke from the car ride into my office, and they're chronically ill with respiratory infections and asthma."
Moore says it's common sense, and policing the issue is going too far.
"Government shouldn't be running our lives and telling us what to do with our children," she said
However, parents like Lauren Tucker thinks this law is exactly what we need.
"To me, it's there to protect them from something that they don't have a voice in right now but could affect them long term," said Tucker.
This would be a secondary offense, so you'd having to be pulled over for another violation before being fined for this. The governor has until April 11 to decide. If he signs the bill, the law would go into effect in July.
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