Local lawmaker introduces smoking bill

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Smoking while driving with a child in the car could be a thing of the past in Virginia.

State Senator Ralph Northam (D-VA), who represents parts of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, has introduced a new  bill in Congress that would subject anyone who smokes in a car with a child inside of it to a $100 fine.

A similar bill died in the House last week and most think this bill could suffer the same fate. 

Pediatricians agree that second-hand smoking causes health problems. 

"Our clinic is filled with kids who are breathing second-hand smoke and their allergies are much worse," Dr. Jennifer Livingood told WAVY.com. "Their asthma is much worse and there is no amount of medicine that will fix that they need to get out of their polluted environment."

Opponents of the bill argue it's not just smokers' rights at risk.

"You're gonna tell a smoker he can't smoke in his own home and he's got kids?" Stacey Badger said.

Northam is a physician who is running for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in November. His bill has passed the Transportation Committee and is moving on to the courts of justice. 

Several states already ban smoking with kids in the car including California, Louisiana, Arkansas and more.

Click the links below to track the legislation to outlaw smoking in cars carrying children:

Senate Bill 975

House Bill 1366

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Virginia (change)

Virginia was founded in 1607 in Jamestown. Since then, Virginia has grown and prospered into a thriving state rich with diversity from culture to climate.
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