Senate panel backs smoking restriction

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Senate committee has endorsed legislation making it illegal for adults to smoke with kids in the car.

The Courts of Justice Committee voted 10-5 Monday to send Sen. Ralph Northam's bill to the Senate floor.

The bill would prohibit smoking in a vehicle in the presence of a child under the age of 15. The offense would be charged as a traffic infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Similar legislation failed in the General Assembly two years ago.

Northam, a Democrat from Norfolk, is a pediatric neurologist. He said second-hand smoke can cause or contribute to a number of health problems in children, including sudden infant death syndrome.

The American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics supported his bill. Nobody spoke against it.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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