CT lawmakers considering a smoking ban in cars

Law would prevent drivers from smoking if children are riding with them

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Connecticut lawmakers are looking to protect the littlest lungs in their state. They’re working on a bill that would ban drivers from smoking when kids are in the car with them.

Secondhand smoke doesn’t just blow out the window in the car. It settles in the upholstery and stays there. Kids breathe that in or ingest it when they put their hands in their mouths, and it can make them sick with bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia or even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Dawn Robitaille of Chicopee said that she doesn’t think the bill is a bad idea.

“I think it’s worth a try. It’s all they can do. It’s a health hazard for the kids,” Robitaille said.

First time offenders would receive a warning, and repeat violators could get an infraction. But would it change people’s habits?

“I think people are going to smoke in their cars anyway. I don’t have children, they’re grown. But I feel it’s my only place to get away and smoke with all the places you can’t smoke,” said Pam Marcus from Chicopee.

Other drivers told 22News it’s a decision that’s up to the parents.

“I’m sure it would help with the children. But how much government do we want in our lives? Next thing you know they’ll be in our bedrooms. The government needs to be reigned in. The last few years they’re out of control. We’re ruled and lawed to death,” said Rick Dupuis from Chicopee.

Vermont and Maine are among the seven states that ban smoking in cars with kids. Previous bills have yet to pass in Connecticut or Massachusetts.

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