The public health committee of the Connecticut General Assembly has given initial approval to the bill that would ban smoking in cars with small children, and another that would institute tough new rules on electronic cigarettes.
House Bill 6285 would prohibit motorists from smoking in a car if they are transporting children in car seats or booster seats. The measure aims to protect children from the risks associated with second-hand smoke. "What we're doing here is protecting those who don't have a voice. These small children and their pulmonary systems cannot handle ... smoke," said Rep. Henry Genga, D-East Hartford.
AdvertisementGenga cited a study by the Harvard School of Public Health that found unsafe levels of smoke even in cars with the windows open.
Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, the ranking Republican on the public health panel, also praised the bill but said it did not go far enough. "Restricting it to children who are in car seats is a good start, but I think second-hand smoke should be avoided in children, period. This is a bill that needs to move forward and include other ages, as well," said Srinivasan, who is also a physician.