Under existing Alabama law, there is no prohibition against smoking tobacco products in a motor vehicle when a child is also present in the vehicle. But that could all change if a bill sponsored by Birmingham-Democrat, State Rep. Rolanda Hollis passes the legislature this session.
House Bill 46 would make it illegal to smoke in a vehicle with minors under the age of 14, and would fine adults who choose to break the law up to $100. The legislation received a unanimous favorable report from the Alabama House Health Committee on Thursday.
“You, as an adult, have a choice,” Hollis told WSFA-12. “You can get out of the car, but as a kid, you don’t have a choice. So, you’re in a packed compact car with smoke.”
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Children are particularly at risk for the effects of second-hand smoke because their bodies are still growing and they breathe at a faster rate than adults.”
In fact, a study revealed that second-hand smoke/passive smoking among children leads to acute respiratory illness in children as pneumonia, bronchitis, middle ear problem, cough & wheeze.
According to the American Non-Smokers Rights Foundation, 10 states currently prohibit smoking in a personal vehicle when a child is present.
This is Harris’ third time proposing the legislation.