If a police officer spotted you smoking in your car with a child under the age of six, a proposed law could get you pulled over and a ticket of $500.
The proposed law would make it a primary offense, unlike a seatbelt law that requires officers to pull you over for another offense before writing you a ticket.
Senate Bill 106 is sponsored by Ohio State Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus).
The bill is mirrored after seven other states: Alabama, California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Vermont, and Virginia.
What’s different in Ohio’s proposed law is that it would be the only state where the age limit is under six years old.
In Alabama the law is for children under the age of 19.
In California and Oregon, it’s under the age of 18.
Arkansas is under the age of 14. Louisiana set the age limit at under 13 years old, while Vermont is under the age of nine and Virginia under the age of eight.
When this same bill was introduced in 2012, lawmakers had issues with the age limit and questioned whether drivers now had to carry birth certificates to prove their child’s age. Others questioned the government’s role in infringing on someone’s personal choice.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 3,400 lung deaths are a result of breathing second-hand smoke.
Tavares says the only way to protect non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke indoors is to prevent all smoking in that indoor space.
The bill does not include vaping, but the lawmaker’s staff says that could be added at a later time.