Politician Targets Smoking in NYC Cars

The latest front on the war on smoking seems as if it is being fought inside cars.

Laws banning smoking inside cars where minors are present have already been passed in a number of states and cities around the country. Now a similar ban is looming on the horizon in New York City. According to news reports in The New York Times and The New York Sun, City Councilman James F. Gennaro, a Queens Democrat, said that he aims to propose a bill this month that would prohibit people from smoking in cars containing passengers under the age of 18. Violators would be subject to fines ranging from $200 for the first offense to $2,000 for the third offense.

With the exception of most outdoor venues and private residences, cars are one of the last refuges for smokers in the Big Apple since the city passed a smoking ban in March 2003 outlawing lighting up inside restaurants, bars and virtually all indoor public spaces.

Neighboring Rockland County, New York, and nearby Keyport, New Jersey, are two of the areas that have already adopted similar bans regarding smoking inside vehicles. Similar measures have been passed statewide in Arkansas and Louisiana.

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