• State rep. proposes ban on smoking in car with children


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A state representative from Attleboro is pushing legislation that would make it illegal to smoke while driving with children in the car.

    According to the State House News Service, Rep. Paul Heroux, the freshman representative from Attleboro, testified on the so-called "Act to Protect Little Lungs" Tuesday. Rep. Heroux's bill was cosponsored by Reps. Mary Keefe (D-Worcester), Thomas Sannicandro (D-Ashland), and Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge).

    Rep. Heroux claims the law would be enforced in a similar way to the law that bans texting while driving.

    "If an officer sees it, you are busted," says the representative.

    If the bill became law, any driver caught smoking with the child in the car would face a $100 fine. Lawmakers note, however, a police officer wouldn't be able to search a car or its driver and passengers as a result of a smoking violation. The law would apply to children who are legally required to be secured by a child passenger restraint.

    Heroux recognizes that the law would be difficult to enforce, but hopes it will make smokers more aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke. Experts say those dangers increase for children because their bodies are still developing.

    Other states, including Connecticut, have recently proposed similar legislation. Oregon passed a strict law in March 2013 banning smoking in a car when anyone under 18 is present.

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