Honolulu, Hawaii has now passed a law that bans smoking in a vehicle with a minor present. The city is now one of the only major U.S. cities to pass such a law.
The city council passed the law last week in an attempt to cut down on the amount of people smoking in their vehicles with those under the age of 18 present. The ban applies to privately-owned vehicles and also included electronic cigarettes.
Those who violate this new ordinance will have to pay the price. For the first offense violators will incur a $100 fine and a $200 fine for a second offense within the same year. A third offense will cost $500 if within a year of the second offense.
“Police officers would be on the lookout for people smoking in vehicles,” said Honolulu council chairman Rod Menor, according to KHON-TV.
According to Lila Johnson, program manager for tobacco prevention at the Department of Health, youths are the most vulnerable to be exposed to secondhand smoke.
“It is probably 10 times as toxic as it is to be sitting inside a smoky bar for a child to be sitting inside a confined unit exposed to secondhand smoke,” Johnson said.
According to CBS News affiliate WKRG-TV, Johnson says this bill is all about protecting the next generation: “Clean air is the standard and it’s to encourage parents and anybody who is with a young child in a car not to smoke in an automobile with them.”
A study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics determined that 48% of parents who smoke reported that smoking occurred in their vehicle with children present. City officials are hoping this new ban helps in decreasing that statistic.
This ban comes after eight other states have passed the same law. Arkansas, California, Lousiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Virgina all have a state-wide ban on smoking in a vehicle with children present.
What do you think about this new law Honolulu passed? Do you think other cities should follow in their footsteps? Let us know in the comments section of our Facebook page! In other news, an iconic T.V. talk show host is making headlines after hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle.