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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 14, 2015 09:20 AM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Children from Second-hand Smoke

In the near future, I intend to re-introduce legislation that would amend Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to make it both a primary and a summary offense to smoke in a vehicle in which children are being transported.

Second-hand smoke poses a series of serious health risks to individuals and children are among the most vulnerable because they are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are at a considerably higher risk of developing asthma, lower respiratory tract infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, and middle ear infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke also increases the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The Surgeon General notes that children are exposed to more second-hand smoke than non-smoking adults and that vehicles are a significant source of second-hand smoke exposure for children. Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are inhaling hundreds of the same carcinogenic and poisonous compounds as smokers and they do so without any choice.

My bill would allow law enforcement officers who suspect a driver to be smoking with children under 12 years of age to pull over the vehicle and issue a citation carrying a fine of $100 for the first offense, increasing to $250 for subsequent offenses.

Please join me in supporting this legislation to promote the health and safety of the children of this Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB109