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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=21371
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 14, 2016 10:26 AM
From: Representative Jason Dawkins
To: All House members
Subject: Prohibit Student Smoking at School Bus Stops (Re-Introduction of Former HB2126)
 
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that would prohibit students from smoking cigarettes at school bus stops. This was formerly House Bill 2126 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session.

The statistics regarding smoking and juveniles are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 90% of cigarette smokers first tried smoking by age 18. In addition, each day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and an additional 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers. Moreover, the CDC estimates that if smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That is about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger alive today. In addition, statistics show that individuals who start smoking at an early age are more likely to become addicted to nicotine than those who start smoking later in life.

The CDC also found that youth are more likely to use tobacco if they see that tobacco use is acceptable or normal among their peers. This legislation would prohibit students from smoking cigarettes within 25 feet of a school bus stop 30 minutes prior to the time of the school bus picking them up and 10 minutes after the bus drop-off time. The enforcement of this legislation would be at the discretion of the school through disciplinary action and/or a monetary fine.

It is my hope that this legislation will work to shield children who have yet to be exposed to tobacco while also lessening the use of cigarettes by school-age children. Smoking is prohibited in schools and on school property, and I whole-heartedly believe it should also be prohibited at bus stops where children gather on a regular basis.