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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 7, 2017 04:12 PM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Children from Secondhand Smoke
In the near future, I intend to reintroduce legislation that would amend Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by adding Section 3701.2, which would make smoking in a vehicle with children a primary summary offense.

My bill would allow law enforcement officers who suspect a driver is smoking with children under age 12 in the vehicle to initiate a traffic stop and issue a citation and $100 fine for the first offense. Second and subsequent offenses would carry a $250 fine.

Secondhand smoke poses serious health risks, particularly to children. The Surgeon General notes that children are exposed to more secondhand smoke than non-smoking adults and that vehicles are a significant source of that exposure. Children who breathe secondhand smoke are inhaling poisonous compounds just like smokers but without any control over their environment. Furthermore, children’s bodies are still developing physically and they have higher breathing rates than adults, so they consume more secondhand smoke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health consequences for children exposed to secondhand smoke include more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory tract infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, middle ear infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Smoking during pregnancy results in an increased risk of SIDS as well as more than 1,000 infant deaths annually.

Please join me in protecting the health and safety of our most vulnerable citizens by supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as HB607