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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: September 22, 2015 07:48 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting Children from Secondhand Smoke
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would amend Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to make it a summary offense to smoke in a vehicle in which children 12 years of age and younger are being transported.

Exposing passengers, both children and adults, to secondhand smoke in the confined space of a car is extremely hazardous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Furthermore, the U.S. Surgeon General has stated “Secondhand smoke contains more than 250 chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers.”

My legislation 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 second and subsequent offenses.

I hope you will join me in supporting this legislation to promote the health and safety of the children of this Commonwealth.

Introduced as SB1032