Prohibits smoking in private passenger cars, vans and trucks where a minor less than 14 years of age is a passenger in such vehicles; provides for rebuttable presumption; provides that violations of such provisions shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to restricting areas where smoking is permitted
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to prohibit smoking in private passenger automobiles where minors less than 14 years of age are passengers in such vehicles.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 1229-e.
1229-e: 1. Prohibits smoking in vehicles while children under 14 are present.
2. A person who holds a lighted, cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other plant or matter that can be smoked to, or in the immediate proximity of his or her mouth, while in such vehicle is presumed to be engaging in smoking within the meaning of this section. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by evidence showing that the person was not smoking a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other plant or matter that can be smoked.
JUSTIFICATION: The harmful effect secondhand smoke (SHS) can have on people, especially children, has been well documented. The EPA estimates that secondhand smoke causes up to 62,000 deaths each year among nonsmokers in the United States, including 3,000 deaths due to lung cancer alone.
Secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) is a major preventable contributor to acute and chronic adverse health outcomes that affect children disproportionately. An estimated 300,000 children nationwide develop lower respiratory infections each year as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke, with approximately 15,000 of these children hospitalized due to their infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke is a primary cause of asthma.
In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report, "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke," saying that SHS is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children. The report details that even brief exposure to SHS has immediate, adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and that because the bodies of infants and children are still developing; they are especially vulnerable to the poisons in SHS.
That same year, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported the results of a Harvard School of Public Health study on SHS in automobiles. The study simulated children's exposure to secondhand
smoke in a motor vehicle by measuring carbon dioxide and respirable suspended particles (RSP) under actual driving conditions. The researchers determined that the levels of RSP detected were deemed unsafe, particularly for children. Their conclusion was that private passenger cars are a domestic environment with the potential to yield unsafe levels of SHS contaminants.
The World Health Organization has established 25 mcglm3 as the limit for safe particulate matter levels. In 2012, The Scottish Centre for Indoor Air at the University of Aberdeen conducted a study that highlights the dangers of SHS in automobiles. Researchers measured fine particulate matter in the rear passenger seat of cars driven by 14 smokers and three nonsmokers. Particulate matter levels averaged 7.4 mcg/m3 during smoke-free drives, but were 11 times higher (85 mcg/m3) in cars where smoking occurred. Average levels peaked at 385 mcg/m3, with the highest level being 880 mcg/m3.
While awareness of SHS has modified the behavior of smoking in households, the same cannot be said of automobiles. A November 2012 Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy study found that two out of three parents with smoke-free home policies don't enforce the same rules in their car. Some three-quarters of smoking parents admitted that someone had smoked in their car in the last three months. In addition, only one-quarter of smoking parents adopt a smoke-free car policy, and nearly half of those who don't enforce a ban, smoke while their children are in the car.
Smoking is prohibited in many public places such as airplanes, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, and a whole range of facilities and spaces serving child age populations. The dangers secondhand smoke can pose to a child in an enclosed area like a private passenger vehicle are severe. We Currently provide protections for both children and drivers by mandating the use of car seats and seatbelts in private automobiles. This bill is an extension of those protections by providing children clean air to breathe.
The $100 penalty imposed for violation of this ban is justified by the significant, well documented negative health impact on those children forcibly exposed to SHS in automobiles.
California, Maine, Louisiana, and Arkansas have enacted comparable legislation. In New York State on the local level, Rockland County has already enacted a ban on smoking in cars with children up to the age of 18. At least 15 other states and the District of Columbia have similar legislation pending. At present, seven states have enacted legislation prohibiting smoking in cars that are transporting foster children.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S 3191 reported to Third Reading
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 472 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to restricting areas where smoking is permitted THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 1229-e to read as follows: S 1229-E. PROHIBITION ON SMOKING IN VEHICLES WHILE CHILDREN ARE PRES- ENT. 1. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON TO SMOKE IN A VEHICLE WHERE A MINOR UNDER FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE IS A PASSENGER IN SUCH VEHICLE. 2. A PERSON WHO HOLDS A LIGHTED CIGAR, CIGARETTE, PIPE OR ANY OTHER MATTER OR SUBSTANCE WHICH CONTAINS TOBACCO OR ANY OTHER PLANT OR MATTER THAT CAN BE SMOKED TO, OR IN THE IMMEDIATE PROXIMITY OF HIS OR HER MOUTH, WHILE IN SUCH VEHICLE IS PRESUMED TO BE ENGAGING IN SMOKING WITH- IN THE MEANING OF THIS SECTION. THE PRESUMPTION ESTABLISHED BY THIS SUBDIVISION IS REBUTTABLE BY EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT THE PERSON WAS NOT SMOKING A LIGHTED CIGAR, CIGARETTE, PIPE OR OTHER MATTER OR SUBSTANCE WHICH CONTAINS TOBACCO OR ANY OTHER PLANT OR MATTER THAT CAN BE SMOKED. 3. A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE A TRAFFIC INFRACTION AND SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03860-01-3