New Bill Would Ban Smoking In Cars With Children - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

New Bill Would Ban Smoking In Cars With Children

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Parent Bobby Gibson admits to smoking with his 5-year-old daughter in the car. Parent Bobby Gibson admits to smoking with his 5-year-old daughter in the car.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A new proposed law could extinguish the right of smokers to light up in cars with children.

The law would extend Tennessee's indoor smoking ban from restaurants to the roads. The bill in the Senate and House would make it illegal to smoke in a vehicle with a child present.

There was protest and support statewide when lawmakers proposed restaurants and bars go smoke free. The same reactions seem to follow with the new proposal.

"I like it. It you want to smoke, go somewhere - you know - airy and away," one driver told NewsChannel 5. "Other people shouldn't be exposed to your smoke."

"I think they ought to just leave it alone. It's the law of the West. Since cowboy days - and I'm getting ready to smoke," another driver said.

Citing health benefits for children, lawmakers want to impose fines on those who light up with a child in the car.

California, Arkansas and Louisiana already have similar bans. Tennessee could be next.

Some people say the government should let parents decide.

"I don't believe it's their right to, no. I believe it's your own choice, but I believe you should have enough respect for your own kids to not do that to them," said smoker and parent Bobby Gibson.

Gibson admitted that he occasionally smokes in the car with 5-year-old Isabella.

Isabella is usually the first to complain.

"I mean, I do every once in a while, but I try to get out if I'm available to," said Gibson.

If the bill passes, police could stop drivers if they saw them smoking. Violators would have to pay a $50 fine.

Some say the penalty is not fair. Other say the bill could only help children.

"I think they need to not do that, because the kids are picking up the habits from the parents. A lot of them are getting sick and having problems - asthma problems - just from [second-hand smoke]." said parent Katrina Frazier.  

Bills in both the House and the Senate are still in committees. NewsChannel 5 was unable to contact the bill sponsors due to the Good Friday holiday.

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