So, how does Tavares respond to those who say the idea represents a “nanny state”? Adults can smoke when kids aren’t in the car or they can pull over and step out to smoke, she said. “It is very dangerous and it is going to impact the health and well-being of that child. It is a public health issue.”
Related: New push for raising smoking age
The bill, introduced this week, has support from just three other Democrats and there are no Republican co-sponsors — a signal that the legislation faces an uphill battle.
Tavares introduced a similar bill last legislative session but it received only one hearing.
The bill covers smoking cigars, cigarettes, pipes or “other lighted smoking device for burning tobacco or any other plant.” First offense could result in a $500 fine and subsequent violations could bring $750 in fines.
Dr. Rob Crane, a family physician at Ohio State University and founder of Preventing Tobacco Addiction, said “Think about the 3-year-old involuntary passenger in a smoke-filled car. The data are pretty clear that second-hand smoke is harmful.”
It leads to asthma, ear infections and other health problems, he said.