Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Smoking in car with kids targeted

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The suggestion came from a third-grade boy: why not make it illegal to smoke in the car with a child?
The question appealed to Sen. Ralph Northam, a Norfolk pediatric neurologist who was describing the democratic process to elementary school students.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed Northam’s bill that would fine smokers $100 for lighting up with a minor present in the vehicle. Four other states have similar laws.
Northam told senators that the amount of secondhand smoke from riding in the car with someone who is smoking for one hour is equal to puffing 10 cigarettes. Children who live with smokers often have problems with asthma, allergies and bronchitis, he noted.
‘‘This is about the health of our children,’’ Northam said.
Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, said he has never supported a bill to restrict smoking for adults or in businesses, but he supported Northam’s proposal because of the health hazard smoking poses for children.
Those who opposed the bill said the government has no right telling parents how to raise their children.
‘‘At some point, we’re going to either reach the point where we’re just turning raising our children over to government or following an instruction manual that’s written in the code of Virginia, or we’re going to let parents and families raise these kids,’’ said Sen. Kenneth Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax.
Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax County, countered that the General Assembly has made it illegal to physically abuse children, and ‘‘If this isn’t child abuse, what is?’’
Northam’s bill passed 30-10. It now heads to the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, which watered down smoking restrictions in restaurants and bars on Monday.

Smoking in car with kids targeted

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The suggestion came from a third-grade boy: why not make it illegal to smoke in the car with a child?
The question appealed to Sen. Ralph Northam, a Norfolk pediatric neurologist who was describing the democratic process to elementary school students.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed Northam’s bill that would fine smokers $100 for lighting up with a minor present in the vehicle. Four other states have similar laws.
Northam told senators that the amount of secondhand smoke from riding in the car with someone who is smoking for one hour is equal to puffing 10 cigarettes. Children who live with smokers often have problems with asthma, allergies and bronchitis, he noted.
‘‘This is about the health of our children,’’ Northam said.
Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, said he has never supported a bill to restrict smoking for adults or in businesses, but he supported Northam’s proposal because of the health hazard smoking poses for children.
Those who opposed the bill said the government has no right telling parents how to raise their children.
‘‘At some point, we’re going to either reach the point where we’re just turning raising our children over to government or following an instruction manual that’s written in the code of Virginia, or we’re going to let parents and families raise these kids,’’ said Sen. Kenneth Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax.
Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax County, countered that the General Assembly has made it illegal to physically abuse children, and ‘‘If this isn’t child abuse, what is?’’
Northam’s bill passed 30-10. It now heads to the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, which watered down smoking restrictions in restaurants and bars on Monday.