Health and Human Services
Smoking in vehicles where children are present would be prohibited under a bill heard by the House Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee.
Rep. Nora Slawik (DFL-Maplewood) sponsors
HF379, which would allow peace officers to issue citations for the proposed offense only if a vehicle is stopped for another violation. Slawik said she does not intend to move her bill through the committee process or add it to other legislation this year.
“The time will come – we’re probably not there yet,” she said.
Secondhand smoke in vehicles is particularly harmful to children because their breathing rates are faster and their developing lungs take in more toxins, said Natalie Johnson Lee, executive director of the Minnesota African American Tobacco Education Network. Black children have significantly higher rates of asthma and other smoking-related conditions compared to other children, she said.
Other bill proponents, including 13-year-old Joe Chlebeck, encouraged legislators to protect young children who cannot speak for themselves. Chlebeck compared riding in a smoke-filled vehicle to “being in prison and a gas chamber.”
When future discussion of the bill occurs, debate will likely center on encroachment on to private property, said Rep. Laura Brod (R-New Prague).
- Lauren Radomski
Audio & Video: Watch the meeting
Latest Session Daily stories
Twin Cities Hmong community seeks help in closing achievement gap (3/26/2015 5:07:15 PM) Bill charts path for objecting to autopsies on religious grounds (3/26/2015 4:53:11 PM) Gym teachers make a push for increased phy ed standards (3/26/2015 3:36:39 PM) Committee approves expanding trespass crime to school buses (3/26/2015 2:58:00 PM) Home cooks hope new bill is a recipe for more money (3/26/2015 2:54:00 PM) Premium cigar distributors seek reduction from 2013 tobacco taxes (3/26/2015 2:53:13 PM) Omnibus lands bill approved by environment committee (3/26/2015 1:32:25 PM) U of M, MnSCU want more than $275 million for capital improvements (3/25/2015 6:32:00 PM) Backers push for vote on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants (3/25/2015 6:18:00 PM) Tax credit aims to lure long-term care professionals to Greater Minnesota (3/25/2015 5:37:22 PM) Committee holds over request to help fund veteran's housing, services provider (3/25/2015 5:07:00 PM)