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
Incoming House leadership announces 2015-16 committee membership (12/18/2014 4:05:00 PM) Human rights claim possible, Housing committee learns (12/5/2014 4:08:00 PM) Forecast message: ‘We’re leaving you in pretty good shape’ (12/5/2014 12:36:00 PM) Billion dollar surplus anticipated for new biennium (12/4/2014 10:07:00 AM) House committee schedule released for 2015-16 biennium (11/26/2014 12:57:00 PM) New House committee structure unveiled (11/18/2014 11:19:00 AM) Daudt is Republican choice for speaker; Peppin majority leader (11/7/2014 3:08:00 PM) Thissen to continue leading DFL in minority (11/6/2014 9:24:00 PM) Voters return Republicans to power in House (11/5/2014 9:02:00 AM) Mathiowetz to retire as House chief clerk (11/3/2014 3:28:00 PM) Joint committee seeks answer to rail congestion (9/30/2014 5:11:00 PM)