UPDATE: Smokers in New Jersey are a step closer to being barred from lighting up in their cars if there are kids riding with them, after a state Senate panel passed the measure last week. The Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee approved the bill in an 8–0 vote. One member, Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Bergen), abstained, citing concerns over drivers' privacy rights.
Drivers could only be pulled over for smoking or using e-cigarettes in the car with children present as a secondary violation, meaning they'd have to be suspected of another moving violation like speeding. In order to become law, the bill must be approved by the full New Jersey state legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Christie.
From June 4, 2014 — New Jersey smokers may be prevented from lighting up in yet another venue, their cars. Last week Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-19) introduced a new bill that would make it illegal to smoke in your car with a child under 17 present. Not only would cigarettes be deemed illegal, but cigars, pipes and any tobacco or substance that can be smoked would also fall under the banned substances under Senate bill #S-2883. Although a smoking violation would result in a $100 fine, an infraction would not warrant any points on your insurance or a second violation.
The bill was introduced under the notion that driving is a privilege, not a right, and smoking in a small space like a car would violate safe driving regulations. Furthermore, a 2006 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that secondhand smoke can cause premature death and diseases including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma and a variety of eye and ear problems.
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