Local lawmaker introduces smoking bill

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Smoking while driving with a child in the car could be a thing of the past in Virginia.

State Senator Ralph Northam (D-VA), who represents parts of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, has introduced a new bill in Congress that would subject anyone who smokes in a car with a child inside of it to a $100 fine.

A similar bill died in the House last week and most think this bill could suffer the same fate.

Pediatricians agree that second-hand smoking causes health problems.

“Our clinic is filled with kids who are breathing second-hand smoke and their allergies are much worse,” Dr. Jennifer Livingood told WAVY.com. “Their asthma is much worse and there is no amount of medicine that will fix that they need to get out of their polluted environment.”

Opponents of the bill argue it’s not just smokers’ rights at risk.

“You’re gonna tell a smoker he can’t smoke in his own home and he’s got kids?” Stacey Badger said.

Northam is a physician who is running for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in November. His bill has passed the Transportation Committee and is moving on to the courts of justice.

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