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March 10, 2009

No smoking: There's kids in the car!

Our breaking news blog has a story up about Sen. Mike Lenett's bill to ban smoking in the car when kids are present, the kind of bill that causes many to scratch their heads at the prospect of a nanny state gone amok. Though it's certainly true that Annapolis appears to have a great interest this year in regulating what you do in your car (texting, talking on your cell phone, whatever it was John Leopold was up to...) it's worth mentioning that Lenett has introduced this bill twice before and has seen it get killed both times in the Senate Finance Committee. This year, he did get a member of the House to cross-file the bill, but still, the list of sponsors of this one hasn't changed much. The bill has a hearing today, but that shouldn't be taken to mean it's got a good shot. It can still get killed.

Here are a few fun facts from the legislative analysis: California and Bangor, Maine, currently prohibit smoking in the car when any minors are present. (Lenett's bill would only apply to kids younger than eight.) Arkansas and Louisiana (believe it or not) have similar laws.

Posted by Andy Green at 10:07 AM | | Comments (7)


Too bad for you Jimmy you just turned 8 so now I can smoke in the car.

Do these people have nothing else to do in the GA?

There's the budget, slots mess, electrical rates out of whack....
naw nothing better to do!
I don't know what's worse
the agenda in Annapolis or
reporters like you sir who don't even bother asking the right questions, just cheerlead right along with Annapolis and whatever the boy king wants!

How do you prove your child is a certain age if asked?

Will it be a primary offense or will it go the way of the seat belt laws?

Of course enforcement is always a problem with these sorts of laws (same as with booster seats) but perhaps having such a law on the books will help raise awareness of the hazards of second-hand smoke inhalation, especially in children. I told my 13 year old son about the proposed law and he was appalled that it would only apply to kids 8 years old and younger. He thinks that until a child is 18 or age of consent, the child does not usually have the option of not riding in the car and thus will be exposed to smoke against his will.

When i see this kind of thing in the news all i can do is thank god i left. you poor saps........

i think the bill should be passed till the age of consent because a child cannot say please dont smoke im in the car doesnt the parent care enough to really be told not to its your child why harm them and it needs to be everywhere in all us states all i can say is its common sense who would give drugs or alcohol to a baby, child or teenager so why smoke around them whether in your house or car !!! keep trying till it passes we have to protect our children the ciggarette companies aren't enough said !!

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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