Some Illinois residents concerned proposed ban on smoking inside vehicles

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by Chris Stanford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 18 at 9:13 AM

 (KMOV) --  A new type of proposed smoking ban in Illinois pits public health against government regulation.

Legislation proposed by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) would make smoking in a car illegal if anyone under 18 years old was also inside.

Public opinion of the bill appears to be split.

“It’s definitely going too far,” said Jerry Sellers of Fairview Heights. “Pretty soon, you know, you’re not going to be able to do anything in your car but drive,” he adds.

The bill is already supported by the American Lung Association.

“It’s dangerous to smoke around your kids in the first place,” said Melanie Reed of Belleville. “They don’t have a choice about it, so yeah, make it illegal.” 

If the bill reaches the Illinois House of Representatives, Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) said he hasn’t decided how he’d vote.

“I’m a strong believer that we’re being more and more overregulated in America,” says Rep. Meier.  “I’d hate to make another law which is just another regulation, but at the same time, I do worry about the health of the children in the car,” Meier said.

The bill said officers would not be allowed to stop a vehicle solely for the proposed offense. The fine would be a maximum of $100.

Illinoisans can weigh in on this latest proposed smoking ban at the state capitol.  A public forum is being held Tuesday afternoon in Springfield.

Meier would like to know what his constituents think about the bill and is asking them to email him at repcmeier@gmail.com.

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