assembly Bill A6714A
Herman D. Farrell
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Prohibits smoking in private passenger cars, vans and trucks where a minor less than 14 years of age is a passenger in such vehicles; provides for rebuttable presumption; provides that violations of such provisions shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
restricting areas where smoking is permitted
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to
prohibit smoking in private passenger automobiles where minors less than
14 years of age are passengers in such vehicles.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. Section 1399-o of the public
health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 19.
19.a, Prohibits smoking in a private passenger car, private passenger
van or private passenger truck where minors under fourteen years of age
are passengers in such vehicle.
19.b sets forth a rebuttable presumption of smoking for purposes of this
Section 2. Subdivision 1 of section 1355-q of the public health law, as
amended by chapter 11 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as
1. Private homes, private residences and private automobiles except as
provided in subdivision nineteen of section thirteen hundred ninety-
nine-o of this article.
Section 2 of the bill makes article 13-E of the Public Health Law regu-
lation of smoking applicable to automobiles in those instances detailed
in the new subdivision 19 of section 1399-o set forth above.
Section 3. Section 1399-v of the public health law, as added by chapter
244 of the laws of 1985, is amended by adding subdivision two.
2. Any person who violates this law shall be liable for a fine of not
more than one hundred dollars to be imposed by any enforcement officer.
Section 4. Effective Date of this law shall be on the one hundred twen-
tieth day after it shall have become law.
JUSTIFICATION: The harmful effect secondhand smoke (SHS) can have on
people, especially children, has been well documented. The EPA estimates
that secondhand smoke causes up to 62,000 deaths each year among nons-
mokers in the United States, including 3,000 deaths due to lung cancer
Secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) is a major preventable contributor to
acute and chronic adverse health outcomes that affect children dispro-
portionately. An estimated 300,000 children nationwide develop lower
respiratory infections each year as a result of exposure to secondhand
smoke, with approximately 15,000 of these children hospitalized due to
their infections. And, exposure to secondhand smoke is a primary cause
In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report, "The Health Conse-
quences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke," saying that SHS is a
serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in
children. The report details that even brief exposure to SHS has immedi-
ate, adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and that because the
bodies of infants and children are still developing; they are especially
vulnerable to the poisons in SHS.
That same year, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported the
results of a Harvard School of Public Health study on SHS in automo-
biles. The study simulated children's exposure to secondhand smoke in a
motor vehicle by measuring carbon dioxide and respirable suspended
particles (RSP) under actual driving conditions. The researchers deter-
mined that the levels of RSP detected were deemed unsafe, particularly
for children. Their conclusion was that private passenger cars are a
domestic environment with the potential to yield unsafe levels of SHS
Smoking is prohibited in many public places such as airplanes, shopping
malls, restaurants, bars, and a whole range of facilities and spaces
serving child age populations. The dangers secondhand smoke can pose to
a child in an enclosed area like a private passenger vehicle are severe.
We Currently provide protections for both children and drivers by
mandating the use of car seats and seatbelts in private automobiles.
This bill is an extension of those protections by providing children
clean air to breathe.
The $100 penalty imposed for violation of this ban is justified by the
significant, well documented negative health impact on those children
forcibly exposed to SHS in automobiles.
California, Maine, Louisiana, and Arkansas have enacted comparable
legislation. In New York State on the local level, Rockland County has
already enacted a ban on smoking in cars with children up to the age of
18. At least 15 other states and the District of Columbia have similar
legislation pending. At present, on a related front, seven states have
enacted legislation prohibiting smoking in cars that axe transporting
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 1997-1998 (A. 8847- reported from Health;,
referred to Codes), 1999-2000 (A3590- reported from Health; referred to
Codes; referred to Codes/S5061- referred to Health), 2001-2002
(A.773-reported from Health; referred to Codes/S.1233- referred to
Health), 2003-2004 (A.56- reported from Health; referred to Codes;
amended & recommitted to Codes/S.189) 2005-06 (A.175- reported from
Health; referred to Codes), 2005-2006 (A175- reported from Health;
referred to Codes) 2007-2008 (A156- reported from Health; Third Reading
Calendar #742; committed to Codes).
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth
day after it shall have become law.
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