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Georgia bill proposed to ban smoking in the car with children

Claudia Coco (WGXA)
Claudia Coco (WGXA)
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MACON, Ga. -- Smokers in Georgia could have to make some changes in the future if a proposed bill gets passed in the General Assembly.

House Bill 17, proposed by House Representative Sandra Scott, proposes a criminal penalty for smoking in a car with a child younger than 13-years-old.

Dr. Christy Peterson, a pediatrician at Navicent Health, said kids exposed to second-hand smoke are at a higher risk of infections.

"No amount of second-hand smoke is safe for anybody," said Peterson. "The infection list includes sinus infections, ear infections, pneumonia, viral infections of many kinds, bacterial infections of many kinds in children who are exposed to second-hand smoke."

Macon resident Richard Anderson said he's smoked for about 10 years, and thinks the proposed law is a great thing.

"I'm surprised it's already not a law to be honest. It's not like a child has a choice to take a separate vehicle. So I would have no problem with it," said Anderson.

He doesn't have kids yet said but one day that might change things for him.

"I would rethink smoking completely because I wouldn't want them to be exposed to that because they have no choice you know," Anderson said.

According to Peterson, the best thing smoking parents can do for their kids is to just quit the habit.

"It's commonplace to smoke in the car and when you think about it, if you can make that an illegal thing then maybe people will be more likely to quit smoking. Because if you can quit smoking in the car you're probably halfway there," she said.

House Bill 17 doesn't state exactly what that criminal penalty would be if it gets passed, but if it turns into Georgia law then smoking in a car with anyone under the age of 13 will be a punishable offense.

Read the proposed bill:

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