88
      Saturday
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      Monday
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      Smoking with child in car would be illegal under bill

      The bill would prohibit smoking in a vehicle in the presence of a child under the age of 15. Photo: joka2000 via Creative Commons

      RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Senate committee has endorsed legislation making it illegal for adults to smoke with kids in the car.

      The Courts of Justice Committee voted 10-5 Monday to send Sen. Ralph Northam's bill to the Senate floor.

      The bill would prohibit smoking in a vehicle in the presence of a child under the age of 15. The offense would be charged as a traffic infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Similar legislation failed in the General Assembly two years ago.

      Northam, a Democrat from Norfolk, is a pediatric neurologist. He said second-hand smoke can cause or contribute to a number of health problems in children, including sudden infant death syndrome.

      The American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics supported his bill. Nobody spoke against it.