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New Oregon Law Makes It A Crime To Smoke In Vehicle With Minors

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A new Oregon law went into effect January 1st making it a crime to smoke cigarettes in a vehicle with minors. It is a secondary offense to smoke in the car with minors. This means law enforcement has to stop a driver for a separate violation first. Then police can write a ticket with a fine of $250 for smoking in the vehicle with children. The second time it happens, the fine is $500. Jason Davis with Lane County Health and Human Services says rolling down the window does not provide adequate ventilation.

Davis: "In 2006 the Harvard School of Public Health did a study that showed the levels after rolling down your windows in your car while smoking still exceeded the hazardous levels of the EPA's Air Quality Index. So what we're talking about here is significant air pollution within your car anytime that you smoke a cigarette."

Davis says the carcinogens in second hand smoke are especially damaging to young, developing lungs. The new law does not currently apply to e-cigarettes.
 

Angela Kellner is the KLCC host of All Things Considered and a reporter. Angela began as a KLCC volunteer in 1991 when she was in high school. While a student at Lane Community College, she was hired in 1993 for a work-study position in the KLCC Music Department and has been with the station in some role since then. Angela hosted KLCC's world music program Tropical Beat for 11 years from 1994 to 2005 and continues to fill in on a monthly basis.
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