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

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.

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