'This is essentially child abuse’: Smoking with kids in car could be banned in Ohio

State Senator wants to ban lighting up if you have kids under 6 in the car.

'This is essentially child abuse’: Smoking with kids in car could be banned in Ohio
An Ohio State Senator, Tina Maharath, a democrat, who represents District 3 in the Columbus area has introduced legislation that would ban smoking in any car carrying passengers under the age of 6. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We’ve all heard of the dangers of secondhand smoke, and now an Ohio senator wants to ban smoking in the tight confines of your car if you have passengers under the age of six.

Smoking with young kids in the car could be banned in Ohio

State Senator Tina Maharath, a Democrat who represents District 3 in the Columbus area, said the problem goes way beyond the rights of smokers.

“They have to look at it as, this is essentially child abuse, not that their rights as a smoker are being taken away,” she said.

Ohio State Senator Tina Maharath, a Democrat, who represents District 3 in the Columbus area wants to ban smoking in...

Posted by Brian Duffy Cleveland 19 on Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The senator wants to protect children who don’t have the chance to make a choice themselves.

“Young children are not able to decide for themselves, so if they want to enter a vehicle with a smoker, they’re going to be at the mercy of the driver,” Maharath said.

Senate Bill 78 was recently introduced, so there is plenty left to debate before this can become law.

“I know growing up with a dad that smoked, I kind of agree,” said smoker Thomas Suttle. “I am not going to fight that, I understand that.”

Scott Rohler, who is a former smoker, also agreed.

“I think it’s a great idea, those kids don’t need to be inhaling that smoke,” he said.

There is, however, sure to be plenty of people opposed to further restricting the rights of smokers.

The proposed legislation would levy a $500 fine for the first and second offense.

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