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Virginia Bans Smoking in Cars with Children

Tom Sinon

Smoking in a car when a child eight or younger is present will now carry a $100 fine in the state. That’s one of Virginia’s new laws that goes into effect July 1st. 

Only seven other states have similar laws, with different age cut-offs. Maine makes it illegal to smoke if anyone under 13 is in the car. In California, it’s under 18.

Bronson Frick, with Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights says the next step is to have educational outreach that works alongside the law.

"In California, they actually include the issue in the driver’s manual, it’s on the driver’s test, there was an outreach effort with law enforcement so they know how to handle the situation," Frick says. "And in general, people are more aware of the policy and hopefully it’s had an impact for reducing the exposure to second-hand smoke in children."

In Virginia, the ban is second-offense, meaning it can’t be the primary reason a cop pulls you over. 

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