Lighting up a cigarette with a child in the car could become a criminal offense in Georgia. Lawmakers are considering a smoking ban in private vehicles to help protect young children from smoke related health problems.
Georgia lawmakers say children need more protection from the dangers of secondhand smoke, and want to make it illegal to smoke in a car with a child present.
Monica Austin, a mother of three, and director of a daycare center, says she doesn't think the proposed bill would be effective.
"Regardless of whether they are in they're car or at home they are going to smoke," says Monica.
Smoking in a car with a child under four, without rolling down the windows would be against the law.
Glenda Bay, a smoker and mother of three, says the bill infringes upon rights in someone's personal property.
"I don't think it's right for people to smoke in cars or home with their children, don't think it's right. But as far as taking rights away I don't think that's right, people should be smart enough to know they have little ones in the car," Glenda Bays says.
"I fell like that's more private, we are going into people's private lives, private sector where they feel most comfortable," Monica says.
Austin says she appreciates the legislature's effort to protect toddlers, but for the smokers, the threat of losing their rights needs to be their motivation to quit for themselves and for their children.
The bill would allow police to pull folks over who break the law and issue a $15 fine. Georgia would be the first state to ban smoking.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.