BUFFALO, N.Y. – A new law introduced in the Erie County legislature Thursday would ban people who smoke from doing so while in a car with children.
The proposal came from legislator Patrick Burke, who, outside of politics, is also a concerned parent.
Burke was driving with one of his own kids recently when he saw someone smoking with a child in the car, and he said he was surprised to see that people still do that.
The legislation, he said, is not uncommon. It's already a law in nine states (though with different age parameters) as well as entire countries such as England.
Smoking with kids in the car is also already banned in some municipalities of New York State, and Burke hopes to make Erie County the next.
"There's plenty of research that even when the window is rolled down, it is a very compact space and there are significant carcinogens that these kids are forced to breathe it, and it's just not right,” Burke said.
The next step is for the legislature to hold a public hearing on the matter. The legislature will also have health experts present facts and statistics that would support banning smoking while in the car with a child.
Burke expects it'll have fairly broad support and pass early in 2018.