Committee kills anti-smoking bill
February 22, 2008
The House Law Enforcement Committee killed a bill this week that would prohibit people from smoking inside a vehicle in the presence of children younger than 5 years old.
"I just come down on the particular side of it just being too doggone much government intrusion into the lives of our citizens," said Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, before he voted against Senate Bill 14. "I think we all hate smoking But what happens when they get to a right that you care about?"
Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City, said he sponsored the bill to prevent children from exposure to second-hand smoke. The bill applies to kids who are under five or required to be restrained in a safety seat inside a vehicle.
SB 14 would have made a violation an infraction punishable by a $45 fine.
The court "may suspend the fine for a violation if the person proves that the person has enrolled in a smoking cessation program," the legislation states.
"You are actually doing harm to your child in your car," McCoy told committee members. "It is not hypothetical."
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The senator encouraged representatives not to stop the bill by voting against it.
"Let’s have that out on the House floor where everybody could lay that out," McCoy said.
The committee opposed the bill 4-5.