Reporting Mona Rivera
NEW YORK (1010 WINS / WCBS 880) – Long Island lawmakers are eyeing another smoking ban.
A bill proposed and co-sponsored by Legislators Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) and Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) would ban smoking in all motor vehicles in Nassau County with at least one passenger younger than 18.
WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs has reaction
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with Judi Bosworth explaining why she wants the ban
Bosworth said children are protected in vehicles with car seats, seat belts and airbags but not from secondhand smoke.
“Adults may still smoke in the car poisoning the air our little ones our breathing,” Bosworth said. “Well you know what, it’s now time to remove that last dangerous element and make sure our children are protected from the ill effects of secondhand smoke in cars.”
Legislator Jacobs said the bill was aimed at protecting vulnerable children.
“A car is such an enclosed place where children are really held captive and they don’t have an escape, they can’t say, ‘I want to leave this car,’” Jacobs said.
Bosworth and Jacobs have complained that the bill was stalled in the county legislature. Presiding Officer Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) said he was not prepared to put it on the calendar.
“This legislation is presently being considered statewide, and we will wait for Albany’s determination before we enact a local version which may be costly and difficult to enforce,” Schmitt said.
Violators would be fined $1,000 under the proposed ban.
Medical experts and community advocates joined sponsors of the legislation Tuesday in urging the county to pass the bill.
“Secondhand smoke, particularly in the enclosed area of a car, results in exposure levels that are between 50 to 110 times the exposure level found in the open environment,” pediatrician Shetal Shah of the Stony Brook School Of Medicine said.
Rockland County and four states – Maine, Louisiana, Arkansas and California — have similar bans.
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