Smoking in the car with a minor to become illegal next year in Illinois

A new bill in Illinois will make it illegal to smoke in the car with anyone 18-years of age and younger. That includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars and marijuana. Local smokers share how they feel about the new law.

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 5:10 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 3:07 PM

MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - A new law in Illinois aimed at smokers is working to help the health of minors.

House Bill 2276 will make it illegal to smoke in the car with anyone 18-years of age and younger.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill in late August.

It will go into effect starting January 1st.

The law bans smoking with a minor in the car whether the car is stopped, or the windows are rolled down.

That includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and marijuana.

Ashley Fitzgerald and Ellen Leitch have both been smoking for years.

They feel this new law isn't going to make much of a difference.

"I would not smoke with the window up. I don't want that," said Leitch.

"I feel like any smoker does not smoke with the windows up. Even by themselves, let alone if there was another person or a child in the car. Myself if I do have a cigarette in the car and my child gets in the car, I roll the window all the way down," said Fitzgerald.

They said there are constantly new laws aimed at smokers.

"I feel like there are so many other things that could be helped that just really are pushed to the side because they want to target smokers because it's an easy ticket or it's an easy tax. Really there are so many other things affecting our children and harming our communities and our smaller towns, but they're not worried about that," said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said she understands the second-hand smoke concerns, however, she thinks there are other laws and fines that should be a bigger priority.

"I understand there's health reasons behind things like that, but it seems like another fine. Another ticket and something for them to write out," said Fitzgerald.

The violation would result in a fine of up to $100 for the first offense.

A second offense would result in a fine of no more than $250.

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