Ohio Senate considers limiting smoking in cars

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Protecting young children from second hand smoke is what some Ohio lawmakers are trying to accomplish through a new proposed smoking ban.

A bill in the Ohio Senate would ban smoking in cars if children under the age of six are on board.  Ohio would not be the first state with such legislation.  California, Hawaii and Louisiana have similar laws.

"I am a smoker and I agree with it," said Jim Surgoner. "I don't think kids should be around smoke and I think people are too distracted right now with cell phones and texting, so you might as well do away with the smoking too."

"Children that young shouldn't be exposed to it and it is hard for them to breathe," said Cami Jones.

Law makers say smoking in a confined space like a car is more hazardous to a child's health. Health officials agree.

"Children under six have lungs that are perhaps 1/4 the size of adult lungs," said Dr. Robert Lerer, Butler County Public Health Commissioner. "For every four or five cigarettes smoked in an enclosed environment, it's almost the equivalent of a four-year old smoking a pack of cigarettes."

While many agree with the bill, others aren't so sure especially when it comes to enforcing such legislation.

"When traffic is going by you at 35 mph, 50 mph or even on the highway at 85-90 mph, you're not focusing on someone smoking in their car," said Lt. John Cook with the Sharonville Police Dept.