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KY proposes smoking ban in cars with kids

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo

NOTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX 19) – Kentucky's Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo proposed House Bill 216 in the Kentucky legislature that would ban drivers from smoking in a car around children under the age of 17.

Stumbo says the bill is an effort to protect kids from the health risks of second-hand smoke. Opponents say it is an unnecessary intrusion on citizens privacy. Drivers, parents, smokers and non-smokers in Northern Kentucky are mixed on the issue.

Sarah Courtney, a non-smoker and mother of 1-year-old Emma, says parents know smoking is harmful and should be against the law while driving in cars with children. "Even if they roll down the window…they're still around the cigarette smoke, it's an enclosed space."

Mother of three Theresa Summe is a smoker but says she never smokes in her apartment, car or around her kids. "You're not just putting yourself at risk, you're putting others at risk that cannot make the decisions for themselves."

But not all parents agree. Stephanie Hayes, 23, of Ludlow, Kentucky admits to smoking around her kids and says America needs to let parents raise their kids they way they want. "America's not free anymore, there's so many laws but that's just the way of the world, you have to abide by those laws or you pay the consequences."

If the bill is passed the consequences would be a $25 fine for the first offense and a $50 fine every time after.

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