Bill: Ban smoking in car with child inside

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A bill that would ban smoking in your car when a child is present is already creating controversy, even though it was just introduced Friday to lawmakers in Tallahassee.

Rep. Charles McBurney said the bill would ultimately save the lives of hundreds of children forced to breath in secondhand smoke.

Opponents, however, say their car is their own private property.

"I think that's ridiculous. That's your private space," said Ed Jones, who doesn't smoke. "As bad as it is for the child, the moral thing to do is not to smoke in front of a child, but they shouldn't be telling you what to do on your private property."

Jones said it's a personal right issue and the government should just butt out.

McBurney, who authored the bill, said children's lives are at stake.

"There was a study that showed that smoking in automobiles are 60 times more dangerous than smoking in someone's home, and even 27 times more dangerous than smoking in a smoker's home," he said.

McBurney said the levels of pollution measured in a car filled with cigarette smoke are higher than the pollution found in smoke-filled bars.

Smoker Kammie Workman said if the bill passes, smokers will have a hard time saying no when they're driving in their car.

"Sometimes that's the only time they can smoke: in a car on the way somewhere," Workman said.

Although Workman smokes, she agrees with the proposed bill because she said children are innocent victims.

As the bill makes its way to lawmakers' desks, it's clear the controversy is just heating up.

"Yeah, I'm against the law, period, especially when it's ignorance and it's a way to make money off of taxpayers," said Skinner Black, a nonsmoker.

"It could be a tremendous harm for our children," McBurney said. "This bill is all about children."

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.