Maui News

Maui Committee to Hear Bill: No Smoking in Cars with Kids Present

December 29, 2017, 12:09 PM HST
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Maui County’s proposed legislation for smoke-free vehicles when a minor is present is scheduled for a reading before the Policy, Economic Development, and Agriculture committee on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

smoke free

Under PEA-41, individuals would be prohibited from smoking in vehicles when persons under the age of 18 are present.

Groups advocating for passage of the legislation include the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute.

Supporters of the proposed legislation say research suggests that “secondhand smoke in a car can be up to ten times more toxic than what the EPA considers unhealthy air quality, even when a window is down.”

Advocates say “Inhaling secondhand smoke is especially harmful because children’s lungs are still developing. Passing smoke-free cars into law will help decrease our children’s exposure to secondhand smoke and educate parents and other adults about the dangers of smoking in a car when a minor is present.”

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Backers of the bill are hoping that electronic smoking devices are also included in the legislation.

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Supporters also say that according to the Surgeon General, “E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful constituents including nicotine.” Nicotine exposure during adolescence can reportedly cause addiction and harm the developing adolescent brain according to a report produced by the Surgeon General, “E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2016.”

PEA-41, if passed, would bring Maui County in line with similar legislation on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, Kaua‘i, and O‘ahu.

A sign waving event will be held at the intersection of Kaʻahumanu Avenue and Kahului Beach Road in front of the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center on Thursday, Jan. 4, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. after the item is heard in committee.

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