This article shall be known as "The Rockland County Kids in Cars Smoking Safety Act."
This Legislature finds that numerous studies have conclusively demonstrated the effect secondhand smoking has in those who never smoke even one cigarette. These risks include, but are not limited to, heart disease, cancer, emphysema, and various other ailments that contribute to loss of life, loss of quality of life, and increased health care and other costs to individuals and governments. Studies also show that children are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of secondhand smoke; yet children are also among those least able to avoid secondhand smoke from adults or other children who smoke around them. One place that is currently unregulated is smoking in vehicles with children present. Even with open windows, children are essentially prisoners to secondhand smoke without the ability to remove themselves from the dangerous situations. With regard to smoking electronic cigarettes in vehicles, it has been determined that carcinogenic chemicals, including formaldehyde, have been found in varying amounts in the aerosols emitted upon the smoking of such cigarettes. There is therefore concern about the potential harm to children in vehicles from secondhand exposure to electronic cigarette aerosols. The Legislature finds, therefore, that a local law is necessary in order to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of children in Rockland County.
It shall be unlawful for the operator or any passenger in a vehicle to smoke when any child is present.
The first violation of the provisions of this article shall be a criminal violation punishable by a fine of between $75 and $150. A second or subsequent violation shall be a criminal violation, punishable by a fine of between $150 and $250.