Willis-Backed Legislation Bans Smoking in Cars when Children are Present
09/16/2019SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new law supported by state Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake, bans smoking in cars when children are present.
“The health and well-being of children should not be subject to the dangers of secondhand smoke while they are present in a vehicle,” Willis said. “A child cannot easily remove themselves from that type of situation, and this new law will protect children from secondhand smoke exposure.”
Willis supported House Bill 2276, which prohibits anyone from smoking in a vehicle, moving or not, while there is a minor under the age of 17 in the vehicle. The legislation passed both chambers with broad bipartisan support earlier this session and was recently signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker. According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, even smoke in vehicles with rolled down windows can pose a significant secondhand risk to children and other passengers. The American Lung Association notes that secondhand smoke has caused more than 150,000 lower respiratory tract infections among infants as old as 18 months each year.
Willis also supported Illinois’ Tobacco 21 law that raised the minimum smoking age to 21 in order to protect minors.
“Laws like these are no-brainers, and Illinois should take more steps to protect young children from smoking and secondhand smoke,” Willis said. “I will always fight to ensure that our children’s wellness comes first.”