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Pending bill would protect children from second-hand smoke

A pending bill in the State Senate would make it a crime to smoke in a vehicle when young children are present. Critics call it intrusive, but supporters say the measure would protect kids from the dangers of secondhand smoke. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

Under the bill, adults who smoked when riding with children under six years of age would face a minimum $100 fine.

A similar measure failed in 2004. But since then, the California Air Resources Board has declared secondhand smoke to be toxic.

West Hollywood Assemblyman Paul Koretz wrote the bill.

Koretz: In my view for an elected official, your highest calling is to save lives. And there's no question, this will save the lives of thousands of individuals, and at an age when they really can't do anything to defend themselves.

Some say the measure is going too far. Koretz says he heard the same arguments when California banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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