The New Jersey state Senate will consider a bill that would make it illegal to smoke in a car when children under the age of 16 are present.

Marlboro cigarettes are on display
Marlboro cigarettes are on display (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Under Senate bill #S-2883, first introduced by Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-19) last week, it would be a second offense to use a cigarette, cigar, pipe "or any other matter of substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked" which includes electronic cigarettes.

Violators would face a $100 fine but no insurance points and be a second offense.

"Driving is privilege, it's not a right," Vitale told "Just like we have to obey the rules of the road in a manner that is safe, smoking in a car when a child is present is dangerous and should not be permitted."

Vitale is the chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens.

A 2006 report by the Centers for Disease Control concludes that secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and adults who do not smoke thanks to "hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic." Children are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and causes ear problems and more severe asthma.


More From New Jersey 101.5 FM