MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – Alabama legislators have passed a bill to ban smoking or vaping inside a vehicle with a minor.
House Bill 3 (HB 3) awaits Governor Kay Ivey’s signature after being passed through legislation last Tuesday. The proposed bill would make it illegal to smoke or vape tobacco products in a car with a minor 14 years of age or younger present.
Democratic Representative Rolanda Hollis, who represents Birmingham, has sponsored the bill for the last six years. The goal, she says is to protect children from secondhand smoke.
Marena Owen of Madison County told News 19 she believes the bill is important but is concerned about the “misdirection” from more important issues faced by state leaders.
“I think it’s a good idea but I don’t know how they would execute it,” said Owen. “Our legislature is not attending to a lot of things like homelessness, job disparities, inequities, and civil rights. I think this is just one of those things they like to flash at people to get them misdirected away from things that really need to be taken care of.”
The CDC lists seven states that have passed similar legislation since December 2022.
A 30-0 vote in the Senate moved the bill to Governor Ivey’s desk to be signed into law.
HB 3 would apply whether a vehicle is in motion, at a standstill, or has its windows rolled down. The bill also states the charge can only come secondary to a lawful stop of a vehicle based on a separate traffic violation.
Smoking or vaping in a car with a minor present would be punishable by a fine of up to $100.
The bill would go into effect three months after being signed by Governor Ivey.