Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-31st District, filed legislation Monday that would ban smoking or vaping in vehicles occupied by minors under the age of 16, according to a news release.

Currently a smoking ban exists in vehicles occupied by children 8 years old and younger.

Virginia Code also does not have regulations to protect children from nicotine vapor.

According to a study by the Virginia Department of Health, 25 percent of high school students in Virginia report that smoking is allowed in the vehicle they ride in most frequently.

“As a mother, it was of great surprise to me to learn that children over the age of 8 can be exposed to second-hand smoke in vehicles,” said Guzman, “We face a vaping crisis in our schools. A survey conducted by the National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 20 percent of high school students use electronic cigarettes, with a separate study by Leventhal, Strong and Kirkpatrick showing that if they start vaping at a young age, by ninth grade, they are about seven

times more likely to start smoking cigarettes in the next year.

“Virginia needs to update its code to reflect the evidence-based results of medical studies. To sit idle would subject a quarter of our students to lifelong nicotine addiction before they graduate. It is not fair for a child to be exposed to this substance without consent; I won’t stand for this.”

New Local Newsletters!

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.