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West Virginia Senate panel advances motor vehicle secondhand smoking bill

A West Virginia Senate committee advances a bill that would prohibit smoking in motor vehicles when children age 16 or younger are in them. (Photo: Stacy Zech / MGN)

A West Virginia Senate committee has advanced a bill that would prohibit smoking in motor vehicles when children age 16 or younger are in them.

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee on Tuesday sent the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The voice vote was not unanimous.

The bill would make violations a misdemeanor with a punishment of a $25 fine upon conviction.

Dr. Michael Kilkenny, director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, told the committee that exposure to cigarette smoking increases respiratory and heart health risks for children, even if they never smoke themselves.

Committee member Dr. Ron Stollings, a Boone County physician, called the bill "good public policy."

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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