Oregon lawmakers signed off Monday on a measure that makes it illegal to smoke in a car when there are children present. Drivers could only be ticketed for the offense if they've already been pulled over for something else.
Supporters include Republican representative Jim Thompson. He told colleagues that the bill seeks to protect children from an obvious harm.
"Because of secondhand smoke, we've already banned smoking in restaurants and bars, public buildings, trains, planes, buses, taxis, many parks. And the list goes on, including the chamber that we're now sitting in. It is, however, legal to strap your kids in the back seat of your car and smoke them like bacon."
Some opponents called it a "nanny state" bill that will do little to change people's behavior. The measure now heads to the governor's desk.
On the Web:
SB 444: Smoking in motor vehicles - Oregon Legislature