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updated: 2/18/2014 5:28 PM

Bill would ban smoking with children in car

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- An Illinois lawmaker wants to make it illegal for motorists to smoke in cars with children.

State Sen. Ira Silverstein says secondhand smoke in confined areas is dangerous for children. The Chicago Democrat argued to a Senate committee Tuesday that it's a relevant problem because other states are considering the same proposal.

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Under the bill, violators would be fined a maximum of $100, but police couldn't pull them over only for smoking with children.

Kathy Drea, a vice president for the American Lung Association in Illinois, says the law is about education, not punishment. She says it's one way to help children. She admits there's no "silver bullet" to preventing tobacco use.

Some committee members questioned whether this proposal significantly reduces a child's overall exposure to secondhand smoke.

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