MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new law making it illegal for anyone in a car to smoke while a child is present has gone into effect in the capital of Hawaii.
The ban will heavily fine any smoker caught with a regular or electronic cigarette while a minor is in the vehicle.
Honolulu’s mayor Kirk Caldwell signed the bill into law days after the city council approved the measure by a unanimous vote.
“They have to breathe in that secondhand smoke, and we know it can cause huge health problems down the road,” Caldwell said.
The fines will reportedly go to the person caught smoking by police, who may or may not be the driver of the car. First time offenders will receive a $100 fine. A second offense will cost smokers $200 and go up to $500 if the person is caught again within a one-year period.
It’s not clear how Honolulu police will effectively enforce the ban or determine if a person is under 18 years old without pulling over law-abiding drivers by mistake. City council members expressed confidence in law enforcement to uphold the ban.
The 50th state’s capital is the latest community to outlaw smoking around children in cars. Nine other states or U.S. territories have passed similar bills against smoking around youths under 18 including Arkansas, California, Virginia, and Puerto Rico.