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A 10-Year Old Takes Action for Cleaner Air in Cars

Justin Kvadas, of East Hartford, Connecticut, USA, is working to get a bill passed by his state legislature that would ban smoking in automobiles, to protect children from second-hand smoke.

"If you can't eat, drink or talk on a cell phone while driving, how come you can still smoke? It can be just as dangerous, or more dangerous," Kvadas said.

Kvadas started a petition and got about 200 signatures. He began an e-mail campaign, wrote the governor, met with Mayor Melody Curry and caught the attention of state Representative Henry Genga.

Representative Genga drafted and filed a slightly amended bill that would ban drivers from smoking if there's a child in the car.

Early this year, Kvadas testified before the state legislature about the dangers of cigarette smoke and the need for legislation to protect children from second-hand smoke while they are riding in cars. About fifty of Kvadas' fellow students from O'Connell Elementary School filled the seats behind him, some waving hand-made signs with such affirmations as "Let Us Breathe" and "Don't Smoke around Kids."

"It's important to keep trying because you don't want kids to have to inhale all of the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals; it's bad for their health," Kvadas said. He also said that if that bill doesn't pass, he won't give up.

On February 9, Golden Year 4 (2007), ABC News named Kvadas "Person of the Week."

Arkansas and Louisiana have already passed similar anti-smoking measures, as has Bangor, Maine. Nine other states are considering doing the same.
Sounds like a great idea to me. Even a parent should not have the right to endanger their children and all evidence says that second hand smoke is dangerous.

I almost wrote "especially a parent". One would think that a parent would not want to endanger their children but many parents seem to think there is nothing wrong with smoking around their kids (and others). Some might even think parents might want to set a good example for their kids to discourage smoking when they get older.
I would agree wholeheartedly, and in fact, I do. I actually think that smoking should be banned outright, but I don't think it'll have a chance of passing. In a some places in the us, a lot of people view their homes and their cars as their last 'sanctuaries' for a cigarette, seeing as how it's been made illegal to smoke in so many public venues. To violate that little protection, however righteous, would meet too many objections, I would think.
My mom told me about how when she and her brothers were kids, their dad would chain smoke cigars/cigarettes in the car during trips (they moved/traveled a lot) and they'd always have their noses buried in the cracks of the doors, gagging.

Thank goodness cars back then weren't as airtight as they are nowadays.

(But anyways, good for that kid. Trying to save other kids from a similar fate. Nice to see him working the democratic system so young too.)

But over where I live, we're spoiled, and people don't often smoke much, anywhere. Except today when I passed by a group of smokers. Say hello to nausea. Peeew.
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