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New Law Protects Kids in Cars from Secondhand Smoke

Pritzker Signs Bill prohibiting smoking in vehicles with anyone under age 18

(August 23, 2019) - SPRINGFIELD, Ill.

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

Today, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2276 into law, which prohibits smoking in vehicles with anyone under the age of 18. This law passed through the Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives, and is sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison and State Representative Jonathan Carroll.

The American Lung Association in Illinois applauds the state lawmakers and the Governor for passing a law that will make a significant impact on the health of youth under age 18. This new law aims to protect children from secondhand smoke and to prevent future youth tobacco use.

“This new law will protect the health of our children. Breathing secondhand smoke causes several health issues in children, like sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, and ear infections, as well as wheezing, coughing, and getting sick more often,” said Kathy Drea from the Lung Association. “It is essential to avoid smoking near children, especially in a small enclosed spaces like cars.”

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.  Every year, more than 41,000 people in the U.S. die from secondhand smoke exposure. In addition, children’s lungs are smaller, which makes them more sensitive to secondhand smoke.

Illinois became one of the only a few states that prohibits smoking in vehicles with people under age 18. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2020.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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