New law helps protect children from second-hand smoke

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- A new law in Arkansas will soon bring stiffer policies for children and second-hand smoke. The new law will limit people on the road from smoking if there are children under 14 along for the ride. We asked residents in Paragould to put in their two cents on the topic.

Lighting up is a habit many people have a hard time cutting. But a new law that will take effect this July, will "stamp out" the smoke break on the road for anyone with children in the car under the age of 14. Jackie Moore says she's for it. "I think it's wonderful. Because children they don't have a choice. So I don't think they should be subjected to it," said Moore.

Since 2006, officers have been able to pull over and issue tickets to anyone smoking in the car with a child under the age of six. But the new law recently signed in by Governor Mike Beebe takes it a step further, raising the age to anyone under the age of 14.

The question is...can the law really be enforced? Sergeant Mark Walker with the Paragould Police Department says yes.

"We go see them texting and doing other stuff like that so I'm sure if it was a real problem we'd see some of it," said Walker, and adds, it's not an offense they come across very often. "I think people pretty much know not to smoke around kids that small. You know it's just common sense."

We asked Sherwood Stephenson, who kicked the habit a while back, to weigh-in on the topic. "Yeah, I've smoked in the past and it's not good. I wouldn't want my kids inhaling that stuff. So I definitely agree with that law," said Stephenson.

While others didn't even know the first law existed. "I didn't know about it. I think it's a good idea, very good idea," said Jerry Crocker.

The law will go in effect July 27th as a primary law and comes with a twenty-five dollar ticket.

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