Lawmaker Suggests Ban on Smoking During Pregnancy

JUNE 12, 2006 - Posted at 8:01 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Represenatative Bob Mathis of Hot Springs, a former smoker himself, has some definite ideas about smoking.  He led the charge in this year's special session to ban smoking in cars carrying children.  Now, Mathis wants his colleagues to study whether it should be against the law for pregnant women to smoke.

He told lawmakers last week that children born to smokers face the risk of long-term health problems and questioned whether it was "constitutional" for a mother to smoke while pregnant.

Mathis urged lawmakers to study the issue before the Legislature goes into session in January.  Mathis himself won't be there when the General Assembly convenes, as he is completing his last term in the House under the state's term-limits law.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)