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Residents react to new smoking law in Shepherdsville

Published: May. 11, 2016 at 8:45 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2016 at 3:02 AM EDT
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SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Smoking in cars containing children will soon be against the law in Shepherdsville.

A new ordinance goes into effect on May 16 in the Bullitt County community, prohibiting the use of tobacco products in the presence of children in motor vehicles. The ordinance cites "no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke."

"If an adult wants to do it that's their decision, but with a child I really think that is a great law," Crystal Troutman said.

Troutman has a 3-year-old child and couldn't imagine smoking in the car with the child inside.

We found plenty of parents who don't agree with the new ordinance.

"I think it's bull," one woman said. "They're taking away all of our rights just because we're smokers."

"When they pay for my gas, my insurance and supply me with a car and make my car payments, then they can tell me what to do in my own vehicle," another resident, Scott Phelps, said.

The new law isn't paying for any of the things he mentioned, but it does bring with it up to a $250 fine.

"As an American I feel like we don't have that many rights anymore because there's always laws," another man, who only wanted to be identified as David, said.

Police officers will not be able to pull someone over for breaking the ordinance alone. It will be a secondary offense. The law covers children up to age 18.

"I don't know that 18 is a good age, I do agree smaller kids because they're still growing, more susceptible. So that's fine try to protect them as much as possible," Shannon Yates said.

Other states that have passed similar laws include Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Utah, Maine, Oregon, Vermont and the latest addition, Virginia. Puerto Rico has also passed a law. In Florida and Ohio similar legislation is in the works.

"My mom and my dad both smoked and I hated it growing up because I felt like I couldn't breathe," Troutman said. "At least someone is trying to do something about it."

Furthermore, the ordinance prohibits the presence of second-hand smoke from "a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, weed, plant, regulated narcotic or controlled substance."

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