AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – After a year of pushing to get the Aurora City Council to ban smoking when children are in a car, a group of Girl Scouts is seeing their hard work pay off.
With the help of Councilman Charlie Richardson, Girl Scout Troop 789 began drafting an ordinance in early 2017 that would ban smoking in a car if anyone under the age of 18 is inside. The girls spent the past two weeks in city council meetings trying to get it approved.
They say the effects of secondhand smoke are terrible and something others should be thinking about.
“We think it’s just really important to emphasize how bad secondhand smoke is,” a member of the troop told CBS4.
Not everyone agreed with the ordinance, including one woman who told the council Monday the focus should be on “giving people the tools they need to be free of tobacco instead of punishing people who have made a poor choice in their life to drive in a car with a child” while smoking.
But the council passed the measure in a vote of 6 to 5 Monday night.
“We didn’t know it would get this far,” said one of the girls.
The ordinance’s passage means for those living in Aurora, smoking in a car with someone under 18 is a secondary offense (meaning someone couldn’t be cited only for that act). It comes with a fine of $150 or community service.
This is the first measure of its kind to pass anywhere in Colorado. Several other states have passed similar laws, and similar laws exist in many other countries.