New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act launched in 2006

Dangers of secondhand smoke have become a focus

Several states ban smoking in cars with kids

Does New Jersey have a law against smoking — or vaping — in a vehicle when children are present?

At least 10 states have passed laws prohibiting smoking in personal vehicles when children or adolescents are present.

These laws have been specifically aimed at reducing children’s exposure to secondhand smoke in vehicles — each varying in age restrictions.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is among five states (along with Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, and Maryland) that have laws that explicitly exempt personal vehicles from inclusion in state smoking restrictions.

Is it illegal to smoke in NJ with children in car
(Canva, Townsquare Media)

States that have banned smoking around child passengers

Despite at least two separate efforts to pass legislation restricting smoking around young passengers, as of early 2024, NJ was not among states with such a law.

State legislation was introduced in both 2015 and 2022, but stalled both times in committee.

The states with a ban on smoking while children are riding in a vehicle were Arkansas, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia, according to the CDC.

In September, Delaware also passed a law that restricts smoking in vehicles with passengers younger than 18 — though a police officer was not to stop a driver solely based on the new regulation.

The age limit varies by state — in Vermont, the law applies to children 8 and younger, while in Louisiana the limit is 13.

Arkansas law applies to those 14 and younger, Utah and Virginia set the upper legal limit of 15 — and in California, Illinois, Maine and Oregon, each state bans smoking around a child passenger until the youth reaches 18.

NJ is not even among 13 states that prohibit smoking in vehicles used to transport children, while in the care of home-based or commercial childcare facilities.

Those states — according to the CDC — are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

Is it legal to vape around kids in NJ

Is it legal to vape around kids in cars, in NJ?

New Jersey's Smoke-Free Air Act, in place since 2006, applies to public spaces, including public transit.

It has been amended to ban the use of vape products where smoking was already banned, including parks and beaches, with limited exceptions.

There is no legislation regulating vape products in personal vehicles in NJ, regardless of whether a child passenger is present.

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