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Bill would ban smoking in vehicles used as workplaces

Published February 5, 2013 10:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, wants to close a loophole in Utah law that still allows smoking in one workplace: vehicles.

He has introduced HB308 to amend the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act to add vehicles to a list of workplaces where smoking is banned. However, if a car is used by the owner-operator of a business and no one else uses the vehicle, smoking would still be allowed.

Perry said he is pushing it because a constituent told him how he had to quit his job because he became physically ill from sharing a car that was used in other shifts by a smoker.

"It not only smells lovely, but it leaves a debris in the car that was making him physically ill. It was causing headaches and all kinds of illnesses for him," Perry said. "He worked with his employer and did everything in his power to try and fix the problem, and eventually had to quit. Now he's only working part-time."

Perry, who is a Utah Highway Patrol officer, notes that by rule, the state government already bans smoking in all its vehicles, and as do most law enforcement agencies in the state.

"Most rental cars ban it, and give you a big fine if you do smoke because the resale value of the car goes way down," he adds.

ldavidson@sltrib.com