Pictured at the press conference with Legislator Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) and Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) are:
Carol Meschkow of the Tobacco Action Coalition of LI: Dr. Manju Chandra, Winthrop Pediatric Association; Lisbeth Shibley,
Manhasset CASA executive director; Laura Weinberg, president of the Great Neck Cancer Coalition; Village of Great Neck Mayor
Ralph Kreitzman; Leah Jefferson, advocacy director of the American Cancer Society; and Dr. Shetal Shah.
At a press conference held on March 7, 2011, Nassau County Legislators Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) and Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) re-enforced their strong support for legislation they recently introduced. Their bill would protect children by banning smoking in any motor vehicle driven in Nassau County when there is a child under 18 years of age present. The legislators cited the health risk ABCs of exposing children to second-hand smoke, particularly in automobiles. Regardless of ventilation, children in cars who breathe second-hand smoke are placed at high risk for Asthma, Bronchitis and/or Cancer.
Legislator Bosworth said, "In the 1960s Mad Men generation, we allowed children to stand up in the car or sit on our laps, we didn't wear seatbelts or have air bags and we smoked cigarettes in the car when children were present. Today we know that all of these things are potentially dangerous and yet the only one the law still allows is smoking with kids in the car. Let's protect our children's lungs by passing this legislation."
The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that second-hand smoke in the confined space of a motor vehicle increases the risk of a child having an asthma attack by 100 percent. Second-hand smoke exposure in a vehicle results in 50-100 times the exposure level found in other indoor spaces.
Legislator Jacobs stated, "Our proposed law is extremely important to the health and future of our children. We, as adults, must raise awareness to protect the most vulnerable among us. Let us be their voice by swiftly enacting this law."
The press conference was called to rally community support for the bill's passage. It was attended by various civic and health care leaders including Great Neck Village Mayor Ralph Kreitzman, Laura Weinberg, president of Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition, Carol Meschkow, Tobacco Action Coalition, Dr. Shetal Shah, Dr Peter Morelli, Dr. Russell Schiff, Dr. Paul Ogburn, LI Perinatal Forum, Leah Jefferson, American Cancer Society and Lisbeth Shibley, executive director of Manhasset CASA.