(WHBC) – An Ohio state senator has introduced a bill that would make it a crime to smoke in a vehicle when a child under the age of six is present.

Senator Tina Maharath says smoking when a child is in a vehicle is essentially child abuse.

“You are putting your child in, basically, a box full of cancer and that’s essentially child abuse to me,” she told WHBC.

She says the bill is all about protecting the health of children.

“So I hope to see smokers join us with their support, because they have to look at it from the kid’s perspective and the well-being of the child, and not as a government overreach.”

Violators would be fined $500 on their first offense, and $750 on subsequent offenses.

She says the bill is still in committee now and is starting to get some traction.