January 20, 2008

Thank you for not smoking

Lawmakers in Washington state are looking to ban smoking in cars with children in them. We have already banned smoking in public buildings, and even within 25 feet of entrances. All this to protect people from second-hand smoke which has been linked to several ailments. Three other states have already passed the smoking/children in the car law. The infraction would be a secondary offense (need to have another reason to pull you over), and it would not appear on your record or be reported to your insurance provider.

Washington has a reputation of becoming a "nanny" state by taking away personal choices for the protection of our citizens. However this bill has little opposition so far. Interestingly, it is already against the law for foster parents to smoke in a car with children in them. The new bill simply passes the protection to all children.

Just from casual observation, it seems there has been a drastic reduction in smoking in our area. It is a rare sight to see someone smoking in their car these days, even though this is one of the few places they can smoke anymore. Though my sense of smell is generally dull, I can usually smell someone smoking in a nearby car. I imagine it is pretty nasty for any kids inside.

As someone allergic to cigarette smoke, I have enjoyed the smoking ban in restaurants. There is no effective way to corral the smoke into a smoking section or into the bar. When I worked in restaurants or I spent any time in a bar, I had to hang my clothes outside when I got home. I think the 25 feet buffer is a little excessive, but on this subject, I'll take a little nannying from my state.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nanny Power!