April 27, 2004

Clear the Air?

The Sacramento Bee reports (do Bees really report? For that matter, do they spell, either?) that CA lawmakers want to regulate the air in your vehicle. If you have children present, that is.
California lawmakers are considering a bill that would make California the first state in the nation to prohibit smokers from lighting up in a private car when children are present.

The proposal by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, D-South Gate, has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers who say it goes too far in attempting to police personal behavior.

Supporters, however, call it a crucial stride toward protecting the state's children from the damaging effects of second-hand smoke.
Okay - anyone not see this coming? I'd leave this for possible-but-not-likely evening blogging if it weren't for the next part.
Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, R-Monrovia, called the measure "big brother government." "Government is going to raise our kids for us because parents don't know what's best? That's a very scary thought," Mountjoy said.
Uh, Dennis, darling, while I agree with you in principle, on this one regarding "what's best," I'd have to side with the government. Anyone want to challenge that car full of cigarette smoke contains better air than car lacking cigarette smoke? The pollution's the ONLY issue I have with the product. Otherwise, adult users, if you wanna rot your bodies, go ahead. It's legal.

I'm certain Mr. Mountjoy had more profound things to say - I'll give him the benefit of a doubt, and it's possible da Bee's point was to make him sound idiotic (Success!). I would posit that smokers who smoke using their children's air are not exactly thinking about "what's best" for their children on that particular issue. I believe that they're probably not thinking it's an issue at all, merely smoking because of whatever it does for them. Mine were. I certainly bitched up a storm (I know you're so surprised).

But back to the issue at hand...if it's the car now, it'll be any building next because in many places all that's left is the home. In my mind, there are plenty of conclusive studies that show that the product harms the self (and others and certainly provides no benefit to the others) and should not be on the market. But there's that big agricultural tie-in and'll never be illegal. Prohibition failed and failed miserably. There's no reversal of legality on such a supercharged issue.

So lawmakers pick at citizens regulating they can, I guess. I can't imagine working next to someone who is smoking. Glad I was born no earlier than I was.

And on a side note, the people who compare food items to tobacco, I spit on you. Humans have to eat. Period. They don't have to smoke. Go look up "need" versus "want."


Posted by hln at April 27, 2004 02:45 PM | Health | TrackBack

Sorry Heather, but this time you are wrong wrong wrong. There isn't any doubt at all that smoking is harmful, but when you agree with the government regulating who can do something not illegal inside their own personal and private property, that's crossing the line.

Posted by: Ted at April 28, 2004 07:01 AM

I'm not as clear as I should be:

"But back to the issue at hand...if it's the car now, it'll be any building next because in many places all that's left is the home."

I'm recognizing that it's the slippery slope; I just don't go so far as to state that as bad (and I should). It will bleed over to food, which I take great issue with.


Posted by: hln at April 28, 2004 07:29 AM

:) Ahhhh, I see what you're getting at. I'm an ex-smoker, which has nothing to do with this next question, but...

If the government completely outlaws tobacco, how are they going to deal with the massive problems that'll cause in states like North Carolina and Virginia (among others) who have a significant percentage of industry devoted to tobacco?

Then again, where's the line? Cigarettes are bad, but so are cigars and pipes. And clove and herbal versions. The only absolute safe and sane ban is for *everything* "tobacco related" (dip and snuff) as well as "anything designed to be used by being burned and inhaled".

Oops. That would include incense. I really do think that this has to be an all-or-nothing issue. Either allow it without restrictions, or ban it outright.

Posted by: Ted at April 28, 2004 11:39 AM

While each of us condemns different behaviors, who among us are convinced we have no faults?
While cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking never raised eyebrows until recent times, those who indulge today are almost looked up as pariahs.
So let's look at the phenominal increase in divorce we witness today versus past generations.
The suffering of the abandoned spouse, who did nothing outrageously wrong, must have a terrible psychological effect.
Many times I have imagined the hurt and damage innocent children are forced to endure when their mother and father decide to split, not because of abuse (which they should get counseling for), but mainly because of their selfishness.
Shall we also look at children born with no father in the home? Doesn't a Dad matter? Yes, a responsible and caring Dad is very important to every child. (As a mother of three grown, adult children, I know their father is and always was an integral part of their lives.)
As many as there are who make up the population of the United States alone, we think we can look down from our "ivory towers" and make judgements on "what bothers us".
To get back to the subject, smoking is not a good thing, but be sure you who condemn it also detest the even greater evils that have overtaken our society.
Write more about the amoral behavior which is threatening to become the norm!

Posted by: Joanne at May 12, 2004 02:24 AM