This is irritating:
Anti-smoking activists who are driving cigarettes from public places across the country are now targeting private homes — especially those with children.
Their efforts so far have contributed to regulations in three states — Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont — forbidding foster parents from smoking around children. Parental smoking also has become a critical point in some child-custody cases, including ones in Virginia and Maryland.
In a highly publicized Virginia case, a judge barred Caroline County resident Tamara Silvius from smoking around her children as a condition for child visitation.
Mrs. Silvius, a waitress at a truck stop in Doswell, Va., calls herself “highly disappointed” with the court’s ruling.
“I’m an adult. Who is anybody to tell me I can’t smoke or drink?” she said in an interview yesterday.
You know what this country needs to ban? Zealots, of all stripes, including the anti-smoking nuts, the prohibitionists and MADD, the drug warriors, the sex police, the gay bashers, the PETA twerps, the folks who freak out over a manger in a public square or the words ‘Under God” in the Pledge- just ban them all. The attitude of the general public should be:
“I know you feel strongly about this issue, but really, get a damned life. And quit telling everyone what to do.”
I agree, though how does MADD get in the list? Other than being againt DUI, what do they do that is so awful?
I think people should have the right to do whatever they want to their own bodies, but people driving under the influence should be subject to pretty harsh penalties.
I don’t think it should be legislated like that, but by the same token, I will admit that it makes my physically ill when I see a pregnant woman smoking, or when I see someone smoking close to a child who is too young to get up and leave the room. I have no problem at all with all of the PSAs out there about it…and I think that the education (as opposed to legislation) is working. Look how many pregnant women smoked 30 years ago, and look how few do it today. We now know better.
Lately MADD seems to have expanded their efforts from preventing drunk driving to preventing drinking; they seem to be taking on something of a neo-prohibitionist bent.
It has been a long, long time since MADD was the MADD you an I grew up with. They are now no longer concerned with merely driving while intoxicated, and are now foisting draconian alcohol limits and penalties while pushing for prohibition.
Start here. Then try Reason (and do a site search for MADD).
Then there is this crap, too.
Keep them out of my home. In public the right of free speech prevails, but inside my doorway I am both not under surveilence by ‘big brother’, zealots, or ideologues, and I am the one who determines how free speech will be. You know what they say about opinions and I agree and I will also add that a lot of a******s have opinions that could be kept privately and still have the same impact on my life.
Why do you need a manger in the public square?
I’d like to ban the people who freak out when told they can’t put a manger in the public square, but can in front of their own homes or churches.
Jason Van Steenwyk
You’ve become an anti-zealot zealot.
Uhh, on MADD… From John’s link…
IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO DRINK UNDER 21. WHY IS IT THEN WRONG FOR A GROUP LIKE MADD TO SAY, “THIS LAW SHOULD BE ENFORCED.”
This is another moron who ought to get banned, because he’s OUTRAGED! OUTRAGED I TELL YOU! that a group would change it’s mission statement to say they demand a law which has been on the books for at least 20 years be enforced.
Ban them all!
I am the anti-zealot zealot zealot!
BAN ALL WHO SAY WE SHOULD BAN THEM!
As sancrosanct as the rights of drunks and pill-popping AM radio hate jocks are here at Balloon Juice (and certainly the oppression of these fine folks is an outrage we can all get worked up about), how would that compare to the President of the United States secretly authorizing the NSA to spy on American citizens without any respect to their Constitutionally guaranteed protections against such activities? Can that in any way compare to the glorious freedom-first cause of protecting the rights of dirtbag adults who enjoy smoking cigarettes in the presence of small children?
Any reason why you bold conservative keyboard liberty fighters wouldn’t want to add that to the conversation?
Reports: Bush Authorized NSA to Spy in U.S.
New Fox News Poll shows Shrub’s approval unchanged at 42%, with 51% disapproving. All that Iraq bullshit from Bush didn’t even budge the needle at Fox News? Damn.
Busy bodies are a non-partisan issue. Death to all zealots!
:psst: Paddy, look over here.
Thanks for the MADD info. All I really knew about them was based on some lecture they gave to my high school back in ’85.
Ah yes, when the starting point is considering the welfare of the children, the line drawing is difficult indeed. Obviously conduct that threatens the well-being of a little one is something the state can, and does zealously, prevent and punish when it occurs. Second-hand smoke is, if not dangerous – which I, a smoker for twenty years and a non-smoker for as many since, believe it to be, incidentally – certainly obnoxious. Equally obnoxious is the idea of the state, for whatever reason, invading the home to deal with matters of morality, as perceived by the state, or the marginally-harmful conduct of adults.
The issue really is: who gets to draw the line?
Perry, baby. Talking about comparing the two issues.
Have a latte’.
Having nearly been killed by a drunk driver at age 8, thanks MADD for the draconion alchohol limits. Get the bastards off the road.
As for smoking, yes the wieght of intrusion is a drag. But then so is having that damned smoke in your lungs as a kid.
Which I also remember.
Smoking is bad for children. Adults who smoke around kids are more than assholes, they are endangering their children’s health. Banning smoking during visitation is not a very high burden to meet if you love your kids so suck it the hell up.
I love these people who claim/imply they don’t have a choice. The only person in this scenario without a choice is the kid. He/she can’t make the Mother stop smoking.
No one is telling this gal that she can’t smoke or drink. What they are telling her is that she has to make a choice between having custody of her child or smoking. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Call me a zealot, but if Mrs. Silvius lit up a newport light in my child’s nursery I would shove it up her ass while it was still lit.
Cigarett smoke is a carcinogen and children shouldn’t be exposed to it. If a divorced parent lived in a house with lead paint should a judge ignore that when deciding custody?
The solution to most societal woes these days is to ban stuff. I say we ban cancer.
Andrew J. Lazarus
I didn’t bother to follow the link in this case, but I know there have been orders prohibiting parent smoking during visits to kids with asthma. Duh! What sort of mother smokes around an asthmatic kid? The sort who loses custody and has to settle for visits.
yet another jeff
Ban cancer? Well, we’ve seen towns ban dying.
Seriously, though…nobody is saying drunk driving is good, but that MADD has bloated into being responsible for some rather draconian busy-body mission creeping actions. Basically, their heavy handed lobbying for the initial losses of 4th amendment rights started us on that slippery slope to the PATRIOT Act.
Their own founder speaks out against the current actions of MADD.
If the health of the child is an issue, shouldn’t we also be implementing laws about diet, amount of sleep, amount of parental quality time with the child? Health care?
After all, all of these factors affect the health and well being of the child.
And shouldn’t we also be insisting that environmental laws are toughened? After all, they’re the most sensitive to air and water pollution.
>The sort who loses custody and has to settle for visits.
>Basically, their heavy handed lobbying for the initial losses >of 4th amendment rights started us on that slippery slope to >the PATRIOT Act.
Damn, it’s the liberals fault again! MADD has saved many more thousands of lives than GW and his clown car administration
I agree, except I think I should get to decide who is a zealot, not you.
To me a zealot is the guy putting a manger on my kids school, not the guy saying no.
Also it was zealots that added ‘under god’ to the pledge. This country belongs to everyone not just the christians.
Exactly right. Quit inflicting your religion on me.
Matthew 6:5-6: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men….when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret….”
We already have laws that do that. If a parent intentionally and repeatedly ignores the health of his child the state has the right to remove that child from that home.
She could always just switch to chewin’ tabaccy…
… of course the foster home and/or group home the child will go after Smoking Mom loses custody will love, protect, and nurture said child just as much as Smoking Mom did.
Foster homes and group home facilities are famous for their fine nutritional standards, zero tolerance of physical and sexual abuse, and total professionalism by the counselors and houseparents, not to mention their support of each individual child’s emotional, spiritual, educational and recreational needs.
And after we’ve rescued children from homes where Mom and Dad smoke and drink, we should go after the children whose parents serve unhealthy foods, don’t exercise enough, watch too much TV, drive non-energy efficient vehicles, dress the kids up in artificial fibers, and in other ways fail to live up to the Ideal American Safe, Healthy, Lifestyle.
Zealots are the reason we have roadblocks on holidays.
Try this instead:
Nobody. Both are legal. But that doesn’t mean that subjecting your children to those things would not—should not—be considered abusive.
Some more comments…
The woman whining about her not being able to smoke while visiting her child. Booo fucking hoo. Maybe she’d be better off not seeing the child… the child would certainly be better off not being around an asshat who doesn’t care about others.
As for MADD… Well, whining about them enforcing underage laws is just moronic. I’m not sure on the drinking thing. The woman arrested in DC for having one drink was over the top. the .08% law is probably good enough. I had less tolerance for anti-DUI law arguments when I found out to hit .10% I had to drink like five shots of whisky in an hour. That’s a lot, especially considering how I feel buzzed after only two.
Frankly, I don’t have a lot of tolerance for people who think they need to drink excessively and then drive home. In any given night I will have two drinks maximum in a 4-6 hour period. It’s not that hard guys. Drink in moderation.
So .08% not so bad… arrested for having one drink, that’s whacked.
People claiming they need to put a manger on public property are also whacked. What’s wwrong with just having a tree? You think you need the state acceptance to validate your own religious beliefs?
But it’s ok to beat your child.
Because beating your child is less abusive than accidentally seeing b00bies.
yet another jeff
How can you not see roadblocks and the presumption of guilt as anything but a slippery slope?
>Zealots are the reason we have roadblocks on holidays.
Really? I thought it was the reality that dumbasses drunk drunk in greater numbers during the holidays. Sort of like looking for drunks more heavilly right after the bars close.
Exactly. None of us are saying she can’t smoke. She can smoke her face right off, for all that it matters to me. However, she should not smoke around a child who does not have the physical ability or mental capability to say, “You know what? This is not good for me. I’ll be up in my room.”
Should it be legislated? No…too much of a slippery slope. I think we should just keep doing what we’re doing — keep educating people about how bad it is, and eventually, it’ll become socially unacceptable to the point of extinction. When I was growing up, nobody ever went outside to smoke. My parents had some pretty rockin’ parties, and everybody was smoking…the air would just be blue. That’s becoming rarer and rarer. I smoked for over 10 years, and would never have dreamed of smoking near a child. Even if the child’s mother was doing it, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that, because I knew what it was doing to that kid.
Education, not legislation. Hm…maybe that should be my motto if I ever run for Prime Minister.
>How can you not see roadblocks and the presumption of guilt >as anything but a slippery slope?
Towards what? Kidnapping people off the streets and spriting them away to a foreign country?
Wait a minute….
can we legislate the education?
Why arn’t we hearing about the good things smoking has done? Why do you all hate America and its smokers?
I think you’re projecting actual nanny-state activities onto these described ‘outrages.’ Smoking as a factor in custody cases? So what? What school district either parent lives in comes up in custody cases, as does earning potential and more to the point, lots of other lifestyle choices. If every other thing was equal I don’t see why the court shouldn’t give preference to putting the kids in a non-smoking house. Let’s not pretend the government forced itself into that situation – divorcing parents come up with amicable and mutual agreements every day, the reason the court is involved is that one or both of them required the court to be involved.
No smoking around the kids during visits is nanny-state? If a parent was a habitually unsafe driver would it be unreasonable to require they not take the kids in a car? Unless we’re going to get into the nonsense argument about whether smoke really is bad for people, I’ve got pigs I could give voice lessons to here locally so I won’t get into that discussion. Again, these are people who have court involvement because they in some way brought it on themselves. If they and their former partner could work things out themselves they wouldn’t have the court micro-managing their shit. It may be that they need this level of court involvement to get them to be responsible parents.
Foster parenting is the only iffy one in that list I think, and even then I think that if people are going to collect government dollars to provide an environment for the kids it’s not unreasonable to demand certain health quality for the kids, whether it be sleeping, grooming, diet and yes, smoke. The only reason I’m reluctant to be too harsh about it is there’s never enough caring people to go around for fostering.
Well, it did make me look totally cool.
So .08% not so bad… arrested for having one drink, that’s whacked.
This is becoming a norm now. I already know a couple of people who have been booked even though they were well under the legal limit. Police forces are worried about liability suits, so they’re just booking people.
Prosecutors don’t care about the limit either, the don’t want their conviction rates to suffer because of this, so they try to plead the victim down. Victim gets a choice of agreeing to a lesser charge or spending $3-5K on a lawyer to fight it.
So, if you admit to having had a drink, and pass a breathalyzer, you’re STILL GOING TO JAIN.
Republicans want to tell what you can do in your bedroom.
Democrats do not.
Unless you are procreating or smoking in that bedroom.
They can have my cig when they pry it out of my cold dead hand. Probably dead from lung cancer, but they’ll still have to wait.
In the movie “Brave New World” the citizens were given free “soma” from the Government and promiscuity was stongly encouraged by the government as well. Perhaps that is the kind of nanny state folks are looking for?
What’s really funny about this is how many states depend more and more on “sin taxes” for revenue, and esp. how much they depend on cigarette smokers. The price of a pack of cigs in Seattle is nearly $6.00 – and taxes account for about half of that.
And, no, “sin tax” revenue does NOT go to the healthcare costs of treating uninsured smokers; it goes to the general fund.
So you zealots who think smokers need to be sent out into the blizzard to smoke, or should have their kids taken away, better either shut up or learn to do without road repair and school construction.
Cops stopping people to see if they’re drunk is not a product of efficient policing. Its a product of zealot lobbying. What’s next? Knocking on doors in the projects to see if there’s any drug smoking going on? I’m sure folks who don’t live in the projects won’t think this is too much of an inconvenience if it’ll keep even one child from getting high.
John- And you are a Republican why???
I think what separates legal actions agaisnt public smoking versus leal actions against, say, porn is that smoking doesn’t just hurt the user; it hurts those in the area. To use economics, smoking is a negative externality, the total health cost of smoking near a child exceeds the health cost the parant actually feels. Regulating negative externalities is an important goal of government.
This is the same reason why I support maraijuana legalization, yet would want to see the same stident regulations on smoking it publiclly as tobacco.
It probably should be illegal to smoke inside your house, if you’re a parent. Sorry, but there it is. You’re endangering your kid’s life.
Can you back this up with some links/studies/reason to believe this or are you “blowing smoke” out your @$$?
Can you show a study by a neutral medical group or the CDC that shows second hand smoke shortens your lifespan? Of course the CDC is not neutral as shown by their revision of the number of obesity-related deaths and pushing obesity as the number 1 health rick in the US today.
I quit smoking 9 years ago and was exposed to second hand smoke as a child. How much shorter is my life span?
If smoking is so bad, why not just ban it? The main answer is the money the government gets from taxing it.
I am currently obese and see fat people as the next target of the busybodies/control freaks in government/liberal groups.
Did you know the WHO study on ETS showed a negative correlation between asthma and second hand smoke? Most people don’t. I could cite various ETS studies and how their conclusions were erroneously drawn, but people already “know” that ETS is harmful. It’s common sense and common sense is always right.
Thanks to all the self-annointed for protecting me from myself. If only you could convince the voters who are too dumb to know what’s in their own self-interest that you know better you’d win elections and actually be able to implement so much more of your busy body agenda.
*breathes sigh of relief*
Thank goodness for the common sense of average folks who ignore so much of your self-assured blather.
Listen, pal, if you’ve got info that convincingly overturns every piece of evidence and accepted science I’ve ever heard about the harmfulness of second-hand smoke, I’m all ears. I grew up in a smoking household, was a long-time smoker, and I mostly have friends that still smoke, so I would be thrilled to learn that my lungs weren’t fucked up as a kid and that I’m doing no harm to myself by sitting all night in a smoky bar. So, secondhand smoke is unharmful? Fire away, my friend…
aop, how old are you? Do you have asthmah? Any chronic pulmonary disease? Any heart problems? What were the results of your latest physical exam?
If your lungs were fucked up, I think you’d know – unless you’re under 40.
yet another jeff
Wait…I thought it was the GOP that always made laws For The Children? I get my nanny states confused. Is the reason “for the common good” or is it just a sin?
aop, you live in LA…just breathing the air is probably more harmful than second hand smoke you grew up with. Granted, a bar is probably more smokey than a house, unless you’re parents smoked 238 packs a day. Then again, you’ve been around a lot of smoke, given your heavy smoking history…hard to separate out your parents second hand smoke from the rest.
Huh? If this were true, there would be foster homes full of fat kids.
I asked my doctor about that and he said living here is equal to smoking around seven cigs a day. Moving soon…
The weird thing is that lack of sleep is just as bad when it comes to reaction time for drivers. Yet I don’t see anyone going around mandating we all have 8 hours of sleep before getting into a car.
I guess my view is you’re responsible for your condition before getting behind the wheel. You act erratic, get pulled off the road and tested, whether it be for drugs, lack of sleep, or booze–if the reaction on the body is the same, shouldn’t we at least treat them the same, legally? It seems to me someone who gets behind the wheel of a car with only 4 hrs of sleep is as least as much a menace as someone with one glass of wine in him, unless you’re claiming someone with lack of sleep is only going to run off the road while someone with booze may become aggressive….
Ask your doctor what’s it’s like compared to ETS.
Still waiting on your mind-blowing studies.
The studies are all on “your side”. Present the studies and I’ll happily deconstruct them for you. The actual studies, not the conclusions. We can talk about things like relative risk and absolute risk, margins of error, meta-studies, and other tools that have been used in the study of ETS.
Without mentioning second hand smoke, ask your doctor what level of relative risk would be necessary to show causation.