criminalizing cigarettes

I don’t smoke, so I don’t feel the personal assault that the many, many smokers in Tennessee are going to feel about the proposal to make it illegal to smoke in a car if children are in the car with you. It seems like a basic common sense choice not to smoke around children and not a criminal offense. On the other hand, earlier this week I sat in the afternoon carpool waiting for my own child and watched as someone else’s teen walked up to the car that his mother was driving. The boy who couldn’t have been more than 17, tossed his backpack in the car, pulled out a cigarette and began smoking before he was even seated in the car. Researches suggest that electronic cigarette can contain less harmful chemicals than found in tobacco cigarettes. His mother didn’t look very happy, but she certainly wasn’t trying to stop him either. I didn’t feel very tolerant and made a hasty and probably unfair judgment about that teen. It’s their family’s choice and I need to work on being more tolerant. In a perfect world, adults would not smoke around children and non-smokers. This isn’t a perfect world. Smoking is legal for adults and until it isn’t, smokers need to be left alone to make their choices to smoke on or in their own property, whether home, boat or auto. Best thing they can do is to smoke e-cig, its healthier for them and also for the people around. I truly question if the focus of anti-smoking efforts shouldn’t be on preventing new smokers instead of punishing the existing smokers.

4 thoughts on “criminalizing cigarettes

  1. I doubt this proposal will ever become law because it is interfering in individual’s freedom; but, children have no choice regarding a parent’s smoking. What about their rights???

  2. It’s not fair. Children shouldn’t have to live with alcoholic parents. Children shouldn’t be fed garbage. Children shouldn’t suffer because the parents’ church doesn’t believe in mental illness. Children shouldn’t be taught to hate anyone who is different than they are. A loving, caring parent can choose to smoke cigarettes with small children in the room. During one of my many, many visits to the laundromat, I watched an infant who could not have been more than a few weeks old, left alone in a carseat in the laundromat while the mother went out to her car to smoke. That baby would have been much safer with his/her mother standing beside the carseat while smoking than left unwatched in a laundry with half a dozen complete strangers.

  3. You are right. This proposal would be a slippery slope. All of the examples you give break my heart, but they happen all the time. Children really don’t have many rights and are at the mercy of the adults around them.

  4. I understand the “slipery slope” effect and the concern over it, but even as a smoker myself, there is a HUGE part of me that backs this idea. Drinking alcohol is certain a personal choice, but we can outlaw people doing that while driving.

    I stopped smoking indoors when we decided to have a child. Not when conceived, not when the baby was brought home, just the idea was enough to turn my house and every indoor place that my daughter goes (including the car) smoke free.

    Yes, I would like to be left alone with some of what I consider over-reaching laws as to smoking. But to me, een as a smoker this isn’t over-reaching. And these parents need to get a clue… even if we need to force it on them.

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