Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Smoke 'Em While You Got 'Em

The Smoke Nazis have won another victory against reason and liberty, this time in Bangor, ME. The cops now have the right to pull over drivers and ticket them if the cop sees a) what appears to be a smoker in the car, and b) what appears to be a child in the car.

Your car. Your kids. Your cigarette. But the government is now reaching right in the driver's side window and slapping the Marlboro right out of your mouth.

Smoking around kids may be a bad thing. It may set a bad example, encourage self-destructive behavior, etc., etc. However, there is absolutely no proof that a normal kid sitting in a car with a smoker is suffering any measurable health hazard. The science on this is in, and the results are that the science isn't in for the Smoke Nazis.

If you're suffering under the delusion that second-hand smoke causes cancer, then ask yourself this: Why has the incidence of lung cancer among people like me who grew up in households filled with smokers gone DOWN? Why isn't there a huge surge in the number of 40-somethings dropping dead from heart disease? Instead, we children of smokers are just as healthy as our Mormon peers--at least, from an "exposure to smoke" standpoint. (No comment on replacing Manhattans with whole milk in your diet).

And why is a smoker sitting in a Lexus any more harmful to his child than when he's in the living room? And if a smoker--who probably spends a few minutes a day smoking with his kid in the car--is a killer, what about the hours he spends in the home with his little hostages?

So why didn't Bangor ban smoking around kids in your home? Because they can't get away with it. Yet. But they will, and that will be followed by folks being pulled over when a Bangor cop spots a kid in the back seat with a box of trans-fatty Ho Hos.

Do the Smoke Nazis even care about the lack of science backing up this abuse of the citizens? Do they feel any need to prove a problem before they start annoying their neighbors? Of course not.