Friday, December 16, 2005

Ban Fans

Anti-smoking advocates are probably pleased about all the public smoking bans passing everywhere, but we all know they won't rest on those laurels. Their storm-trooper boots are going to be knocking down everyone's doors soon.

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.
An appeals court upheld the ruling, but not before one judge raised questions about the extent to which a court should become involved in parental rights and whether certain behavior is harmful or simply not in a child's best interest.
Mrs. Silvius says she complied with the decision by altering her smoking habits.
"My children know not to come around when I'm on the front porch with my morning coffee, tending to my cows or out in my garden, because I'm having a cigarette," she said.
Still, she thinks this was not a matter for the courts because it was not proven that she posed a risk to her children's health.

It's from the Mooninite Times so I would take it with a grain of salt. But it's still I think a worthy concern. Anti-smoking types, at least in the form of the organizations they're in, obviously would like to see smoke banished from the country, and much like anti-abortion advocates are doing it by slowly eroding people's rights to smoke. (Hat tip, Balloon Juice).