I am far from a fan of tobacco use or smoking. Very far from one. That said, there are occasions where I've been known to enjoy the occasional cigar, especially in cold weather, especially on the occasion of a Ravens home game. I'm an adult and I am fully aware of the health risks involved in using tobacco. And among those risks is the danger of secondhand smoke.
All that said, I have a bit of a problem with a bill making its way through the General Assembly, which is described in this post. It has passed the Senate and is now making its way through the House of Delegates.
So this bill would make smoking inside a motor vehicle with a child age 8 or under inside of it a non-moving offense, with a penalty of a fine of $50. The intent of the bill is to protect young children from secondhand smoke. Certainly a noble intent.
But the problem I have is that someone's vehicle is private property. Moreover, unlike the use of alcohol, the use of a tobacco while driving has not been clinically shown to impair one's ability to drive.
So I am not loving legislation that would prohibit someone from engaging in legal (albeit stupid) behavior inside their private property. Fairly clear to me that the intent is to eventually ban all tobacco use inside one's vehicle. And, once that's accomplished, what the hey, let's just ban tobacco use in one's yard, and eventually, inside their homes?
Something inside my gut tells me this bill is a little over the top. Education into tobacco abstinence and the dangers of secondhand smoke where children are concerned would seem to be to be a better thing to do.