Earlier this week, a bill in Virginia that would ban smoking in cars that carry children was killed in the state’s House, but another nanny state anti-smoking attempt, to allow municipalities to ban smoking on public beaches and in other public spaces, continues apace, clearing a senate panel. Opposition to the bill was articulated by the tobacco lobby, which is nevertheless not mobilizing against the bill. From the Virginian-Pilot:
"Complete bans go too far," [a spokesperson for the Altria group] wrote. "We believe that smoking should be permitted outdoors except in very particular circumstances, such as outdoor areas primarily designed for children."
The bill has faced no opposition in the Senate yet, but is likely to face a tougher time in the House, which killed the smoking ban in cars with children. Of course both efforts pale to one Reason TV’s January nanny staters of the month, a legislator in Oregon who wants to make cigarettes a Schedule III controlled substance, requiring a prescription, even as next door Washington is embracing legal marijuana!
I’ll be on RT America in the 5pm hour (ET) talking about the efforts in Virginia, which you’ll be able to watch here. What do you think, should municipalities be allowed to ban smoking in public spaces?
UPDATE: I just got bumped, but thanks for the ideas in the comments!