Virginia Legislators Fail to Ban Smoking in Cars Carrying Children, Now Aiming to Ban Smoking on Beaches

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!

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  • Way Of The Crane||

    "Remember, if she smokes, she pokes."

  • Zeb||

    I don't know if I want to be poked.

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah but who the hell would want to be with someone that tastes like a dirty sock and smells worse?

  • ||

    Your mo...Lindsay Lohan?

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    K9, dude.

  • Drake||

    It was a dilemma in my single days. Hold my nose and pick up the disgusting skank or continue looking for somebody less repulsive.

  • Zeb||

    Fucking hell. I'm never going to quit smoking if people keep doing shit like this. Every new overbearing smoking restriction just makes me want to smoke more just to diminish those smug pricks' sense of accomplishment.

  • NeonCat||

    I don't know why we get it, but at my job we received a copy of Emory Health magazine. In the most recent issue, one of their articles was about how it is just so gosh-darned hard to get everyone to quit smoking, especially people who rarely smoke and so don't consider themselves smokers. One of the CONCERNED noted that unlike alcohol, tobacco doesn't have any healthful benefits at all and so we must do all we can to get people to stop.

    So, if you smoke one cigarette a month, you'd better stop, it's gonna kill you.

  • ||

    For the I-want-to-control-everyone set, maybe we should call them TEAM CONTROL, animism is a way of life. Objects like guns or cigarettes take on a totemic aspect, and become fearful, terrible things in their own right with sinister coming off them in waves to these idiots.

  • R C Dean||

    For the I-want-to-control-everyone set, maybe we should call them TEAM CONTROL

    I thought that was TEAM BE RULED.

  • tarran||

    The two teams, being in different leagues whose schedules accommodate each other, share a large number of players.

  • NeonCat||

    If you paint the barrel of your rifle to look like a cigarette, you might become the most hated man in America.

  • ||

    Don't give me ideas!

  • $park¥||

    Would give new meaning to smoking someone.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Especially if you made a Ghillie suit that looked like Joe Camel.

  • nicole||

    especially people who rarely smoke and so don't consider themselves smokers

    Hahaha. I can't actually remember the last time I had a cigarette, but I am a SMOKER and I will always be a SMOKER for exactly the reason Zeb gives.

  • NeonCat||

    It's okay, we won't tell your insurance provider about your filthy non-habit.

  • Zeb||

    My mom is one of those people who smokes occasionally and has done so for 50 years. Judging from her genetics, she's going to live to be 100 and there is no reason whatsoever to not smoke from time to time.

  • Rasilio||

    You know she'd be hot if it wasn't for the damned cigarette

  • Zeb||

    The cigarette does it for me. It's kind of a corollary to my comment above. At this point, when I see someone smoking in public it makes me happy. I mean, I know smoking is bad and all, but I just like it and like seeing people who will stick with it and not bow to the overwhelming social and legal pressures.

  • ||

    I'm with you, I've reduced my smoking to a very small amount using an e-cig but at this point I have no desire to quit entirely. Sometimes I just want to enjoy one and that isn't gonna kill me.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And yet, one day, you will die. Then you'll be sorry you smoked!

  • $park¥||

    What do you think, should municipalities be allowed to ban smoking in public spaces?

    Sure, but not until they've banned talking in public. Listening to some nitwit prattle on about their miserable life is more annoying and more damaging to your health than second-hand smoke.

  • Ed||

    I might use this!

  • KPres||

    Second hand depression?

  • Zeb||

    Indoor public places, sure. Outdoor smoking bans drive me fucking nuts. About as sensible as banning bad breath or farting.

  • $park¥||

    You've had three chances now, Zeb. Why don't you tell us how your really feel?

  • Zeb||

    Well, if you really want to know...

    But seriously, I'm trying to work myself up to at least mostly quitting again, and this kind of shit really doesn't help. So this kind of sets me off.

  • ||

    Austin is thinking about extending the smoking ban to outdoor decks.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But the beach is nature's ashtray!

  • Drake||

    Why I hate the smokers. I don't give a shit if they smoke. But I curse all of the degenerate scumbags who leave their trash all over the beach.

  • KPres||

    As a smoker, I second this. It's not hard to find a trash can.

  • ||

    Yeah I always bring a ziplock baggie for outdoors trips. I always pick up some of other peoples butts too while I'm there.

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    I always carry a pocket ashtray for the purpose. Having said that, It always burns my ass when I read some article decrying an increase in cigarette butts on sidewalks - fucking duh, there wouldn't be such a problem if the ashtrays indoors weren't taken away.

    As for beaches and such, certainly some litterers are just assholes, but I'd guess some of that is in response to society treating them like shit

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I've seen worse things on a beach. Dead fish and stuff.

  • Rich||

    What do you think, should municipalities be allowed to ban smoking in public spaces?

    Well, as long as it's just those spaces upwind of children.

  • nicole||

    When Chicago's ban on smoking at beaches was going into effect I wrote to my alderman asking when they planned on banning children and fatties, which were both much more offensive than second-hand smoke. I never heard back...

  • NeonCat||

    Smoking a fatty is already ban…

    Oh, I see what you meant. Never mind.

  • Way Of The Crane||

    They really should ban smoking children on Chicago beaches. I hear they have a big problem with that up there.

  • KPres||

    You'll get a response if you write about Trans-Fatties.

  • Invisible Finger||

    You should have added that there are perverts and broken glass on the beach so banning children would be for their own safety. Besides, children can't vote. Or perhaps set up two kid-friendly beaches to keep them off the others.

    Ugly people vote. Shit, they hold most of the public offices. I can't find a way an alderman is going to ban them.

  • Ace Sullivan||

    i like. moar smoke pron...

  • Zeb||

    Now, here is what I wonder about smoking bans. Do they ban smoking anything, or just tobacco? And if it extends beyond tobacco, does that mean it is illegal for restaurants to cook food in such a way that smoke is produced. Or to have lit candles? Or is there something magical about the process of inhaling and exhaling smoke that makes it extra super deadly? Or (I'm pretty sure this is it) is it just about control.

  • Professional Target||

    "We believe that smoking should be permitted outdoors except in very particular circumstances, such as outdoor areas primarily designed for children."

    The children shouldn't be smoking anyway!


    4 possible justifications for banning beach smoking.

    1) Health concerns: Checking EPA Report #s, correct for durations and intensities, you'd have to go to beaches every day of the year for several *million* years to get lung cancer. Seriously.

    2) Threat of butt ingestion: National poison control stats shows NO such deaths. Meanwhile, count the # of deaths at beaches from drownings, infected cuts from broken glass and sharp sea-shells at beaches, ingestions of sun-tan lotion, etc. You'll see which is the larger problem.

    3) General butt-litter: Research indicates that most beach-butts may be washing up from storm drain runoffs -- filled with butts since smokers were thrown out of bars to smoke on the streets. Allow smoking back in bars to easily reduce beach butt litter.

    4) Children seeing people smoking: Ban smoking in homes and also move smokers back out of sight into the bars that choose to allow smoking. Antismokers are moving on the home bans with condos and apartments, and will probably be removing children from smoking parents in the near future (They're already doing it in custody cases on the basis of smoking.), but somehow I don't see them moving the smokers back inside the bars and restaurants. Funny how the urgency of solving the beach problem fades away into unimportance when they're offered that alternative, eh?

    - MJM


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