Nanny of the Month

Indoor Smoking Ban Halts Scientific Research on Smoking (Nanny of the Month, June 2015)

This month's Nanny of the Month award goes to the Garden State for its anti-smoking zealotry.

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They're fining folks for cursing in Arlington, Virginia, and banning dead people from driving in New Jersey, but this month's Nanny of the Month award is going to the Garden State for its anti-smoking zealotry, which has reached an absurd new low. You would think New Jersey would welcome a company that wanted to conduct research that might actually help people kick the habit. But such research is actually prohibited under the state's Smoke-Free Air Act. New Jersey claims the law protects people's health by banning smoking in most indoor public places—even labs that want to study the health effects of traditional cigarettes compared to vapor based e-cigarettes.

State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11th District) has introduced a bill that would exempt medical and scientific labs from the Smoke-Free Air Act. That seems like something everyone can rally around, right? Nope! It turns out that a major anti-smoking organization, the Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy (GASP), opposes even this limited (and socially beneficial) expansion of indoor smoking.

"They can do the study outside, just like everybody else has to," says Karen Blumenthal, executive director of GASP.

So to sum up: smoking is so bad that we should ban as much of it as possible, including smoking that might help more people quit smoking. Got it?

About 90 seconds.

Nanny of the Month is written by Ted Balaker (@tedbalaker), produced by Balaker and Rich Camp, and edited by Camp. To watch previous episodes, go here

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