Metro-Area County Considers Banning Smoking in Cars

200px-No_smoking_sign.svg.pngJust north of the city and over the Tappan Zee Bridge lies Rockland County, one of the last areas within a 30 minute drive to Manhattan that remains a semi-rural bastion of green grass and tall trees. The vast tract has lots of open roads, lots of smokers, and lots of kids. But now, the suburban county is considering making a concerted effort to keep those things separate. The Rockland Board of Health recently passed a resolution that recommends that the government study the ramifications of banning smoking in cars.

Now, let me make it clear that I have never been a smoker. I find it to be a vile habit, and one that is detestable and dirty. I was in favor of the smoking ban in restaurants and bars, and will continue to stand behind ways to severely limit the uninvited damage that can be done to non-smokers. But, for a number of reasons, this automobile smoking ban just seems to be a futile waste of time:

1) The board is exploring this ban under the guise of keeping children safe… But, unless they ban smoking in homes, this is useless. Yes, in a car, the space is confined so it is more concentrated. But, ventilation is better and I know of few smokers who don’t at least crack a window when lighting up. And if they are going to try to help make better parents, why not limit the amount of shitty food that parents buy, or make it legally mandatory for kids to run around outside for 45 minutes a day.

2) Even if this ban eventually takes effect, it won’t do anything. Look at the cell phone in cars ban. I still regularly see people yammering away while holding the handset to their ears. There are just simply too many things going on for cops to regularly notice this, and frankly, I would much rather have my cops concentrating on more serious crimes than smoking, which is not even illegal!

3) The premise of making something illegal while driving that is not illegal and doesn’t impare a drivers ability just seems wrong. As much as I hate smoking, it is not an illegal activity, so a local government really has no right to interfere and say it should be illegal in a private setting.

The idea for this potential ban is odd, unconstitutional, and wholly inept. Opine.

[image courtesy Wikipedia]

2 Comments so far

  1. ~dana (unregistered) on January 17th, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

    Great points and I whole-heartedly argee, but as someone who grew up in Rockland County (“The Rock” as we natives call it) I just have to say–“semi-rural”? Huh? At this point The Rock is pretty much tied with Paramus, NJ as NYC’s closest suburban series of strip malls. But yeah, the ban is silly, of course.


  2. Neil (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 9:19 pm

    “Welcome to the Rock” -in my best Sean Connery imitation



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