Editorial: No new lighting up lawIt goes without saying that smoking is unhealthy. The same can be said for second-hand smoke. It may be a little easier on the lungs if a window is open but it’s still wrong.
It goes without saying that smoking is unhealthy. The same can be said for second-hand smoke. It may be a little easier on the lungs if a window is open but it’s still wrong.
It goes without saying that taking away freedoms is unconstitutional. The same can be said for invasions on privacy. It may be a little easier on a lawmaker’s conscience if a health reason is involved but it’s still wrong.
North Dakota leaders have submitted a bill to make it unlawful for drivers or passengers to smoke in a vehicle if children younger than age 13 are inside.
The bill failed in the last legislative session when it put the age limit at 16. Now sponsors have decided to lower the age in hopes of more support.
Though we can agree that an adult should not smoke in a vehicle with other children or adults (without their consent) closed inside, it also is not the government’s place to say so. Yes, we know it’s unhealthy.
Smoking bans have become more prevalent. Before smokers could light up in offices, in bars across the country and pretty much anywhere they pleased. Today there are few places and where will it lead?
Will leaders try to ban people from smoking in their homes? Personal rights and freedom are just that, personal.
The state has done a nice job of educating residents about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke. There are commercials, billboards and support and services to provide assistance to those who wish to quit smoking — on their terms.
House Bill 1150 says the law would be regardless of whether a window is down or if the vehicle is parked or on private property. The proposed fine is $50.
One dilemma would be enforcement. An officer would have to determine the age of a child inside a car from afar. A law like this would be nearly impossible to regulate and there are more important issues for lawmakers to focus on.
The tax on a package of 20 cigarettes is 44 cents in the state, according to the North Dakota tax commissioner’s website. The tax on a carton of 200 cigarettes is $4.40.
Don’t try harder to infringe on residents’ rights and let this tax revenue continue to support efforts to curb tobacco use.
The Editorial Board includes Publisher Harvey Brock and Managing Editor Jennifer McBride. E-mail your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment at www.thedickinsonpress.com.