The AP reports:
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The
Bangor City Council approved a measure Monday that prohibits people from smoking in vehicles when children are present.
When the law goes into effect next week,
Bangor will become the first municipality in Maine to have such a law. Similar statewide measures have been adopted in Arkansas and Louisiana and are under consideration in several other states.
People who smoke with children present in the confined space of a car or truck might as well be deliberately trying to kill those children, said City Councilor Patricia Blanchette, who is a smoker.
"Let's step up to the plate and lead; our children are worth the fight," she said.
The ordinance, which was approved by a 6-3 vote, applies to any motor vehicles on any public roads within the city. Violators face fines of up to $50.
When regulators ban smoking in bars and restaurants, which are private businesses, they make the argument that these establishments are still "public" spaces in the sense that anybody can go into them. Now, as has also been the case with eminent domain, we see a further blurring between public and private–doing something in your private car that does nothing to endanger other drivers is illegal as long as you're on a public road. Yeah, it's preferable for people to refrain from smoking in a car in the presence of children, but how that's the government's business is beyond me. And for the record, I'm a lifelong non-smoker (not that that should make any difference).
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