Improving Air Quality

Criminalize Exposing Others to Secondhand Smoke

Tobacco smoke is a known known danger. It is proven to be carcinogenic, and directly leads to numerous diseases. If it were a new industrial chemical that a corporation accidentally exposed millions of people to (think asbestos), we would not hesitate to ban it.

However, if a person lights a cigarette next to you on the street, a restaurant patio, or near your open home windows, there are no repercussions to the smoker, despite the wealth of evidence that the person is harming eveybody around him or her.

EPA and Congress seem to have carved out a special niche for smokers, exempting tobacco smoke from environmental regulation. This should stop. There are many examples of chemical fumes, voluntarily or involuntarily produced which EPA is able to regulate.

Even simple CO2, which every person and animal in the world exhales has made the list of things EPA has decided to regulate.

It's time to add secondhand smoke to the list of substances that EPA regulates and prohibits.

Willfully exposing another human being to secondhand smoke is a criminal act and should formally be recognized as such.

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  1. Comment
    graceadams830

    I would prefer further increasing excise taxes on tobacco and using the proceeds to pay for treatment for substance abuse for smokers. Smoking still has a slight edge on poor diet and lack of exercise in causing preventable deaths. Treatment for substance abuse was one of three health care items found to pay for themselves in future savings on health care back in the 1980s.

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