Just today I was reading a good news article in The Suburban Times titled New Year: No vaping In public places. Thank you Tacoma – Pierce County Health Department for your excellent work and accomplishment. Your efforts will make our community a better, safer and more pleasant place to live.
There is one more “public place” that needs to be conquered; the public roadway.
If an individual wants to smoke or vape in their own vehicle, I support their right to do so because their car is their private place. In fact I do not care if they light up 4 or 5 cigarettes at the same time for a mouthful of joy. If one cigarette is good, five must be better.
Any adults, friends or family, can make their own choices regarding the hazards and pleasures of smoking and vaping. I support their complete freedom to injure and kill themselves in their private space as long as their decision making does not negatively impact on the rest of us. There is a hidden benefit to smoking and vaping that is never talked about. As these smokers kill themselves off with their daily acts of incremental suicide, their destructive behavior will eventually help unclog our freeways.
My generous sense of freedom does not include smoking and vaping with kids in the car. Kids can’t make choices or take life saving actions such as refusing to ride in cars where smoking or vaping is going on. Children inside a car with smoking or vaping are suffering long term subtle child abuse, which is a form of child abuse not yet recognized.
Another victimization occurs when the vapesters (new English language word just now created by Joe Boyle) and smokers convert their private space to public space by rolling their car windows down.
Have you ever noticed these inconsiderate self-abusers? The windows are down and they purposefully blow their vape or tobacco smoke out the window in a huge thick cloud. Their chemistry cloud floats back to the vehicle(s) behind them, thereby forcing the product of their stupidity into an innocent non-smoking / non-vaping victim’s lungs. While my science class marks are nothing to brag about, it seems to me that if I can smell the obnoxious byproduct of someone’s nicotine addiction, that stuff is inside my lungs.
In my opinion, once they roll their windows down, allowing their chemistry to enter the roadway, they have converted their private space into public space.
Non-smokers should be able to drive with windows open, with convertible tops down or in the open air when riding a motorcycle without being assaulted by these poor decision makers blowing their smoke out their open window(s).
If an inconsiderate smoker / vapester causes smoke or vape to enter our lungs, they are assaulting us with second hand smoke or second hand vape. Unfortunately there is currently no law against our being assaulted in this manner while on the public roadway.
If after being assaulted by smoke we whack the smoker / vapester with a baseball bat while stopped at the next traffic light, the assault subjects us to arrest. Yet smokers can assault us 24 /7 with no consequences.
When you think about it, if we are injured by someone else, whether it be by cancer stick, e-Cigarette or baseball bat, the result is the same; injury and death. There should be consequences for any person committing an assault of any kind.
I would like to see an enhancement to the Health Department’s good work that includes the public space we call roads and highways.
Police should be given an additional traffic law making smoking / vaping with kids in the car or windows open while smoking and vaping a primary stop. A civil infraction penalty of $1,000 might well be an effective dollar motivator to change smoker / vapester behavior. At $1000 the word will travel fast.
I saw significant behavior change after we started ticketing smokers $1075 for throwing burning cigarettes out of car windows.
In the meantime, smokers and vapesters, keep your windows closed. That way you can keep all the benefits of your addiction right inside your car for your exclusive enjoyment. Even if you do not agree with my opinion, if you keep your windows closed, maybe guys like me will stop putting the spotlight on your pathetic and inconsiderate behavior.
Can you tell I have smoke coming out of my ears on this subject? No worries. My windows are up.