Louisiana’s Newest Dumb Idea

You would think that Louisiana has a lot on its plate right now. I mean they are heading into hurricane season and they still haven’t recovered from Katrina. Forget the levees and FEMA mobile home lots, a more pressing matter is ticketing drivers who smoke in a car in which children under 12 are passengers. House Bill 1010, introduced by Gary Smith of Norco, was signed by Governor Blameco er, Blanco. Violation of the new legislation, which goes into effect August 15th, would result in a fine of up $150 or a minumum of 24 hours community service.

I know Norco well. It is in the parish I grew up in. St. Charles Parish is a laid back, drink beer on the porch (or a bass boat) with your neighbor kind of place. I can’t imagine how Mr. Smith thought up this horseshit. With Shell Norco burping out toxins all day long, I wonder how a little second hand smoke became even a blip on the radar of the nanny state. (I should mention that I am not implying that Shell is guilty of any wrongdoing.) This is either an attempt to wriggle into people’s homes (for the sake of the children) or an attempt to give an officer cause to pull over more vehicles for reasons much worse than I care to imagine right now.

Whatever the motivation, the law is shit. Now, if you will excuse me, I must go call the smokers in my family. They don’t have long to change their habits and somehow I just don’t see Dad doing community service.

71 Comments
  1. This doesn’t have a thing to do with the realistic risks or consequences, health and safety.

    It is only about political manuevering, and wielding the unlimited power to make people live their lives however you want them to, at your own caprice no matter how petty the demands placed upon them are. In fact, the more petty and irrelevant the demand, the better.

  2. Louisiana’s governor is the worst in the nation. The people of that state must have shit for brains.

  3. I called my sis, who lives in Norco, and told her of this. She told me (in perfect cajun accent), “Somebody needs to smack dat idiot.” She was talking about Mr. Smith- she dated him in high school. Maybe she will see him again- if she decides to be the one to smack him. ;o)

  4. Now, just how in the heck do they think this is gooing to wash out with all of those coonasses? They’d better disarm the whole state before they get behind this…

  5. thanks for your post ms shinghal. when are we the people going to wake up and realize that we are not free anymore? when are we louisianaians going to wake up and quit sending retards like rep gary smith to baton rouge?

  6. #4 – they started disarming dem coonasses during Katrina

    #5 – I am with you. It is bad enough having Mr. Smith in Baton Rouge- and I live in TX now. But if Mr. Smith goes to Washington, I have a feeling the scene won’t play out like the movie.

  7. Tobacco Expected to Kill 1 Billion This Century
    Smoking accounts for 1 in 5 cancer deaths

    Associated Press, 7/10/06

    WASHINGTON – If current trends hold, tobacco will kill a billion people this century, 10 times the toll it took in the 20th century, public health officials said Monday.

    Tobacco accounts for one in five cancer deaths, or 1.4 million deaths worldwide each year, according to two new reference guides that chart global tobacco use and cancer. Lung cancer remains the major cancer among the 10.9 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year, according to the Cancer Atlas.

    Reducing tobacco use would have the greatest affect on global cancer rates, health officials said. Improving nutrition and reducing infection by cancer-causing viruses and bacteria could also cut rates dramatically, they said.

    “We know with cancer, if we take action now, we can save 2 million lives a year by 2020 and 6.5 million by 2040.”

  8. I have a wedding to go to, and I really must go dry my hair. I hope I don’t drop the dryer in the sink- 5348 workers were electrocuted in the 80’s. You can’t save everybody, Marcia. People must be left free to determine their own course.

  9. its always so amusing when these busy bodies who like to portray themselves as so concerned with humanity and in improving the human condition are ok with calling for death to those who dare disagree with them. whats up with that?

  10. Shooting liberal let me run your life for you whining idiots should be a national sport, open season, no bag limit. Thanks God for New Jersey–they have even more corrupt, dumb, left wing Democrats than Louzyana. BlanKo is more corrupt than Edwards, but dumber. If not for the Petrochemical Industry, Louisiana would be even more corrupt and hopeless than Mexico.

  11. It’s actually not that stupid of an idea. Your right Louisiana does have a lot on it’s plate right now, so much in fact that the state is in severe debt. Norco is smart to be the one thinking that this is a surefire way to put a little extra money into the state’s pockets. So many parents do it, so while not doing wonders for the state’s financial problems, it sure does help a little bit. Maybe the police and firedepartments won’t get their budgets cut next year then.

    — Blanco still sucks.

  12. Marcia

    Vehicle accidents kill worldwide. Ban autos.

    People kill each other. Ban people.

    Fires kill. Ban fires.

    Falls down stairs kill. Ban stairs.

    Alcohol kills. Ban Booze.

    Guns kill (not true). People kill. Ban people again.

    Marcia the liberal, leave smokers alone. It is population control at its best. If they want to smoke, let them. I don’t care as long as they are not holding me down and forcing tobacco or smoke into me. Are they doing that to you? I don’t think so. If you are some place where people are smoking and you don’t like it, why the hell don’t you just leave? You are not being forced against your will to be there.

    How I despise what you freedom hating thugs are doing to the rest of us. By the way, I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs but I do love firearms and the Second Amendment. I bet you hate that Amendment worse and would like to also ban guns and people like me. Libertarians believe in “live and let live”.

  13. Marcia

    I will probably disagree with some of the ways you are rearing your children and may even believe you are putting them in harms way sometimes. I have no right nor do you to tell someone how they are to act and what they are to do around their own family.

    You are a busy body intruding on the rights of the family to live their lives as they see fit.

    Make sure your darlings have their helmets on when they leave home. Maybe they don’t ever leave because the world is such a dangerous place and you must protect them and their every actions. Pity those poor youngsters.

    I am 60 and grew up in a family of smokers, all of them. We smoked by the time we reached 10. My grandfather was a smoker, chewer and snuffer as well as my grandmother. They were tobacco farmers. I guess you would like to imprison them if they were still alive. Sorry, they died young, between 85 and 90 years old.

    My ancestors fought and some died in wars for freedom, the very idea you so hate.

  14. In response to Loseanner:

    “YOU’RE 100% ON TARGET! We’re dumber than a box of rocks! But….what the hell did you expect from a 3rd World Banana Republic?? With 40% of the electorate illiterate….these IDIOTS keep electing the same breed of dogs all the time!

    I have an idea! It’s called OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP aka vote AGAINST every “peckerhead” now holding a state/elected position at all levels and especially the IDIOT in the Governor’s office!

    The only way Louisiana will ever change is if it declares war on Texas and we immediately capitulate! Texans would probably “nuke” us…..as a lost cause…which we are!!

  15. Parents SHOULD have the sense not to smoke in a closed area with a child. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be breeding anyway.

    We don’t need law enforcement to tell us this.

  16. Louisiana has a violent crime rate that is out of site but we are asking the police to watch for a parent smoking in the car with their kids under 12.

    A Stupid Law signed by the worst Louisiana governor in my lifetime.

    And another thing, why is it legal if the kids are 13 or over?

  17. Wikipedia – over one million people worldwide are killed in auto accidents each year. If the numbers stay constant, then one hundred million people will die this century. This does not include the injured and mained. That is well over one billion for the century.

    The only rational action that can be taken is

    BAN ALL VEHICLES WORLDWIDE TO SAVE LIVES. WHAT A CONCEPT.

  18. Thank you, Julian. I am back from the wedding. Hubby is post call- sleeping drivers kill a bunch of people- and they make boring reception guests. I was going to go with obesity next, but you nailed something as good for me. Love ya babe!

  19. Dan, my dad said the same thing- is 13 a miracle age?? And I was right, he said fuck slave labor- aka community service- he would rather go to jail. But, he is a cranky old Italian man and his way is the right way. (Trust me, I know. No matter how I fought it as a child, his way was usually best.)

  20. Sharpsman,
    Texas has our own problems- we are nearly equal. Remember, we were arresting people for being drunk in bars a few months ago.

  21. I had a letter in the Times-Picayune (New Orleans paper) about this stupid law. Not specifically about this portion of the law (the full law also has provisions outlawing smoking in restaraunts and other “public” places, with some exclusions) but effectively stating that the idea that second-hand smoke is a “killer” is simply unproven. So in response to Marcia I’ll happily provide the links to show your “smoking” statements simply don’t apply to second-hand smoke.

    Chase,
    While this state may have some definitive issues financially, we’re apparently not so deeply in debt that our legislature can’t pass along $3 billion in pork to the public. In fact the state decided to go nuts in our current budget in large part because ther was such a large, oddly unexpectd, influx of cash into the state coffers (sales tax revenues from massive construction purchases and doing everything possible to get federal funding, among others.) Go figure.

  22. Lenny, it has been a while since I visited nola.com’s letters section- have a link to yours? Mail me.

  23. Everybody just bite my ass, Blanko, all state politicians
    (lazy thieving bastards) and you mud suckers in DC, just
    kiss my ass. All that ever happens is yall get fatter,
    the taxes keep going up and my space keeps getting smaller!
    Fork tongue, double dealing devils.

  24. Y’all are confused, but that’s typical of the libertarian cult. Remember, it’s okay to do what you want, but don’t hurt others. Libertariano credo numero uno. Smoking “causes conditions in children such as asthma, respiratory infections, cough, wheeze, otitis media (middle ear infection) and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” — Philip Morris

    Of course I don’t wish drowning on Ms. Truth Hammer, and neither did she SERIOUSLY propose it. Or I’d drive down the I-10 and save her sorry ass.

  25. I dont smoke, but if I did and had kids, then it would be MY decision to NOT smoke when the kids are around me. I dont need the government to tell me how to raise my kids, no matter what their intentions. If Bush and his you know what buddies are so concerned about kids and families, then why did they let 9-11 and its consequences happen? Things are way out of control here and especially in the Middle East, and now we need more laws to complicate things and continue to threaten our liberties? Bullshit….

  26. Marcia, as long as you continue to eat the single source news hook line and sinker, you’re never going to get it. AP and Reuters, all hail. For every study you read that agrees with you, fifty others are published or didn’t get funded because they weren’t going to help some Nanny State crusader.

    Louisiana is never going to leave the legacy of Huey behind… Everybody gettin’ somethin’, someone else gonna pay for it. I will *never* move back there again. I’m just sorry Tiger Stadium can’t be transplanted into Texas.

  27. Marcia

    You got it right. It is OK to do what we want. That is personal freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. It even applies to rearing children the way we see fit, not the way YOU think is correct or any of your big government control freak politicians.

    I guess you have already turned over your children to the state to be state educated, state protected, state indoctrinated, and by all means state protected from second hand smoke.

    Better not take them camping. They may breathe the campfire smoke. By all means, don’t introduce them to hunting and fishing. They may destroy the environment. Leave me alone and I will leave you alone in your wild ass ideas about raising children.

    I never read any books to my children but the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and works by our founding fathers. Oh, I forgot, I always read a good book to them on firearms and how to use them.

  28. Conversly, Is it illegal if the kid is smoking while an adult is driving… Might be more applicable out dere by de refinree… just sayin.

  29. “Marcia, as long as you continue to eat the single source news hook line and sinker, you’re never going to get it. AP and Reuters, all hail. For every study you read that agrees with you, fifty others are published or didn’t get funded because they weren’t going to help some Nanny State crusader.”

    Go back and read my thoughtful words again in post 25. That’s not AP or Reuters or CNN. Don’t you think Philip Morris has some slight idea about the effect of its own product on children? These are American kids that secondhand smoke is hurting. Why do you hate America??

  30. Marcia,

    have you ever seen a comparative study between the effects of second hand smokes as compared to say, automobile exhaust?

    Just curious.

    I have’nt seen one either. The truth is, that second hand smoke needs decades to do substantive, perminent harm. Where as automobile exhaust can kill in just hours. In fact children have died of carbon monoxide poisening while ridding in cars. None have EVER died of second hand smoke. Period.

    You can teach your children religion that says its ok to fly airplanes into buildings, but you can’t smoke around them?

    The point is, if government were right to “protect” us, then fine. Use second hand smoke as the baseline (since you support banning it) and ban EVERYTHING that is worse. When your done, there won’t be much left at all.

    Frank

  31. Marcia

    No one said they hated America. I love America so much that I am willing to die to make sure it is a nation of minimal government, laws, and regulations and a nation of maximum personal freedom. If that means challenging you and your in kind thinkers and control freaks that believe they know what is best for me and my family, then so be it. Am I deciding what is best for you? NO.

    I read the Philip Morris site you linked. Nowhere did it say secondhand smoke was bad. It only stated “Public health officials have concluded that secondhand smoke from cigarettes causes disease…”.

    Who are the public health officials? Are they food inspectors, cigarette police, etc.? What are their credentials?

    All Philip Morris did was to regurgitate the official position of the regulators, i.e., bureaucrats (pawns of the politicians). I did not see where Philip Morris agreed with them. The operative word is “concluded”, based on what evidence?

  32. Marcia,
    Sorry ass????? That’s just rude. You don’t agree with my POV so you call me names??? I would have responded last night but I was drinking and might have called you a fat cunt, but today I would rather stick to the argument. After all, I don’t know if you are fat as much as you don’t know that I am a sorry ass. There are so many things that are potentially dangerous to kiddos that if the government stepped in for everything, childhood would not be worth living.

  33. The surgeon general has no interest in perpetuating things that need regulation, nope.

  34. Blah, Blah, Blah.. Why worry about a smoking law being enforced? We have litter laws, Right? See!!!
    Re: the Governor After reading Brinkleys “The Great Deluge”, I have a lot more respect for her. It is difficult to control your media image when you are busy being both governor AND mayor. Read the book.

  35. The Bush administration surgeon general? …would be as anti-regulation as possible, except they now realize the science about secondhand smoke is overwhelming, and the tobacco industry throughout decades of litigation has continued to admit the effect on children. If tobacco thought the science was wrong they would announce it with bells and choirs.

  36. Marcia

    The tobacco industry are now the puppets of Federal and State regulators. They say and do exactly what the bureaucrats and politicians tell them to do. Don’t you remember when tobacco capitulated to the government so they could stay in business?

    Everything said or written by tobacco companies is approved by big brother either directly or indirectly as part of the settlement. That is the only way they can stay in business.

    If they were told to say cigarettes causes blindness, they would comply. It does not matter. What you fed us is exactly what the government wants us to believe. You have fallen into the black hole. Think for yourself and quit having someone else do your thinking and talking.

    I suspect you are all for the government maintaining complete order in society. Correct me if I am wrong. How do you feel about the Second Amendment? I will bet the farm that is an Amendment that you believe should be repealed or at the least emasculated.

  37. Michelle, you’ve directed us to a 1998 Moonie article on the OLD surgeon general’s report (which was upheld on appeal anyway after that judge hand-picked by the tobacco industry finished trying to screw with it), and you’ve linked to it through a website founded by Stephen Milloy, who worked for a Philip Morris lobbying arm, Multinational Business Services, and a Philip Morris front group, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, before founding his industry-financed website. There ought to be some kind of prize for that kind of gullibility. Being libertarian is good; it could bring peace and prosperity to the world. But, it doesn’t mean you have to be used by companies who want to pay the Cato Institute to promote their products. You are free to reject the sponsors and think for yourself!!

  38. Julian, no. If there’s a color/political spectrum, I would be a slightly green libertarian. I think a gun is a perfect example. Keeping it for your own use and safety, fine. Letting your kid play with it, stupid and criminal.

  39. Marcia’s responses have been blocked by the Spam Filter Of Truth. She pointed out that Fumento has been discredited, dropped from Scripps-Howard News Service because of an unreported $60,000 payoff from Monsanto. She went on to say something about Flat Earth Society etc. etc. (Note at bottom of Hammer page, “Spam Karma has eaten 111,397 evil comments”) It was compelling stuff though evil, and would have changed your minds in a flash. But firing up the old dialup computer is too time-consuming, so she reminds you that the “libertarian as victim of health and science” strategy, so far, has not won many if any elections. Whatever happened to the “libertarians as champions of enlightenment” strategy? It sounds much better.

  40. I’m not about to use the little space here to go to three damn websites by people like the discredited Michael Fumento. The libertarian movement has this idea that it needs to portray itself as representing the sad victims of government run amok. You know, like we’re the Lebanese or citizens on the streets of Baghdad. That will never win. The quickest way for prohibition to win is for those who favor freedom to ignore health and medicine and assume the pose of the Flat Earth Party. (Which, when you come to thing of it, at least has a certain niche value!!)

  41. I’m not about to use the little space here to go to three websites by people like the discredited Michael Fumento and try to write a treatise comparing and contrasting them. The libertarian movement has this idea that it needs to portray itself as representing the sad victims of government run amok. You know, like we’re the Lebanese or citizens on the streets of Baghdad. That will never win. The quickest way for prohibition to win is for those who favor freedom to ignore health and medicine and assume the pose of the Flat Earth Party. (Which, when you come to thing of it, at least has a certain niche value!!)

  42. Where o where do these nails in the coffin (bad image, Julian) of secondhand smoke originate? See this letter from the brainiacs at R.J. Reynolds:

  43. The freedom takers take little bites at a time: now the advance of the intruder state into our personal lives is gathering momentum. It must be opposed, reversed and terminated. Bureaucrats has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated in our Constitution. All those chemicals found in tobacco are also found in the foods that we eat everyday. I have noticed the pleasure police points their finger at me for smoking, but doesn’t mind spending those sin taxes on none smokers. They are also the one that turns their backs on God, because they don’t like the idea that hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. If smoking brings happiness to Americans, I’m all for it. God calls your number not you.
    -=Nidalyte Out=-

  44. Mr. Smiths bill is just a smokescreen (no pun intended) to cover his families ill gained profits from FEMA. It was his father and uncle who owns a motorcycle shop who landed a controversial contract worth in excess of 100 million dollars to sell FEMA trailers.

  45. great point mr bailey. its like senator ben nevers abortion ban bill which is designed to trick people into thinking that on the one hand he really gives a damn about abortion while on the other hand he is totally mixed up with rep francis thompson and the reservoir thugs.

  46. Michelle,

    No link to the letter. They didn’t publish any of the letters online that day. Go figure.

    Marcia,
    There are many, many links discussing the effects of second-hand smoke showing that there is no definitive statement that can be made regarding it. Basically the effect is too small for a truly definitive statement to be made. Basic toxicology 101, though, it’s all about the levels of the toxin and we know that even primary smoke is only bad for you in larger doses over extended periods.

    Irregardless, however, the question remains is it appropriate to quite litterally hold a gun to someone’s head, destroy their family and ruin their lives because they happened to be smoking a cigarette in their car with a kid in it? It is definitevely important for us as a society to be informed and to educate folks in healthy alternatives and what shoul dbe good child-rearing techniques, but using the implied deadly-force of law to push a particular viewpoint is just an extreme overreaction.

  47. “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ [linking smoking with disease] that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy…”

    Brown & Williamson tobacco, 1969

    http://tobaccodocuments.org/bw/332506.html

  48. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.
    Are you now on our side? The only thing that latest link proves is that the tocacco company conceded that there was nothing to prove that cigarettes are healthful and that there is much anti-smoking misinformation. Doubt is the only product that would be effective in stopping misinformation. Doubt is what makes people dig through the crap and make their own choices in life. I don’t see how you could think that link damaging.

  49. Soon youll have to have a smoking room in your own house.

    My mother smoked while pregnant with me and i was born on time, normal weight and perfectly healthy. Through my childhood both parents smoked in the house and in the car. I am now 25 years old and have had no medical issues, no asthma and i am in perfect health. I have also never tried a cigarette in my life, not a single drag. Maybe being around it so much is what actually kept me from doing it. I guess everyone is differnt but i would sure love to be in some of these studies because i would really throw off the results.

  50. Marcia,

    If you want to live in a society where the government tells you how to live the details of your life, feel free to move to any number of socialist countries where your hard work will be heavily taxed and wasted “for the greater good”.

    Since you are worried about about the children, why not concentrate your efforts on legislation that penalizes PARENTS who’s kids fail in school?

  51. Michelle

    Nice going. It seems a little digging will turn up dirt every time on politicians, the very ones that want to pass laws telling us how to live and chastise us for everything.

    This discovery is better than the second hand smoke issue. I wonder if Gary Smith will take the challenge I offered to comment on this site? I’m sure he got the email I sent that you are aware of (dangling preposition, oh well).

    I’m just thinking out load now. I wonder how much Gary Smith had to do with securing those no bid contracts? I will guess everything.

    What a contract to secure as a little Podunk hole in the wall business, $100,000,000.00 no bid contract. Let’s see, they gross 10%, which is nothing in business, a nice piece of change just for being related to a small time politician. That would be a neat ten million dollars. Pretty good for a couple month’s work. I guess politics pays. It seems every one of them leave office much richer than they entered.

  52. Michelle

    The $48,702.00 fine and costs imposed by Louisiana was just a cost of doing business. That’s a drop in the bucket when compared with the profits What a system of cronyism in Louisiana. The “good old boy” system is alive and well in Louisiana and I would guess in the other 49 states.

  53. Julian

    Have you given ANY THOUGHT to the fact that one of Marcia’s problems MAY BE…..that SHE WOULD LIKE someone to HOLD HER DOWN and force something into her??????

  54. Sorry you are getting filtered. Maybe SVD can find the posts.

    And FTR, I am a social smoker who has never lit up without asking if my company minds.

  55. It’s impossible to have any dialogue when the Spam Hammer rejects my posts. I wrote yesterday about a way the market could be a positive force to help those of us who choose to remain smokefree. Maybe the post will show up. It’s all about force, and the smokers enjoy forcing others to share their addiction.

    I have never in my life been asked, “Do you mind if I smoke.” Yet, libertarian philosophy clearly opposes harming others. You’d think we’d be on guard against harm. Unfortunately, the think tanks like Cato and Reason have been bought by the tobacco companies, and they are continuing the policy of sowing “doubt” about the harm of secondhand smoke (and even smoking itself). Believe the science, not those who put corporate profits and ideology above the truth.

    And if you think, well we libertarians would be the last people in the world to want to force harm on others, just read Sharpsman, above.

  56. I’d also add that we HAVE been looking at the science. Jacob Sullum summarizes the latest report by the Surgeon General quite well:

    “As the report itself makes clear, there is no evidence that brief, transient exposure to secondhand smoke has any effect on your chance of developing heart disease or lung cancer. The studies that link secondhand smoke to these illnesses involve intense, long-term exposure, typically among people who have lived with smokers for decades.

    Even in these studies, it’s difficult to demonstrate an effect, precisely because the doses of toxins and carcinogens bystanders passively absorb are much smaller than the doses absorbed by smokers, probably amounting to a fraction of a cigarette a day. Not surprisingly, the epidemiological studies cited by the surgeon general’s report find that the increases in lung cancer and heart disease risks associated with long-term exposure to secondhand smoke are small, on the order of 20 to 30 percent. (cont.)”

  57. (cont from #68)”Among smokers, by contrast, the risk of heart disease is between 100 and 300 percent higher, while the risk of lung cancer is about 900 percent higher.”

    And if you want to start claiming the foks at Reason are in the pockets of Big Tobacco, I think you better see if you can back it up, first. You’re WAAAYY off base on that one.

    The problem, as far as I’m concerned, is that science does NOT support some nebulous “public health” response to second-hand smoke. Instead it becomes a rights issue. You and I may not like smoke around us. That means a true marke-based response is to be responsive enough to let our local businesses know that we don’t like smoke and we don;t want to be around it and that by making sure smoke is limited within their business that they would increase their business overall. Instead of holding a gun to their head to make sure there is no smoke around you (because you just don’t like it) wouldn’t it be better to just ask them to accomodate you?

  58. smith and blanko what ever happen to my freedom of constitutional rights. i’m a non smoker but if i decided to light i dont need any one telling me when and where i can do it.besides how do you come to the decision that i cant do what i what to do in my car? If I pay for my car than you cant tell me what to do in it. my car is an extention of my home. If you want to buy my $40,000.00 car than go right ahead and then you can tell me what i can do in it.

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