Nanny State: Anti-smoking bill oversteps state's bounds

16 March 2007

Anti-smoking bill oversteps state's bounds


Next time state Rep. Mike Boland goes to the supermarket, we wish he would stick to buying groceries and chatting with the checkout clerk.

Boland, an East Moline Democrat, got an idea for a new law while walking across the parking lot at the grocery store. We don't happen to think it would be a good law. Rather, if enacted, it would become one more example of the Legislature overstepping its bounds.

The bill to which we refer came about this way.

While trudging across the parking lot on a winter's day, Boland's mind was distracted from the frigid temps by the occupants of a nearby car.

As he described it, "I saw an adult smoking in a car. It was a cold day and the windows were rolled up. When I looked back a second time, I saw these two little heads in that cloud of smoke. I thought, 'That's really terrible, these kids are ingesting all that smoke.'"

Other shoppers probably would have shaken their heads and walked on. Not Boland. When you're a lawmaker and you see something you don't like, it's only natural to think about making a law to stop it.

That's exactly what Boland is trying to do.


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