Flickr photo by EleafA ban on smoking in all state parks and on state beaches in the State of California could make the Golden State one of the most prohibitive of the vice in the country.
It's the sort of thing that almost makes me want to move to California (hey, I did say almost).
Not yet a law by any means, the proposal has passed the state's Senate and Assembly, but the former must approve amendments made by the Assembly.
Then it will go to the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has made no public comments yay or nay at this point.
The ban -- which will apply to a state park system that includes the popular tourist go-to Redwoods Park, among dozens of others -- is on top of a number of tight restrictions already in place.
Since 1995, workers have been precluded from lighting up in the workplace; it's against the law to light up within 25 feet of a playground or sandbox area, and in cars with children present; and smoking inside restaurants is likewise a no-no.
The beach and park ban would make California the first state in the nation to enact such a measure in its state park system, and would also make it one of the toughest states for smokers.
Considering we're learning more and more about not just secondhand smoke's affect on kids but what thirdhand smoke -- that which lingers on the body, clothing and even in the air for as much as a day or more -- can do to their health, I say the more stringent the laws, the better.
Smokers may hue and cry about how their rights are being infringed, but battling asthma as an adult because of years in a house with a smoker forces the question -- whose rights are infringed when the smoke makes someone other than the smoker sick?
Do you find a lot of smokers when you're out in public with your kids?