This is an example of government overreach.
Sitka’s government has outlawed children in businesses that allow smoking, whether anyone is smoking at the time or not.
This clarifies a 2005 law banning smoking in public places. Fine, it’s OK for local government to choose to be smoke-free.
But, private businesses should be able to choose whether to be smoke-free or not, and parents should decide whether their children are allowed to enter those businesses.
The main Sitka event affected by the clarification is the American Legion Christmas party — a once-a-year celebration for children, and a smoke-free one at that.
It simply means that the Legion cannot host the party unless it becomes a smoke-free facility. It doesn’t sound like it will change its smoking policy.
Does this type of rule really help anybody, including the little people?
Their exposure to a room once a year that allows smoking when they’re not there isn’t dangerous — at least not as dangerous as them walking home from school or riding down the street in a motor vehicle. Their health is probably more vulnerable in an airplane, being on a playground, playing sports or any other number of circumstances children have every day.
What would the kids say? “Don’t be a spoiled sport.”
— Ketchikan Daily News,