The steps taken thus far to protect children in public areas, custody cases, and in vehicles show the legislature's awareness of the chemical harms of secondhand smoke for children. This article will analyze those steps and discuss what they mean for both parents' and children's constitutional rights. This article proposes that the legislature take a vital fourth step by including secondhand smoke exposure in child abuse laws. Section II of this article provides the history of smoking tobacco and its transition from a trendy social status to an unpopular, harmful habit. Section II also introduces the steps that have been taken so far to protect children from secondhand smoke. Section III, Part A discusses how and why there has never been a successful constitutional argument against smoking bans. Section III, Part B looks further into the three steps that courts and legislators have already taken to protect children from secondhand smoke and how those steps are constitutionally permissible. Section III, Part C discusses whether courts and legislators can apply the same constitutional basis of existing statutes to take the next step and interpret child abuse statutes to include secondhand smoke exposure.
Puffing Away Parental Rights: A Survey and Analysis of Whether Secondhand Smoke Exposure is Child Abuse,
32 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol32/iss1/8