Santa is Trying to Get Parents to Stop Killing Their Children
He Quit Because Parental Smoking Kills Thousands of Kids Each Year
The best Christmas gift smokers can give to their children is to quit smoking, or at very least quit smoking in their presence, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, whose letter to Santa prompted this change, just as his previous letters helped save the lives of millions of smokers.
Santa Claus will be delivering toys this year without his pipe – and its smoke encircling his head like a wreath – because of growing concerns about his health, the health of Mrs. Claus, kids dying unnecessarily, and the growing number of courts orders and even laws prohibiting smoking in homes with children which Banzhaf helped obtain.
Reacting to the growing evidence that even small amounts of secondhand tobacco smoke pose very serious health risks to young children, Santa said that he has given up smoking, and urged parents of young children to do the same as a Christmas gift to their offspring.
He noted that the New York Times has reported, "At least 6,200 children die each year in the United States because of their parents' smoking, killed by such things as lung infections and burns . . More young children are killed by parental smoking than by all unintentional injuries combined."
Santa also noted that in thousands of homes, both here and abroad, all smoking is banned by a court order or, in the case of homes where foster children live, by legislation or agency regulations, again largely thanks to Banzhaf.
In addition, since smoking has been banned in so many public places in order to protect adults, Santa believed that it was time to extend the same protection to young children.
Santa's decision was announced by Banzhaf, who had written a letter to old Saint Nick. Instead of asking for presents, Banzhaf asked Santa to recognize that times have changed, and that what was once seen as a harmless habit is now known to be a deadly danger to children.
Santa agreed, an event even acknowledged by those who oppose Banzhaf's many victories protecting nonsmokers. http://bit.ly/
Prior letters by Banzhaf led to antismoking messages on radio and television, a ban on cigarette commercials, bans on smoking in many public places, judges banning smoking around children in custody cases and, more recently, bans on smoking in the homes of foster children, bans on smoking in private homes and apartments, etc.