Saint Nick AKA Santa Claus has given up smoking, hoping to set an example to tens of millions of parents, many of whom will otherwise kill their children during 2019
The best Christmas gift smokers can give to their offspring is to quit smoking, or at very least quit smoking in their presence, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, whose letter to Saint Nick prompted this change, just as earlier letters helped save the lives of millions of smokers.
Saint Nick delivered 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.
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This way Santa will not be endangering the health of billions of children, many of whom have medical conditions which make them especially sensitive to secondhand tobacco smoke.
Saint Nick and second hand smoke
Reacting to the growing evidence that even small amounts of secondhand tobacco smoke pose very serious health risks to young children, and especially to the tens of millions who already have asthma, hay fever, sinusitis, or other respiratory problems and sensitivities, Saint Nick 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 had 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.”
Saint Nick also noted that in thousands of homes, both here and abroad, all smoking is banned by 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, Saint Nick believed that it was time to extend the same protection to young children. He urged parents to follow his example, or at least not to smoke within a home where there are children.
Santa’s decision was announced by public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who had written a letter to old Saint Nick. Instead of asking for presents, Banzhaf asked Saint Nick to note that times have changed, and that what was once seen as a harmless habit is now a deadly danger to children. Saint Nick agreed.
Saint Nick not the first to give up smoking in bid to children
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 in custody cases and, more recently, bans on smoking in the homes of foster children.
“Christmas is about children, and it is wonderful that Saint Nick is setting such a great example in protecting them from tobacco smoke pollution. The most important and lasting gift any smoker can give a child is to give up smoking, or at least to stop smoking around his or her children,” said Banzhaf.