No Smokin', No Textin', and No Wastin' Electricity

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What new laws will 2008 bring? Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Ready to ring in the new year with new laws in your state? What are you looking forward to? I, for one, am eagerly anticipating the statewide smoking ban set to go into effect in February in Maryland. Goodbye, "going out jeans" — you know the ones you turn to when headed to a smoky restaurant or bar, but try not to wear to work because of their pervasive odor? Marylanders will get to wash those jeans once more and return them to daytime rotation. Smokers, however, probably aren't celebrating with me on that one. A new law I hope comes soon to a legislature near me is the texting-while-driving ban in Washington state. Someone, please, save me from myself on this one. I abide by the DC hands-free law, but have been known to text-while-driving in surrounding states... horrible, and dangerous, I know*. Also, Illinois has a law set to mandate the use of energy efficient light bulbs in large, state-owned or leased buildings. Wouldn't hurt for me to put that one in to effect at home...

*In my weak defense, I keep my eyes on the road and a hand on the wheel... which probably defeats the purpose of the text nine times out of ten as I send illegible messages to the wrong people.

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Shouldn't there be a "Logical" connectiuon with a tax and the taxed? Why should smokers support health care for people who have children that they cannot afford. Moreover, doesn't this put the smoker in an ethical delima----"I want to stop smoking, but little bobby needs that operation-----better buy another pack".... What is next? Additional gasoline taxes to provide cell phone for children?

I am an avid anti-smoker, and wish people would stop smoking. Why not add a tax to cigs that help people quit? At least then the ones paying the tax will benefit! I voted agains the Oregon Ref on this last fall

-John from Oregon

Sent by John Miller | 3:25 PM | 12-26-2007

I strongly believe texting while driving should be illegal everywhere. I came home from France for a much needed vacation. I was driving to see my brother and sister-in-law, when I received a message from my boss in France about an urgent message. Being unable to call out of the states, I had to text a message to tell him to call me. I was so about having a problem, I managed to type about 2 letters a minute. Luckily, hardly anyone else was on the road with me at that time, and no big wheelers on the little highway!It was one of the most nerve racking moments while driving, and I will never do it again. No one should because it is just too dangerous.

Sent by Melisa | 4:02 PM | 12-26-2007

The law against texting and non-hands-free-phones in Washington has the potential to set a dangerous precedent. Am I going to get pulled over for pushing the buttons on my satellite radio as I change stations? What about dealing with my mp3 player or Palm Pilot? The most dangerous part of texting and dialing (hands free or not) is done in a person's lap far out of sight of an officer's eyes making the driver look like any other drunk swerving around the road. Aren't most of these types of laws nothing more than giving the police another reason to pull people over looking for more serious infractions?

I am completely against using electronic devices in cars that take one's attention from the road, let alone **texting**!! for goodness sake. We as a people need to be able to self manage and take responsibility of our own actions, make the right decisions for how we live our lives. It is a shame we need laws to run our lives like this. Next year we will have a law stating we have to wipe our bottoms at least once per day.

Sent by Eric in SouthWest Washington | 12:09 PM | 12-27-2007

I think it is hypocritical to ban smoking in Illinois due to "health reasons". Many of the people who are worried about cigarette smoke are also overweight people that frequently eat fast food and processed foods. What is the difference? I am a healthy person that makes eating right and exercising on a regular basis a priority and my health care costs are higher because of the lazy people who clog their arteries with cheeseburgers and french fries. I scoff at those people that chastize me for enjoying a cigarette at a bar.

Sent by Kristine | 10:35 AM | 1-2-2008