The Wackiest Anti-Smoking Quote You'll Ever Read

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the Pied Piper of the anti-tobacco crowd: where he goes, others follow. Bloomberg was the first to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. Now he's got a new target: the outdoors.

Bloomberg is proposing a $50 fine for anyone caught lighting up in a crowded public place like Times Square or Central Park. Technically he didn't get here first this time; it's already illegal to light up in a park or beach in L.A. or Chicago. And here in Seattle, we very briefly banned smoking in parks back in February, a measure that lasted all of 24 hours.

But the new ban does give us the opportunity to bear witness to the wackiest anti-smoking quote you'll ever read:

Melissa Sullivan, 32, of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, said her 1-year-old daughter's playmate had picked a cigarette butt off the ground and almost put it in her mouth. "There is a baby boom in the neighborhood," Ms. Sullivan said. "As a mom, I don't want my baby to see smoking and think it's acceptable."
I want to be careful with what I say here. I'm not a father, so I can't write with the experience of having raised kids. But I think I speak for all reasonable people out there when I say Melissa Sullivan is the worst mother of all time.

If you don't want your child to smoke, or to think smoking is acceptable, TELL THEM THAT. I once told a kid to hit herself in the face with a pillow as hard as she could. You know what? SHE DID IT. You know why? At a certain age, kids will do anything you tell them to do. They're great like that.

Bloomberg is making his case for the new ban on the backs of some scary second-hand smoking stats. And even though I think it's a silly and autocratic proposal, I can respect the desire to try and make his city a healthier place to live.

But what I can't respect is someone like Ms. Sullivan, who thinks government policy should act as a substitute for good parenting. When she's old enough to understand, tell your daughter what smoking would do to her lungs and wallet. There's a better than even chance that, if you don't want her to smoke, she'll take your advice. And oh yeah, when the time comes do that pillow thing too. It's hilarious.

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