New York Supreme Court Orders Woman to Stop Smoking Near Son as Condition of Visitation
In an "unprecedented ruling," New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert Julian has ordered a woman whose 13-year-old son complained about her smoking not to smoke at home or in her car, AP/Newsday reports. Julian issued the smoking ban to the woman, identified in court documents as Johnita D., as a condition of visitation with her son, identified in court documents as Nicholas D. Nicholas lives with his father and his paternal grandparents, none of whom smoke. Nicholas does not have an allergy to tobacco smoke and does not suffer from a health condition such as asthma that "would be worsened" by the smoke, AP/Newsday reports. But in his decision, which appeared yesterday in the New York Law Journal, Julian cited studies on the "health dangers" of secondhand smoke and said that the "mother's puffing" would not serve her son's "best interests." Julian said that courts in New York and other states have prohibited parents from smoking "when it aggravated a child's illness or allergy," but he found no cases of a court-ordered parental smoking ban when a child had no health problems. Julian said that Nicholas told him in August that he "didn't want to visit" Johnita "because of his mother's pack-a-day habit" (AP/Newsday, 3/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.