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Law professor says child custody should be denied to smokers

One of the most emotional and contentious parts of a divorce proceeding may be the custody decision. Determining who gets child custody involves the examination of the lives of both parents. Pennsylvania parents who desire to remain an important and influential part of the lives of their children may use any legal means to gain custody, especially if they believe the health of their child is in danger.

A law professor and health advocate suggests that parents who smoke cigarettes should lose custody of their children. He told a conference of top family law attorneys in the country that, in several cases, courts have denied custody to parents who smoke. The professor discussed with the lawyers how they could include a parent's smoking habit in a divorce hearing in order to challenge that parent's suitability for custody.

In addition to his educational credentials, the professor has founded an international campaign to create a tobacco-free world. He is passionate enough about his cause to suggest that smoking parents should be reported for child abuse by emergency room doctors if they bring a child to the hospital with a respiratory illness related to second-hand smoke. It is his position that doctors who do not file such reports may be sued for malpractice.

The professor stated that he wants attorneys to use the power of the law to make important changes for the public good. In Pennsylvania, parents facing child custody battles may have questions or concerns about their case and the role smoking may play in its outcome. For these complicated issues, parents may find answers by speaking to an experienced attorney who will focus on representing their best interests.

Source:, "Smokers Should Lose Custody Of Their Kids, Says Nation's Top Anti-Tobacco Lawyer", Guy Bentley, May 25, 2016

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