A state prisoner who smoked brought a 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983 action, claiming that his constitutional right to equal protection and his rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) were violated by the Defendant’s policies effectively prohibiting smoking within Maryland prisons. The U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous as a matter of law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sec. 1915A(b)(1), ruling that smoking is not a “disability” within the meaning of the ADA and that “the act of smoking is entitled to only a minimal level of protection under the Equal Protection Clause, as it is obviously not a fundamental right…”. The court also ruled that the classification between smokers and nonsmokers is not a suspect one and that the regulation served a legitimate state interest and was rationally related to that state interest.
138 F.Supp.2d 693, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4664 (U.S.D.C. D. Md. 2001).