When the Satalinos separated, Ms. Satalino, who smoked cigarettes, moved in with her parents, who were also smokers. Mr. Satalino then petitioned for custody of their six-year-old daughter, claiming, in part, that he could provide a healthier, smoke-free environment for the child. He argued that awarding custody to the child’s mother would subject the child to the health hazards of secondhand tobacco smoke. Ms. Satalino said that a court could not consider the smoking environment of a home in awarding custody. The trial court found that smoking in a household, like alcohol consumption, should be considered in making child-custody awards. However, because of other factors, the court awarded custody of the girl to Ms. Satalino. See “Smoking Parents Lose Points in Child-Custody Case,” Trial, February 1991, 82.
34 ATLA L.R. 16, N.Y. Nassau County Supreme Court, No. 11440-86, October 10, 1990.