Wednesday, 29 January 2014

It'll be your homes next

From the BBC

A Labour plan to ban smoking in cars carrying children is due to be put to a vote in the House of Lords later.

Labour peers are to table an amendment to the Children and Families Bill detailing their proposal for England.

The party says that if it is not passed in this vote, it will be included in its manifesto for the next election.

Of course, the smoking ban was all about protecting workers in pubs and hotels.

It's part of a gradual process of denormalisation. Once you get a law enforcing smoking in your car with children, because it's a closed space, it's a very small step to banning smoking in a home with children.

But don't think you'll get any joy from the Conservatives

Smoking should be banned in cars carrying children, says England's public health minister.

Anna Soubry said her personal view was that it was justified on "child welfare" grounds.

Several health groups have called for the move, but it has been resisted so far by the government.

The prime minister has said while he supports the smoking ban in pubs and clubs, he is "more nervous" about legislating what happens in cars.

You can interpret that how you like, but I wouldn't trust it.


Macheath said...

An interesting quote from the shadow Health Minister on the Today programme:

'We know that nearly half a million children in England are exposed to potentially hazardous levels of second hand smoke in family cars every single week.'

Unless we are already in an Orwellian dystopia, she presumably means 'research findings have been extrapolated and rounded up'. Much the same technique - aided by the BMI fetish - has given us the 'obesity epidemic'.

It's an unsettling thought that politicians merrily chirp out these statistics without giving any indication of their source - or the margin for error. Do they, for example, actually believe someone has been out there counting every single carload of kippered infants?

(Alternatively, of course, the figure may be a complete fabrication - I surely can't be the only one cynical enough to believe this might well be the case.)

The Stigler said...


The figures may be quite reasonable.

But so what? There is no clear link between passive smoking and lung cancer. And if you're a smoker (or in my case ex-smoker), you know this by how smoke behaves. It rises - it gets right out of the way of other people.

PJH said...

"It'll be your homes next"

I disagree.

Because of the difficulty of enforcing such a rule, for example:
1) Is that teenager in the back a 'child' - "lets stop them anyway and argue the toss"
2) How can we tell there's a young child in there to begin with because it's difficult to see when traveling at speed - "lets stop them anyway and argue the toss"

... the next step will be banning smoking in all vehicles, regardless of purpose or (lack of) passengers. Far simpler to police and stigmatise 20% of the population.


*Then* it will be homes. All homes, for much the same reasons above.

The Stigler said...


OK, maybe not next, but pretty soon after.

First up it'll be council/housing association homes. Where they can just tell people how it'll be.