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OT: Smoking ban in cars

greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
edited March 2010 in Commuting chat
Right. Declare some interests first. I don't smoke, never have. Ditto Mrs. G66. My Dad smoked from 16 to 66 and isn't in a good way these days; in fact, he's a pretty good real time lesson for the 66 minors that smoking is a bad thing. I like the fact that if I got out to a pub, I don't come home stinking of censored smoke, and I'm pretty happy that I don't catch the whiff of censored smoke nearly as much as I used to before the ban. But if people want to smoke, that's up to them.

This story on the BBC news site reports that doctors want to ban smoking in all cars.
The doctors acknowledge that a ban on smoking in the home, however desirable it believes this to be, would be neither politically or practically possible, but sees the car as an intervention in the private sphere which the public would tolerate.

But it argues that the only way to make it practically enforceable would be to introduce it as a blanket ban on all private vehicles - regardless of their passengers, as exemptions would prove too complex.

WTF?

First, why is the car seen as an acceptable intervention? Because motorists are generally recognised now as the group most used to getting a Govt-sanction butt-f*ck on a regular basis?

Secondly, a ban on smoking in the home would be hopelessly unenforceable, and generally a laughing stock. Yet I can say with some assurance that a child will collect far more passive smoke from their parent smoking at home than they ever will from being in a pub or public space.

But why aren't these bozos, assuming that they are as serious about this as they claim to be, calling for prohibition of fags altogether? The only reasons I can think of are (a) HMG can't live without the tax rake from fags, now more than ever, and (b) fags (ditto booze & gambling) appeal to a far too large slice of both of the main parties' core support (ok, there's a third: prohibition of addictive substances usually only makes crooks rich: see Capone, Al, and a bunch of Colombians).

I'm (sort of) interested to gauge reaction here. Hands up who thinks the inside of a private car is fair game for a ban (and why)?
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Should smoking be banned in private cars? 0 votes

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  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    edited March 2010
    No, definitely not.

    a) It's totally unenforceable, I mean, what are police going to do? Sniff passing cars?

    b) A private car is just that - private. 'Nuff said.

    EDIT: I should add that I did smoke for about 10 years, varying amounts. Quit a couple of years ago.
  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    No, definitely not.

    a) It's totally unenforceable, I mean, what are police going to do? Sniff passing cars?

    b) A private car is just that - private. 'Nuff said.

    This. I'm not a smoker, and won't be. It also went a long way to killing my dad. But I also hate people being told to do something which basically doesn't affect anyone apart from raising the blood pressue of the hand wringers, something I wholeheartedly support.
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    I'm probably the most anti-smoking person I know, but no it shouldn't be banned in private cars. It's clearly not something that can be enforced; hell, the cops can't even enforce the mobile phone ban. The private car is an extension of the home, I reckon.
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  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    It's not even like it's enforced for the current state of the law.

    Number of taxi drivers I've seen smoking... (or for that matter, the number of people on mobile phones).

    Also, if they'd like to ban it in the home, ban it in cars, in public spaces, in the workplace, ban any areas set aside specifically for smoking, then why not just go all out and say they'd like to make smoking illegal, full stop.

    And yeah, I figure it's pretty much up to people whether they want to smoke or not.
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    Aidy wrote:

    And yeah, I figure it's pretty much up to people whether they want to smoke or not.

    HAve to admit that I haven't read it in full, but whilst I agree with Aidy's point above, I thought the point was that other people in the car, particularly children, do not get the choice.
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    I think it should be banned, but mainly due to safety. If it's dangerous to drive a car whilst on the phone it seems reasonable to say that openning a packet of fags/lighting it/smoking it all whilst trying to drive cannot be as safe as just driving with the full use of both hands etc.

    I'd love smoking to be banned completely, but I think for the reasons Greg suggets it will never happen. Plus at the end of the day people have the right to do stupid things, so long as there are only consequences for themselves (debatable wether smoking truly falls into this category).
  • King DonutKing Donut Posts: 498
    I voted Yes. But then I think people should have to apply for a license to have kids.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    Smokng is banned in all our company cars and a good thing too. However, a private car is a different matter. As long as your actions are not deletorious to others then you should be allowed to continue them.

    Then again, I am firmly a libetarian in that I believe in individual freedom granted from individual responsibility is a cornerstone of society.

    As long as your actions do no harm to others, you should be free to pursue them, as long as you accept responsibility for those actions. So if you want to smoke, you accept the greater risk of early death etc, etc - and you do not impose your smoking habits on others.
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  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    will3 wrote:
    HAve to admit that I haven't read it in full, but whilst I agree with Aidy's point above, I thought the point was that other people in the car, particularly children, do not get the choice.

    Yeah - that's a good point, although I kinda feel that social etiquette should come into play here. There shouldn't need to be legislation to enforce good manners.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Non-smoker here, but seeing babies strapped in the back seat baby thing trapped in a car full of smoke is not a pleasing sight, esp when the driver has the window down on the bassi that all the smoke goes out of the window. Does it f... It all gets blown back in so you have a cold baby covered in smoke. But smokers tend not to care about this. The general refrain is 'we have a right to smoke if we want to'. Yeah right, but you don't have a right to inflict it on small babies that you're supposed to care for and to put ahead of all your own needs m'duck.

    I'm not a fan of the smoking in pubs ban tbh; it's robbed pubs of their atmosphere now that half of he locals are off outside most of the time rather than being in the bar having a larf, a joke & a pint. There should be relaxation on that aspect of the ban.

    Banning it in cars where children are carried is a good thing - 6 month-old babies don't have much say in whether their parent(s) smoke or not, come to think of it most kids under say 6 or 7 probably don't get much say in whether they have to sit in a car or a living room that stinks of smoke. So on balance, surprisingly for me, I'd agree with a ban in this case. Ban smoking where children are likely to be on a regular basis.
  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    Aidy wrote:
    will3 wrote:
    HAve to admit that I haven't read it in full, but whilst I agree with Aidy's point above, I thought the point was that other people in the car, particularly children, do not get the choice.

    Yeah - that's a good point, although I kinda feel that social etiquette should come into play here. There shouldn't need to be legislation to enforce good manners.

    Indeed - there are plenty of things one shouldn't do in a car when there are others around who object!
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    will3 wrote:
    Aidy wrote:

    And yeah, I figure it's pretty much up to people whether they want to smoke or not.

    HAve to admit that I haven't read it in full, but whilst I agree with Aidy's point above, I thought the point was that other people in the car, particularly children, do not get the choice.

    Hmmm yes, but the occupants of the car can choose whether or not they want to smoke with kids in the car. If they don't care enough about their kids to make the right choice there, well, then we should refer to King Donut's child licence idea...
  • Aguila wrote:
    I think it should be banned, but mainly due to safety. If it's dangerous to drive a car whilst on the phone it seems reasonable to say that openning a packet of fags/lighting it/smoking it all whilst trying to drive cannot be as safe as just driving with the full use of both hands etc.

    I thought mobile phone point was based on some research about focussing on a conversation with someone not in a car was a lot more dangerous than speaking to someone in the car/listening to the radio etc. Not sure than the censored lighting ceremony would fit that bill. Plus - logically you'd end up banning car stereos, with sat navs much further up the hit list (having said that, I recognise that both operating and reading a sat nav whilst driving is well beyond a lot of people).

    I always enjoy the "not in full control of the car unless both hands are on the wheel" line. It's perfectly plain that some people can drive perfectly well with one hand on the wheel talking to their passenger and several leptons over the speed limit; equally it's perfectly plain that some people can have both hands on the wheel, plus the hands of a helper, stay under the speed limit, and still not drive safely.
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  • gert_lushgert_lush Posts: 634
    just started typing a massive paragraph but then realised I agree with everyone so sved myself the hassle.

    The only thing that annoys me about the pub smoking ban is the massive crowds of people who congratulate outside pubs making it A) hard to walk past on pavements B) really really smokey when you want to sit out in the sunshine, but hey I think i'm turning into a grumpy old man :roll:
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  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    edited March 2010
    Aidy wrote:
    will3 wrote:
    HAve to admit that I haven't read it in full, but whilst I agree with Aidy's point above, I thought the point was that other people in the car, particularly children, do not get the choice.

    Yeah - that's a good point, although I kinda feel that social etiquette should come into play here. There shouldn't need to be legislation to enforce good manners.
    Maybe so, but what about smokers without manners? Like the guy who I was working with a few years ago, I'd said up front that I'd rather he didn't smoke in my car, so what does do in a traffic jam on the M4? Winds the window halfway down and sparks up. TBH in this situation manners, etiquette, law and the threat of being turfed out onto the hard shoulder wouldn't have had any effect. In my experience, smokers either completely fail to realise how offensive it is to have them smoke in [my] personal environment, or know but don't care as the need for a fix outweighs it.

    I'd still ban it in cars carrying children.
  • CiB wrote:
    Banning it in cars where children are carried is a good thing - 6 month-old babies don't have much say in whether their parent(s) smoke or not, come to think of it most kids under say 6 or 7 probably don't get much say in whether they have to sit in a car or a living room that stinks of smoke. So on balance, surprisingly for me, I'd agree with a ban in this case. Ban smoking where children are likely to be on a regular basis.

    But then you'd be up for banning smoking in homes that have babies. And unless you are able to carry through and enforce that ban, the corresponding car ban is just re-arrangement of the deck chairs...
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  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Greg66 wrote:
    CiB wrote:
    Banning it in cars where children are carried is a good thing - 6 month-old babies don't have much say in whether their parent(s) smoke or not, come to think of it most kids under say 6 or 7 probably don't get much say in whether they have to sit in a car or a living room that stinks of smoke. So on balance, surprisingly for me, I'd agree with a ban in this case. Ban smoking where children are likely to be on a regular basis.

    But then you'd be up for banning smoking in homes that have babies. And unless you are able to carry through and enforce that ban, the corresponding car ban is just re-arrangement of the deck chairs...
    Just because is largely unenforceable doesn't make it a bad law. Small babies tend to come under the eye of midwives & social workers in the first few weeks; the fact that it is illegal would be another shove to give smokers more incentive to give up, and it would surely encourage a trend towards non-smoking, or at least non-smoking where small children are likely to be.

    I'd reverse it. In what situations is it deemed perfectly ok to place babies & small children in smoke-filled environments? What can be done to discourage such actions?
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    See, I disagree with this:
    CiB wrote:
    Just because is largely unenforceable doesn't make it a bad law

    If a law is unenforceable, I don't think it's worth putting it in place, unfortunately the same idiots who have no qualms about smoking around their children are likely to be the ones disinclined to follow laws, especially when the threat of any repercussion is minimal.

    It's just additional, pointless, vote-grabbing legislation. The taxpayer is paying for this rubbish, y'know.
  • oscarbudgieoscarbudgie Posts: 850
    There's a certain amount of hypocrisy from the medical profession about this - of course smoking is bad for you and people who smoke with kids in the car are assholes - but why aren't the docs speaking up about the cars themselves which are much more of a problem for child health in urban areas? Vehicle emissions cause far more cases of asthma and respiratory problems amongst children, not to mention the kids that get run down by them.
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  • CiB wrote:
    I'd reverse it. In what situations is it deemed perfectly ok to place babies & small children in smoke-filled environments? What can be done to discourage such actions?

    There's undoubted force in that. But how much depends on what your starting point is, doesn't it? If you consider your home to be sacrosanct, then smoking in it, whoever else is there, is ok. If you consider the presence of a baby in a home restricts a parent's rights to act in that home as they wish, and make that parent subject to compliance with a higher standard of conduct, then it's not.

    Once you start with smoking and babies in the home, where are you going to stop? Over feeding leads to health problems which are at least as bad (some might question why under feeding is much more frowned upon than over feeding). Drinking in the presence of children reinforces the acceptability of drinking. Giving teenage children a half glass of wine cut with water on a Sunday all the more so.

    It seems to me that there's a big difference between tackling these matters with education, and letting individuals decide on the one hand, and making those same activities unlawful on the other.
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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,653
    Aguila wrote:
    I think it should be banned, but mainly due to safety. If it's dangerous to drive a car whilst on the phone it seems reasonable to say that openning a packet of fags/lighting it/smoking it all whilst trying to drive cannot be as safe as just driving with the full use of both hands etc.

    I'd love smoking to be banned completely, but I think for the reasons Greg suggets it will never happen. Plus at the end of the day people have the right to do stupid things, so long as there are only consequences for themselves (debatable wether smoking truly falls into this category).

    This, plus the fact that the proposed ban is intended to protect others in the car, who end up passive smoking at much higher concentrations than outside, due to the enclosed and badly ventilated nature of the car (see also research into higher concentrations of air pollution inside cars than outside).

    Quite conflicted on this, but reluctantly voted yes, as I really don't like banning anything, but also despise smoking. I have to squeeze past all the smokers (who for some reason seem to think that censored butts don't count as proper rubbish) to get into my office. I should probably stop before I get too splenetic on the subject. Suffice to say that I consider it a habit roughly on a par to playing with oneself in public, but at least that doesn't damage other people's health. Do it in your own home if you must, but at least admit that it is because you are addicted to them, and don't inflict it on anyone else.
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  • zaneszanes Posts: 563
    What's that I hear? The sound of £60 FPNs being issued by the shedload?
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    my feeling is that if you want to ban smoking in private cars and or in the home....then you just ban smoking altogether and criminalise hundreds of thousands of people.

    this is an insane idea.

    I have recently stopped smoking (again and hopefully the last time this time!!)...

    If i ask you not to smoke in my house or car and you do...then you can expect to be leaving. but if I accept a lift with a smoker, I would only accept that offer if I was ok with the fact that they might smoke!

    Also...to protect children! surely parents who smoke, do so more in the home than in the car.

    and is passive smoking in a car worse for you than the rest of the car exhaust emmissions all over the place? ban cars...think of the the children and their asthma.
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  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    edited March 2010
    When I first heard about this, I thought the proposed ban was to stop driver distraction from lighting (and occasionally dropping) fags while driving. It struck me then as silly - some people get incredibly wound up and bad-tempered when driving, and stopping them smoking would make it worse.

    Then I heard it was all about stopping kids breathing in diluted censored smoke, which should surely be their parents' responsibility, not the government's. Apart from which, if parents are already exposing their kids to the fumes from cars, WTF difference is a bit of censored smoke going to make?

    So no, don't ban smoking in cars. To do so would make life more dangerous for other road users.
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  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    edited March 2010
    rjsterry wrote:
    This, plus the fact that the proposed ban is intended to protect others in the car

    Just to make it clear, the ban isn't proposed to be applied to smoking drivers that are carrying non-smoking passengers. It's to all smoking in every vehicle. From the original article
    the RCP goes a significant step further, urging a blanket ban on anyone lighting up in a vehicle - regardless of whether children or indeed any other passengers are inside.
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  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,850
    Slightly OT

    I've never understood the thought process behind banning the smoking of cigarettes in establishments selling alcohol.

    Seems a bit ridiculous given the harm caused by alcohol.

    That said anything which reduces smoking is a good thing. My dad is in the final stages of his losing battle with pulimaory fibrosis. It's an awful way to die.
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  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    PS misread your post as:
    Greg66 wrote:
    Right.......................

    WTF?

    First, why is the car seen as an acceptable invention?
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    cee wrote:
    my feeling is that if you want to ban smoking in private cars and or in the home....then you just ban smoking altogether and criminalise hundreds of thousands of people.

    About 13 million people, actually.
    ___________________________________________
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  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    zanes wrote:
    What's that I hear? The sound of £60 FPNs being issued by the shedload?

    Like they did when it was made illegal to use mobile phones in cars?
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    The Mobile Phones ban when driving is largely unenforceable; witness the number of halfwits who we see doing it on any journey. Doesn't make it a bad law.

    I base my desire to see a smoking ban on cars with small children in based solely on the world's ugliest woman driving a battered old red Fiesta through Aylesbury a few months ago, with two babies in the back seat, window down, the car full of smoke, her with her hair scraped back over her face and a censored hanging out of her hand as she struggled to negotiate a small roundabout. To me that was tantamount to child abuse. Nobody whatever age should have to look at face like that every morning, smoke filled car or not.
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