Smoke & minors

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THE first requirement before passing a law against smoking in cars with children on board is surely to establish the existence and extent of the supposed problem.

As in all such campaigns, most “statistics” quoted are mere figures plucked from the ether to fit the relevant propaganda. They may yet be accurate or even an underestimate, but that’s not the point.

How many cases of the incident have been officially ­recorded?

My own daily experience of regular search for such behaviour has provided not a single instance, and indeed reveals few examples of anyone at all ­smoking in vehicles.

That apart, two other aspects of the claimed danger from secondary inhalation deserve consideration.

Firstly, it is playing on emotion – a typical campaigning ploy on any subject – to concentrate on children for emphasis. Are grown-ups not entitled to the same legal protection for their own good? Even a lone driver who smokes is subject to secondary absorption. The fact that they may be exercising more choice than children is irrelevant. The key factor is protection from harm.

Secondly, if protection of children specifically is the key element in the legal process, then it must apply wherever they happen to be; that would have to include in the home. It is quite likely the case that this danger has increased with the ban on smoking in places such as pubs leading to increased domestic drinking.

Tobacco smoke in the atmosphere is extremely unpleasant to any non-smoker, myself included, but I would appreciate more honesty in the argument against it.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road