Smoking in cars

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IT IS rank arrogance for politicians to prevent people engaging in a legal activity such as smoking (your report, 29 April), even if their objective is to protect the nation’s health. The proper avenue would be to ban the sale of tobacco, making it an illegal drug.

They would, thereby, also avoid the foolishness of presenting false arguments: do any of them really believe that people, especially children too young to buy cigarettes, are attracted to the habit by shop displays?

How many politicians have spent time in stores checking this? I have – and I’ve never once seen a child looking at cigarette displays. Breathing in other people’s smoke is unpleasant to non-smokers such as myself, but evidence from past experience refutes claims of danger from it. Otherwise we would not be facing the current problem of a booming elderly population – the very people who lived through relentless exposure to it.

Now we have a Liberal Democrat MSP, Jim Hume, presenting a bill to outlaw smoking in cars with children as passengers. Can we assume he has monitored the prevalence of this occurrence? I started checking on my daily walks a year or two ago when the idea was mooted; in all that time, I’ve never seen a single instance.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road, Tranent, East Lothian

MSP Jim Hume supports a ban on smoking in vehicles when (the infallible clincher follows) “children are present”.

The most compelling reason for banning smoking at all times is not the presence of children, but smoking is even more of an impediment to controlling a vehicle than using a mobile phone. Hence, it is a danger to all – not just children.

DJ Hollingdale

Southbank, Easter Park Drive, Edinburgh