Bill fails key test

ANY new law – especially one restricting civic rights – must meet an identified need, and Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume’s intended bill, which he launched last month, to outlaw smoking in private cars with children on board fails that first test.

This is a nonexistent problem in my experience, and it falls to Mr Hume to provide relevant incidence figures, backed by specific evidence of improvement where the measure has already been applied.

Such a ban differs from the existing one in applying to private space and to children only, which tends to the suspicion that the next stage will be to apply it also to adults. It would, therefore, make more sense to go directly to that stage.

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It seems to have escaped notice that smokers themselves breathe in secondary smoke, so, in this case, even a driver on his own should be similarly “protected”.

I am not arguing either for or against smoking as a habit, but politicians should have minimal licence to interfere with citizens engaging in any legal activity.

I also write as one such citizen grateful for the existing public smoking limits.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

Tranent, East Lothian