To think that smoking in a car with children should be made illegal!

(93 Posts)
longbay Mon 27-Jan-14 22:26:58

Was sitting in my car at the traffic lights, when another car pulled alongside me with a baby (approx 9-12 months) sitting in the back. The man driving the car was smoking. All the windows were up except his which was open a couple of inches.
Firstly I was absolutely shocked that people still smoke near children let alone trapped in a car. Then I felt real anger & rage that I couldn't do anything about what I had seen. AIBU to feel so enraged by that man's behavior? I want to start a petition but wouldn't have a clue how?!

Mim78 Wed 29-Jan-14 08:29:28

Surely they could just get a fine (and mmaybe points) - that would be a reasonable penalty.

Wallison Wed 29-Jan-14 09:19:13

I'm not the one who started bandying words like 'hysterical' around, JassyRadlett. I'm sure your googling skills are excellent (and of course everything that appears on the net is solid gold standard research and unbiased in every way), but maybe cut down on the personal insults if you want to be taken seriously.

yanbu.

JassyRadlett Wed 29-Jan-14 09:51:30

Wallison, I'm more than happy to engage on the issues - and I'm petty good at critical evaluation of material on the web (which is why the peer review process, and referring to sources where appropriate, is helpful, and I should have done that from the outset - apologies, posting by phone is limiting).

I haven't called you names. I've called your arguments and your rhetoric names, because that's how they come across. They suggest desperation as you don't feel you have an effective counter to the substantive arguments or issues. You've said nothing so far to change my views on that.

You've refused to engage on the issues, instead latching on to side issues and hyperbolising them. You have used phrases like 'hysterical crap' (before I engaged with you), 'chopping people's heads off', used multiple exclamation marks and took an odd segue onto Taiwanese songs (again, I refer you to the UK's national anthem which probably seems odd to those outside the Anglocentric tradition). None of these things have led me to think you're interested in an actual, reasoned discussion.

I'm more than happy to debate this one - as a PP has said, this is an issue of balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of those with less power, such as children. In that context, actual scientific evidence of the impact is useful.

Wallison - do you feel my mum was being reasonable when she refused to stop smoking in the car, despite being told how sick it made me feel?

I would welcome a ban on smoking in cars where children are passengers, if only to protect children from that sort of poor treatment.

"that if caught again that they can be charged with something more serious like neglect??"

At the moment you couldn't use the law to prosecute because you would have to show that the level of passive smoking from that one incident did constitute neglect, to a level worth taking it to court.

If the law of neglect was extended then the first prosecutions should come from those giving their children a bad diet, or even sugar, we know for sure how much exposure will cause disease.

I, to, hated my parents smoking, however knowing lots of smokers and having to travel with them, I wonder how many accidents would be caused by people gagging for a fix of nicotine.

I, also know people who have given up and they have been vile whilst doing so, so I can imagine the child having a hard time, especially as they are the cause of the parent not being able to smoke.

I would like no-one to smoke, ever, but I don't think the ban would do what it aims to.

- "do you feel my mum was being reasonable when she refused to stop smoking in the car, despite being told how sick it made me feel?"

Was that the only time that she carried out poor parenting, though, honestly?

You can only use the law if the reaserch is present to back it up. So how much exposure in that bicolored incident and what it did, would have to be proven.

Given most of us grew up with passive smoking (my teachers smoked in the class room), I doubt the reaserch would be there.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 29-Jan-14 10:33:17

I wonder how many accidents would be caused by people gagging for a fix of nicotine

It's probably not comparable to accidents causes by the distraction of kids coughing or puking or whining. Or tiredness from being up all night with a child who's been coughing half the night as a result of being around smoke.

Surely these people hold down jobs etc they cope in the office why not the ten min school run?

Be interesting to see stats though.

MomsStiffler Wed 29-Jan-14 10:34:00

How's it going to be policed? Have you noticed any reduction in the amount of people on mobile phones in cars since they changed the law? I certainly haven't....

What if smokers decided to run a campaign of driving dolls around in car seats - how much police time could they waste? (If I was a smoker I'd do it just to make a point...)

While I agree it's not right & shouldn't be done, I'm not convinced that criminalising another subset of people is the right way to go about it.

If the government was serious they'd just make smoking illegal (and lose all that lovely revenue)...

Wallison Wed 29-Jan-14 10:58:49

Wow, JassyRadlett, you're really rattled, aren't you? Perhaps you'd be better off googling rather than conducting a character precis of me, fascinating though I'm sure I am.

SDTG, I'm not answerable for your mother's actions. Can't think why you would assume otherwise.

There are so many worse things that parents can do to children - including smoking around them in the house although I have to say that given this was the norm in for eg the 70s it doesn't seem to have done that much harm - that concentrating on a ban on this one aspect seems petty in the extreme, and just one other way of limiting people's capacity for self-determination which has been a hallmark of all the anti-smoker laws that have come to pass so far. For me, the fact that even e-cigs (which are harmless) are banned points to not a concern about public health but about trying to control people's smallest actions, which makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed.

Aussiemum78 Wed 29-Jan-14 11:01:33

It's illegal here. Fine and points. As it should be.

It's also illegal to smoke in public buildings.

Every opportunity to reduce exposure is a good thing IMO.

Wallison - I didn't ask you to be answerable for my mother's actions - I asked you for your opinion of her actions. Where did I assume you could be answerable for her actions?

JassyRadlett Wed 29-Jan-14 11:14:34

Ach, no, Wallison. I'm happily confident that my position is backed up by actual evidence as well as by public opinion (cf YouGov, Ipsos surveys) which can of course be ropey and not evidence based. I'm trying to figure out whether the positions of others is based on evidence, emotion, ideology or a combination of same. I quite like trying to understand where other people are coming from if their views differ from mine. Often their explanations have caused me to change my views, which I don't see as a sign of weakness. One of the good things about Mumsnet is the weath of posters with different views who are willing to explain why they feel that way.

You'll note that my posts have considered your arguments rather than you as a person, because that's what I find interesting. If your position is based on libertarian principles then fine - I think from your last post then that's probably the case. I'd be keen to know where you draw the line about individual freedoms vs collective benefits.

Interesting point on smoking in the home as I agree it's a thorny issue particularly when considering where it is/isn't OK to smoke. But some of the scientific research I mentioned earlier seemed to suggest that smoking in a car was more harmful than smoking in the home, which I found interesting. It's all about frequency/volumes though, I guess.

ProfPlumSpeaking Wed 29-Jan-14 11:38:50

MomsStiffler

"What if smokers decided to run a campaign of driving dolls around in car seats - how much police time could they waste? (If I was a smoker I'd do it just to make a point...)"

What precise point would you be making? Do you go round with a blow up baby not strapped into a babyseat to waste police time atm?

But you do have a slight point: the law would be easier to enforce if it were a blanket ban, so even drivers (especially drivers) should not devote any attention to smoking whilst they are manoeuvring a fast moving tonne of steel. AFAIK you cannot smoke hands free.

shebird Wed 29-Jan-14 12:01:22

While I agree in theory I am not sure that this gets to the root of the smoking issue but just pushes it behind closed doors. I suspect that the type of parent who smokes with children in the car would also probably smoke around children at home.

What is needed is education along with strong and relentless media and tv anti smoking advertising campaigns that remind smokers of the consequences of their actions. Also by educating the family and children of smokers they are less likely to tolerate the smoker around them. My DM smoked when I was growing up and a tv advert showing a man dying of lung cancer upset me so much that she quit.

MomsStiffler Wed 29-Jan-14 13:02:07

ProfPlum AFAIK you cannot smoke hands free.

Indeed, or change gear, or tune the radio or do many, many other things that non-smokers and smokers do whilst behind the wheel.

If cars only moved when a driver had both hands on the wheel, we'd never get off the drive, so please don't roll that tired old chestnut out.

A non-smoking parent with noisy kids playing up in the back of the car is just as lethal in "a fast moving tonne of steel" as someone taking a small suck of a ciggie every 30 seconds.....

To be honest, the only way forwards to this conundrum is for the driver to be sealed away from the rest of the car in their own compartment so they can't hear, smell or see the other distractions occupants of the car. This would also solve the smoking issue.

Or, as I said before, they could just make smoking illegal & that'd solve all the problems with regards to accidents, cancer, NHS waiting lists etc...

SwishAndFlick Wed 29-Jan-14 14:19:36

So what if its an addiction, people who smoke also travel by plane where smoking banned. If these people can go two maybe longer hours without smoking surely they can go a car journey without smoking too.

ProfPlumSpeaking Wed 29-Jan-14 16:00:31

shebird yy about education. And I am sure you are right about those who smoke in cars also smoking in the home BUT
- there is 23 times the level of pollution in a car from secondhand smoke as in the home
- not being allowed by law to smoke in a car with their DC just might make parents think twice before doing it in the same room as their DC at home.

MomsStiffler YY to making smoking illegal, over time.

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