To think that smoking in a car with children should be made illegal!(93 Posts)
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?!
Tell me where to sign.
its vile, my mum and dad used to smoke in the car when i was a child - it made me sick to my stomach.
How would it get policed?
Well it's already illegal to smoke in work vehicles yet people still do so I doubt they'd pay any attention to that either unfortunately
It's absolutely vile.
Could it not be policed in the same way as seatbelt and mobile phone laws... You can be pulled over for that, so why not for smoking?
It just makes me sick that a baby/ child has no option but to inhale the smoke. It is so reckless and selfish! How can anyone justify it? I think you should be able to report it just like you would if you saw erratic driving etc It makes you wander how they 'care' for their child at home?
Good point KateSmate except as well as getting a fine and points they should also be given a warning that if caught again that they can be charged with something more serious like neglect???
I'm just not sure there's any point - if you're smoking in a car with a baby, I'm guessing you're not smoking outside - or at any great distance from the baby - at home.
Thanks for the link LEM. Good to know someone's bothered about it!
Phoolani you can't see what happens behind closed doors so you're right what's the point? The point is in public these people need to know that it is totally unacceptable to smoke in a metal box with a child. It's impossible to stop all wrong doing but if it happens in front of you then surely we should be challenging it?
It is illegal here thank goodness. Hated seeing it.
Yanbu. Smoking within 20 metres of children should be banned imo.
Smokers are the most selfish people out there!!
It is illegal here in Canada. Policed the same way mobile phones bans are policed. Perfectly do-able.
Smoking within an confined space with children should be illegal - ie inside same room as a child. But what to do if its discovered? Take children into care? With cars easy as can lose licence.
I'd love to say YNBU, but if I did that I'd be condemning my DDad who chain smoked, in the car and everywhere else.
And I know how much he hated himself for getting addicted to cigarettes in the first place (he firmly disapproved of drinking and drugs and knew he was a total hypocrite), but that is the strength of addictions.
So I'd have to say I support education, but not prosecution.
If you take someone's driving licence you often lose them their job, that's really a lot OTT.
Smoking near babies and small children isn't the best thing in the world, but it's not on a par with drink driving or doing 50 mph past the school entrance.
YANBU. Selfish behaviour to the extreme. People who do this to babies and children should face severe consequences. End of.
I think they want to make it illegal in Wales. I remember it being in the news a while back. Not sure what happened thou.
longbay - I would hope that any legislation would come from the point of protecting the child, rather than primarily shaming the wrong-doer. and protecting a baby in a metal box for an hour at a time every so often won't really make much difference to a child who sits in a room at home for 24 hours a day breathing in smoke fumes. I'd rather we spent the money/time/energy educating those who need it about the dangers of smoking per se around babies/children. tho I have to say, I'm not really against the law as such - you only have to think about smoking in pubs to understand how law can change behaviour and attitudes - but I think it has to backed up by more general efforts.
Yanbu - and I say that as an ex smoker who used to smoke in the car (no dc and 99.9% of the time I was in my own).
Dm smoked in the car when my sister and I were children, and still refuses to acknowledge that she wasp so oubliette in the wrong. I know I'm going to have ww3 on my hands if DH and I ever have dc as she will want to take them out in the car, and she refuses to not smoke behind the wheel.
I don't understand why they don't just make smoking and DRIVING illegal... It's not different/distracting to use a mobile phone!
Well maybe it is a bit but YADNBU OP. Saw exactly the same thing the other day- wanted to get out the car and scream at him
If you take someone's driving licence you often lose them their job, that's really a lot OTT.
No the person who chooses to break the law has lost themselves a job. There is a choice NOT to break a law if it exists.
Selfish bastards, whose kids health comes 2nd to their own
To the poster that said 'smokers are the most selfish people ever'. What a wild generalisation! I smoke. I have smoked for ten years (never while ttc or pregnant.) My oldest child is 5 and does not know I smoke because I only ever do it away from the house or when he is in bed. However, I completely agree it should be made an offence to smoke in the car with children - I'd go so far as to say it should be an offence to smoke in a car full stop to make it easier to be policed. I have no issues as a smoker with pulling over to a service station to have one on long journeys so would therefore prefer a blanket ban to make it more enforceable.
Smoking while driving should absolutely be made illegal. It is distracting and irresponsible. However I don't feel that it should just be with children in car as in being realistic it's just not feasible to punish someone for doing something they will go home and do anyway. Not saying it's right but the simple fact is people smoke. This won't change and most of them wouldn't smoke around a baby or child anyway. Ban it while driving and at least that gives a small level of protection.
The UAE has just banned smoking in the car with under twelves, and that nation is certainly not progressive.
I'm an American who thinks smoking in the car with children is no t a Good Idea, but is loathe to more legislation on smoking. Disclosure: I am a non-smoker.
Smoking is an addiction. It's not something people can simply give up at the flick of a switch.
I have never smoked, as I said up thread I'm the DD of a smoker who wished he hadn't started and hated himself for doing it.
In an ideal world smokers on long journeys should pull over and smoke out of the car. We don't live in an ideal world, people are in a hurry, it rains, their children moan, the temptation to break the law is huge and the chance of being caught tiny.
Worst still is the probability we'll get people fiddling with fag lighters as well as fucking mobiles on our narrow (police free) lanes.
So by your logic I should be able to speed whenever my son in whinging, or I'm in a hurry? Or I should be able to check my mobile phone since it's inconvenient to stop when I get a text message or it rings? If the law exists, then you find a way to abide by it. If pulling over every so often for a cigarette is that important, then you do it. Public safety, and especially safety of children trumps the rights of people to not be inconvenienced.
I read on BBC that a Dr. Is pushing for it To happen. I hope it does.
yanbu. I am a smoker. I wouldn't dream of smoking in the car with the dcs or inside the house
YANBU. My DM also used to smoke in the car with us as kids and I hated it. When I see it now, I get quite upset about the poor kids breathing in all that crap.
I am pleased to learn that it is banned in other countries. Hopefully England will follow suit sooner rather than later.
it should be illegal and considered child abuse.
I hate smoking with a vengeance. suffered from respiratory problems all my life - both parents were chain smokers.
its a revolting habit. Any form of smoking should be banned!
I don't really see why the smoking ban in vehicles can't be extended to any vehicle with even one passenger - smoke in the car on your own, but not with anyone else there.
I think smokers could already be prosecuted for driving without due care if the smoking distracts them - eg lighting up and taking eyes off the road, or dropping ash on skin or clothing.
YANBU. There's really no need to smoke in the car. If you're desperate to smoke, just pull over and stand outside the car to do it. There can't be a person alive who doesn't know the dangers of passive smoking and it amazes me when I see people smoking with children (and often tiny babies) in the car.
It's a foul habit, and of course it damages children's health in the long term. We had a mini when I was young, and both parents would smoke in the front seat and I was there in the back, with a rear window that only opened about two inches. I would have my face right up to the window to try and escape the smoke.
My DM gave up when I was 6 and has since apologised for what she did (while maintaining that she was never told that smoking during pregnancy could be harmful ). But my DF continued, and this being the 70s, nobody ever told him to stop because it was horrible for all the non-smokers present.
oop, that reads like we had a mini something. I meant we had a Mini (brand of car).
MidniteScribbler I'm a realist, people should abide by the law, but they don't!
Making laws that people try to get round doesn't make the world universally safer.
No mobile phones while driving, makes the MW and A roads safer. It makes our single lane roads a damned sight more dangerous.
Telling people to pull over to phone or smoke is all very well, but next time your on a long windy A/B road count the lay-bys. Especially those you'd spot if you didn't know the road.
We have very few and over the years a lot have been blocked off because they were used by travellers and fly tippers.
Ive had to tell my mum not to smoke in her car with my ds in it, she rolls her eyes but Im deadly serious. BUT she still smokes in the car on the way over- a two minute drive, so the smoke it already waiting so I have to make her air the car with ash flying everywhere.
I think shes a dirty dog and shes my mother! Its selfish to force anyone else to breath in your toxic smoke-it kills.
needless to say my ds spends very little time in her company- her loss.
I even have to air my house off after she has left my house and she has NOT smoked, she stinks!
Given that people have been prosecuted for driving without due care and attention when
pulling a hair bobble off a pony tail and
eating a sandwich
I can't understand why using a naked flame while driving is apparently ok.
It's also an offence to smoke under the Road Traffic Act for a psv licence holder at the wheel of a bus.
both my parents did it, they knew it made us feel sick and yet they still carried on, my mum quite often with me kicking the back of her seat for however long it took her to finish. They perfectly summed up the utter selfishness of it. I couldn't care less about condemning them, they condemned us to hours of passive smoking.
My parents used to smoke in the car - dad did eventually quit, but mum still smokes (at 80). Dad used to smoke his pipe! I hated it, and like LEM it made me sick to my stomach, and gave me a headache.
I did once ask my mum not to smoke in the car, and told her how it made me feel - and she refused to stop, point blank!! She said it was dad's pipe making me feel so sick, but it was both - and the cigarette smoke was worse.
What kind of mum refuses to stop smoking in the car when her child has told her it is making her feel ill?
YANBU. There is no excuse for smoking in the car with children. My grandad used to smoke when driving long distance with my brother in the car - I remember my brother, who has asthma, coughing a lot.
We must've reeked of fags when we got out too. Who wants their kids to stink of second hand smoke?
My mum always smoked in the car too and refused to stop when I said it made me feel sick amd gave me a headache. We've got similar mums SDTG.
My sister smokes in the car with her baby. Just what. the. fuck? All the info available nowadays about passive smoking and she still does it. And in the house. Makes me angry.
I'm not anti smokers, my DH is one but it's not hard to minimise the effects for other people.
I would totally support a ban of smoking in a car with children present.
My friend smokes in the car with her dc in it.If I'm meeting her somewhere I always give up a lift and bus or walk it.I've explained calmly and swearily to her why she shouldn't do it,she tells me to get off my high horse so I don't anymore.Her kids her choice.
Hopefully it will be made illegal so she doesn't have a choice in the matter.
I think smokers are demonised beyond all proportion most of the time, but I'd like to see smoking made illegal when driving. Not just because of the passive smoking risk to passengers but because of the potential smoking has to cause accidents.
Many a road accident has been caused by someone fumbling to pick up a dropped lighter, or a cigarette blown back in the through the window.
Banning smoking in a car with children also sends a signal that this is considered dangerous to children's health. While it's permitted, it's implicitly condoned by the state - after all, if it were really harmful to children wouldn't it have been banned?
Yanbu. I think it should be banned - office workers get more protection. If people must smoke, they should try to do so away from children.
I once went to a petting farm which is non-smoking throughout and a man was smoking in front of his son then swore at us when we asked him to stop.
Yanbu. My dad smoked in the car when I was little, me and my dbro had asthma and now I have degenerative lung disease. He did give up later and now is mortified that he did it, but there wasn't the info out there then there is now. There is no excuse at all now for it, but people still do it, just as people still have dc in the back without seat belts and drink drive. It should be banned altogether in cars, as pps said it causes accidents as well as causing lung problems for those who have to breathe it.
I guess the question is how much you want to legislate against less than ideal parenting, as opposed to intentionally abusive parenting.
So vote Labour at the next election.
<<The UAE has just banned smoking in the car with under twelves, and that nation is certainly not progressive.>>
Which tells you all you need to know about the kind of hysterical crap that you and the thread-starter come out with. They also sentence people to death for possessing drugs in the UAE. Nice allies you have there.
<<I once went to a petting farm which is non-smoking throughout and a man was smoking in front of his son then swore at us when we asked him to stop.>>
Oh no!!!! How on earth do you cope!!! You poor thing!!!
YADNBU Just ban smoking in all cars.
Why? Because you don't like it?
YANBU but I do hope that before you feel it necessary to want to rip someone apart for apparently smoking in a car whilst having a child on board you have checked whether it is a real cigarette or an e-cig, many look the same.
Wallison, I think the point is that places as diverse as some of the Emirates in the UAE, some jurisdictions in the US, Australia, and Canada and South Africa have a ban of this sort (or one that goes further).
In what way do places that the ban goes further? Chopping people's heads off if they only dare to think about lighting up a fag in their car?
For instance, Kuwait bans smoking in cars altogether, and Mauritius bans smoking in any car with a passenger. Other jurisdictions such as Taiwan are considering similar measures.
Google is your friend, hysterical hyperbole doesn't help your argument so much.
Ah yes, Kuwait, Taiwan and the UAE, those well-known bastions of human rights that every civilised country should seek to follow.
Smokers really are the new bogeymen, aren't they?
I imagine they can read the evidence that shows that, even when considered separately, secondhand smoke in a car is significantly associated with chronic bronchitis in children and adolescents. Or the US research that showed that, even wtih the windows down, fans on high and cigarette held near the window, the accumulation of secondhand smoke exceeded that for any other small enclosed space. Or the BMA study that shows that a car's occupants could be exposed to 11 times more toxins than they would encounter in a smoky bar.
Simply becuase a country's overall ideology is not great (and as a feminist I have severe issues with many Middle Eastern states) it's a logical fallacy to conclude that, therefore, everything they do is wrong.
I'm not sure what your problem with Taiwan is, anyway. Unless it's 1982 where you live? Taiwan rates as among the most 'free' in Asia, including on political rights and civil liberties (on which it scores the highest rating awarded by Freedom House).
And yet Taiwanese people sing hymns to their leader. I'm not convinced.
Nor am I convinced by the anti-smoking brigade's studies; how can a space with an open window with a fan on be more harmful than an enclosed space. You talked about hysteria upthread. Pot, kettle.
And Canada, which is considered a bastion of human rights. What's your point?
I wonder if smoking in a car with children present presents more of risk than actually transporting them by car in the first place. Probably not,but one risk is seen as acceptable (currently), the other is demonised.
Telling people to pull over to phone or smoke is all very well, but next time your on a long windy A/B road count the lay-bys. Especially those you'd spot if you didn't know the road.
So because people are too stupid to pull off to the side of the road correctly they should just be allowed to keep exposing their children to second hand smoke? Great logic there. Bit like allowing people to drink and drive or speed since they're going to do it anyway.
Midnite,having a pop at another poster for abuse of logic while you are prepared to equate secondary smoking to drink driving is wee bit hypocritical.
Wallison, your logic is of course unimpeachable, and my mentioning of studies by scientists and medical professionals is of course completely equivalent to your feeling that they probably aren't right and your fondness for exclamation marks and hyperbole to make your point.
I'm generally quite interested in peer reviewed studies and literature reviews, and less in name-calling. I will admit I haven't done the studies myself but I have more faith in the peer review process than in your gut feeling. It is in fact quite shocking that the accumulations of smoke in a car persist to that level - and would probably surprise many people. Though clearly not enough in your case to persuade you of the view that smoking in cars is detrimental to passengers and in particular to children.
Perhaps you'd like to check out the BMA's work, Evans J and Chen Y in Inhalation Toxicology 2009, the Royal College of Physicians, a group of studies in from the US on tobacco smoke concentration in vehicles vs controlled chambers (Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology 1992 has the really interesting one), the Australian Medical Journal, and a host of others I turned up five minutes' worth of Googling, so that you can check out their methodology for yourself and see if it lives up to the exacting standards of your gut feeling.
But then, I'm open to others' evidenced points of view rather than deciding that Taiwan is a country full of human rights abuses with no apparent evidence beyond an anecdote about a song, so what would I know? (By the way, have you checked out the British national anthem recently?)
Redbinneo, well, if you're transporting them by car anyway of course it is safer not to smoke while doing it. I suspect the same is true of transporting them by foot (a number of jurisdictions ban smoking within a certain distance of children's playgrounds or public buildings). And there is evidence (eg a study by the Monash University Accident Research Centre) that smoking while driving increases the risk of a crash.
It should go further and be a blanket ban. If the smoker is alone then he/she is driving and therefore not in full control. If he/she is a passenger then he/she is inflicting secondhand smoke on at least one other person.
"Enforcement" is not too much of an issue. Most people choose to obey the law just because it is the law. There will always be some who don't and eventually the law will catch up with them.
I remember when smoking was first banned on flights, there was a cry about human rights and how could smokers go 7 or 8 hours without a cigarette. Well, somehow they manage. They will learn to cope without their cigarettes on car journeys soon enough. (And it could even benefit their own health)
Surely they could just get a fine (and mmaybe points) - that would be a reasonable penalty.
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.
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.
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.
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)...
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.
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?
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.
"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.
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.
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...
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.
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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