smoking in cars ban?

(215 Posts)
ivykaty44 Wed 29-Jan-14 07:42:01

Will it actually work? I can't see that many people smoke around children anyway and those that do will not stop due to legislation anyway, then if people haven't been policed about mobile phones it will be even harder with smoking.

I am not a smoker and don't think people should allow smoking around children but can't see this having any effect

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 07:43:47

I really hope it can work. Smoking in cars is horrible, and in cars around children is unforgivable.

GlitzAndGiggles Wed 29-Jan-14 07:53:23

As a smoker I'd be happy to see the ban! Yesterday a man was going along with no hands to light his cig! He had no kids in the car but he still wasn't paying attention to the road

KayHarker1 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:09:33

Always found it ridiculous that mobile phones are banned, but you can drive along with something that's on fire and it's fine.

Isitmebut Wed 29-Jan-14 09:23:41

Is it a U-Kipper initiative? lol

Isitmebut Wed 29-Jan-14 09:26:54

Smoking, kippers...get it?

"Don't, please yourself missus, titter ye not".


Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 09:30:31

Or drive along with the cigarette hand dangling out of the window while driving/changing gear with the other? Very safe. sad

Birdies Wed 29-Jan-14 10:06:24

The other day i saw a mum get in her car and light up - windows shut and 4 kids inside. It should definitely be banned - as even if it only slightly increases the chances of people like that stopping then it will be worth it.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 10:09:42

If smokers can manage to watch a film/go on a plane journey without a cigarette they can surely do short trips/the school run without. On a longer trip have a cigarette break.

funambulist Wed 29-Jan-14 10:11:11

Excellent idea. My father smoked in the car when I was a child and I hated it as there was no escape from the smoke. I know that some people will probably disregard the law if it is brought into force but anything that hammers home that it is just not acceptable to smoke around children would be a good thing.

Contrarian78 Wed 29-Jan-14 10:15:05

I was given a warning (rightly so) for driving whilst eating an apple. I did remark to the policeman that dropping an apple in my lap would unlikely cause me much of an issue, where as a lit cigarette...........

Bring it on.

plantsitter Wed 29-Jan-14 10:15:59

Having dropped a cig down my cleavage while driving once (a long time ago and before kids of course) I would agree with this ban.

However I don't think they'll be able to enforce it. It's not like you never see people driving and on the phone is it?

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 10:18:25

I think the police should monitor around the roads near schools at drop off/pick up. they would make a mint.

TSSDNCOP Wed 29-Jan-14 10:30:25

I think it's appalling to smoke in a car with children, or anybody else in it.

However I think it's unenforceable. People like those you mention Sparkling will just wait till they're round the corner to spark up.

Anyone else spotting a police car for instance, will surely just fling the fag out the window.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 10:31:35

I really hate the fag butt out of the window thing. Is that not littering?

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 10:36:22

Do you know what? It's a smelly habit, but I am not sure for most children it has that big an impact on their health, tbh. I would like to see some really hard statistics on the actual risk, rather than the wishy washy public health prattle we are getting at the moment. Hope David Spiegelhalter says something on the topic. He is cool.

I hope it does. I hate seeing people smoking in cars - all of those trapped toxins. So many people still do it with children in cars too. And what if they dropped the cig?

A few years ago a nurse who had just got off a 12 hour shift was fined for eating an apple whilst driving home - I can't see how they can uphold that and yet people smoking is fine.

TSSDNCOP Wed 29-Jan-14 10:37:14

Well yes, but I imagine hard to prove at 50mph unfortunately.

I speak though as someone that handed a discarded fag packet back to a man stopped at lights the other day.

I assumed he'd be upset later when he found it had blown out his car window grin

TSSDNCOP Wed 29-Jan-14 10:39:47

Obviously I got a relieved and cheery fuck off thank you for my trouble.

peggyundercrackers Wed 29-Jan-14 10:46:04

diesel cars and busses give off more harmful fumes than cigarettes so its a pointless excercise in terms of health and as a law its pretty much uneforceable.

im glad to see labour politicians have nothing more to worry about...

stooshe Wed 29-Jan-14 10:48:23

Is this only with children in the car? If not then it's too intrusive. They'll have to ban eating, too, if I'm following the logic correctly.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 10:49:18

I don't know about that peggy but at least the diesel fumes are outside. We are talking children being in a very confined space with concentrated fumes passive smoking. sad

funambulist Wed 29-Jan-14 10:54:29

BoffinMum hard statistics on the effect of smoking on children's health.

This is from the National Center for Health Statistics (USA)

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has harmful effects on children's respiratory health and has been linked to higher risk of middle ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia, coughing and wheezing, worse lung function, and asthma development (1). Children with asthma whose parents smoke have more severe symptoms and more frequent exacerbations

This is research conducted by Imperial College London

The introduction of smoke-free legislation in England was immediately followed by a fall in the number of children admitted to hospital with asthma symptoms, a new study has found.

NHS statistics analysed by researchers at Imperial College London show a 12.3 per cent fall in admissions for childhood asthma in the first year after the law on smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces came into effect in July 2007. The researchers found that asthma admissions continued to fall in subsequent years, suggesting that the benefits of the legislation were sustained over time.

The effect was equivalent to 6,802 fewer hospital admissions in the first three years of the legislation, according to the analysis published today in the journal Pediatrics.

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 10:56:51

The first paragraph does not contain any stats or reference to cars, and the second does not relate to cars at all.

peggyundercrackers Wed 29-Jan-14 10:57:35

sparkiling i dont believe passive smoking causes any real harm, yes it may be smelly but thats as bad as it gets. if the window is open i dont have a problem with people smoking in their own cars with children in it.

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 10:58:52

You would have to control for things like whether the window was open, total time spend in car, frequency of trips, etc.

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 11:00:41

Also is the actual cigarette smoke more or less harmful than exhaust fumes to children? How do you strip out the background toxin level of sitting in a plastic box spewing out by products of the oil industry, surrounded by other plastic boxes doing the same, with sitting in one where someone had a fag?

everlong Wed 29-Jan-14 11:09:06

You will get the pc brigade saying it's the smokers right to smoke in the car.

Bet you.

Exhaust fumes may be far worse than cigarette smoke, but that's not the point. Because most of the 'think of the children' things are actually about getting emotionally attached to a cause.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 11:14:46

Driving along with the window open in the winter is really unpleasant too. Passive smoke or freeze kids-what do you fancy?

Kendodd Wed 29-Jan-14 11:24:17

I hope they do ban it, even if it is difficult to police it might make some people stop. It's really horrible for a child to smell of smoke which they would after being sealed in a car with a smoker or even two.

WingedPig Wed 29-Jan-14 11:24:29

Bring it on! I was always car sick as a child when my Mum smoked it the car, disgusting.

DH's dad used to smoke cigars in the car and wouldn't let him open the windows in Winter, DH threw up all over him, HA!

peggyundercrackers Wed 29-Jan-14 11:34:25

sparking my car has whats called a smokers window - the window rolls back and in it doesnt roll down - this creates a vacuum in the car and sucks the air out. no need for anyone to freeze...especially with the heater in the car on.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 11:35:33

Oh no. A 'smokers window'? that's a bit depressing. Does it come as standard peggy or do you have to have it as an extra?

everlong Wed 29-Jan-14 11:39:01

I can't think of anything worse.

Smoking in the car and the heater on.

Poor kids.

Thurlow Wed 29-Jan-14 11:45:44

I think it's perfectly reasonable, and I'm a smoker.

It amazes me how much smokers don't realise the smell. I never really noticed it. When I was a student, all of us used to smoke in our house, I'd even have a cigarette in the bedroom right before going to sleep shock Now as it has become less and less acceptable to smoke inside anywhere, the smell and the smoke has become more apparent.

The general standard for almost all smokers now seems to be that you smoke outside and irregularly. No one expects to smoke all day in their office, or on a train, or on a plane. Day-to-day life is non-smoking, with the odd nip outside to have a cigarette. The amount of people you see in their gardens or on their front step shows that so many people don't smoke in their homes anymore. So cars are exactly the same.

Of course, the difficulty is how to enforce it. It is proving difficult enough to enforce the mobile ban in cars. But that shouldn't stop them enforcing it.

ProfondoRosso Wed 29-Jan-14 11:48:12

I'm a smoker and completely support the ban. In the same way I support the ban on mobile phone usage while driving. It's just stupid and dangerous.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 11:48:55

I wonder how many teachers can smell it on their students' clothes when they come in in the morning? sad

I have no issue with people smoking. As long as I can't smell it. Outside is perfect.

Gigondas Wed 29-Jan-14 11:53:52

Boffin to follow on from funs post , there was someone on radio that said being in a car was 23% more potent in effects on children then being in other enclosed spaces. It was on radio but I will see if can find research .

Gigondas Wed 29-Jan-14 11:59:03

Summary but references research here and more specific

PixieBumbles Wed 29-Jan-14 11:59:19

I fully support the ban but I can't see it being enforceable, given how many people you still see driving while using mobiles.

My dad used to smoke cigars in the car which always made me feel sick. Of course he denied my nausea had anything to do with the smoke, even though I rarely felt sick if I was in the car with just my non-smoking mum hmm. He also denies that his smoking had anything to do with my brother's recurring chest infections and asthma, or my recurring ear infections. All conditions that are commonly cited as being caused or worsened by passive smoking.

Isitmebut Wed 29-Jan-14 12:01:02

Similar to other posters, as a child MY parents both smoked in the car (and at meal times) and it so grossed me out, I have never had one cigarette in my relatively long life.

I have 3 children over 20-years old that lived in a non smoking household and thankfully only one ever smoked, and funny enough it was the one I thought less likely to smoke, on health, fashion and personal (walking ash tray) reasons.

AbouttoCrack Wed 29-Jan-14 12:41:36

I also fully support the ban. Even if it's difficult to enforce, it will help make this disgusting behaviour even more socially unacceptable. I would report the Reg number of someone smoking with kids in the car to hte police if it was illegal.

Actually - I think it should be illegal to smoke in cars full stop! I feel sick in cars that smell of smoke.

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 12:48:42

I am not making a case for smoking in cars, as I detest cigarette smoke. I am making a case against the 'fink of da liddle children' argument BackBriefly quite rightly pointed out. We are patronised enough.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 13:19:48

Well someone needs to 'fink of da liddle children' as the drivers smoking in cars with children in clearly aren't.

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 13:23:57

Actually behind the scenes academics are currently muttering to each other that the statistics seem contrived. I understand one or two people are checking out this claim.

Mumfortoddler Wed 29-Jan-14 13:24:22

Boffinmum & peggyundercrackers I grew up in a two parents smoking 60 a day household and suffered chronic bronchitis throughout my childhood, and young adulthood, until I left home. When I got out, I discovered a) I could breathe, and b) I never got those chest infections again. My brother suffered chronic ear infections. We were some of the illest kids in school.

I used to suffocate in the back of the car even with the windows open, and fully support the ban going through parliament.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 13:25:26

I just think that no child should ever smell of cigarette smoke.

peggyundercrackers Wed 29-Jan-14 13:27:01

sparkling it come as std on the car...

all thats going to happen is they will fine you £60... WOW... better not do it then, no points, no totting up - nothing! its not even as if they are going to put the money towards a charity or anything - it about raising revenue...

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 13:28:37

What sort of car peggy? I have never seen one.

piratecat Wed 29-Jan-14 13:28:38

i'm a smoker, but would never smoke in my car with or without dc in there.

I think it's a good idea, hope it at least puts people off, be great if there was a big fine.

I think it's a great idea, sadly in some families it does take some one else to 'fink of da liddle children'.

HaroldLloyd Wed 29-Jan-14 13:30:40

I used to smoke and drive (in younger days pre DC) and stopped when I was a little older as it makes your car STINK.

Smoking with kids in the car is horrible, windows open or not.

peggyundercrackers Wed 29-Jan-14 13:31:08

mumfortoddler - yep i lived in a house like that too, all my aunts and uncles smoked when i was little - seems everyone smoked back in the 70s, i remember all the family gatherings/parties where you couldnt see the other side of the room the smoke was so thick - we didnt suffer AT ALL... neither me nor my brother nor any of my cousins have had any illness which relates to passive smoking.

strangely enough neither my parents nor any of my aunts/uncles/GPs have suffered any illnesses related to smoking either... i dont believe most of the claims made by docs about smoking BTW as everyone i know who smokes never gets ill however the ones who dont seem to suffer, that suffering includes serious illnesses like cancer however not 1 of the smokers have suffered so much as the flu!

Thurlow Wed 29-Jan-14 13:35:41

I think one difficulty is that any parent who would, nowadays, smoke in a car with their DC is also likely to be smoking in the house too.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 13:36:18

peggy I really don't know what to say.

KarenTompkins Wed 29-Jan-14 13:37:04

My husband is a smoker and smokes in his car. Shortly after the ban on smoking in vehicles with children was implemented in Ontario my husband was fined with smoking in a car with a child. He was driving home in the country andthe raod was blocked due to a house fire. When he pulled up to the officer the officer could smell the cigarette smoke and because my son was in the vehicle was fined. So never say never.

Thurlow Wed 29-Jan-14 13:37:06

Oh, peggy... Christ, I'm an adult who chooses to smoke, and even I think you're taking utter balls

everlong Wed 29-Jan-14 13:39:56

Peggy you are deluded big time.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 13:40:30

I want to know about the car with the smoking window.

That's absolutely amazing Peggy. hmm

funambulist Wed 29-Jan-14 13:41:05

Sadly, Peggy I can't say the same for the smokers in my family, both of whom died early from smoking related illnesses.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 13:43:10

Yes my DC don't have paternal Grandparents because of smoking. sad

persimmon Wed 29-Jan-14 13:45:26

Peggy, are you bonkers?

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 13:52:45

It's like denying the holocaust or something. shock

You know I've seen kids run across busy roads and not get hit by cars. That must mean it is safe.

eveylikesv Wed 29-Jan-14 14:07:30

And how is this law going to be enforced? Will there be a policeman around every school, playground, nursery to catch parents smoking fags in their cars? And what about parents smoking at homes with small children in, shouldn't they be banned too? Another pointless legislative, is it not better to educate specific groups of people? Talking on mobile phones while driving is supposedly banned yet every single day I see drivers speaking on mobile phone while driving.

EmmaBemma Wed 29-Jan-14 14:11:18

It's a no brainer really, isn't it.

funambulist Wed 29-Jan-14 14:19:46

eveylikesv on the other hand the law preventing smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces is very well observed despite the absence of police in these places and the seatbelt and carseat laws have also been very effective in changing people's behaviour. My parents thought nothing of having several small children completely unsecured in the back of the car, yet nowadays most parents wouldn't dream of not putting a baby in a carseat, even if the police are unlikely to catch them at it.

I think that banning smoking in cars sends a message about society's expectations of good parenting, that most parents will take on board.

JennyOnAPlate Wed 29-Jan-14 14:19:47

I think smoking in a car should be banned whether you have children in there or not. If you're lighting a fag and puffing away on it you are not concentrating on driving. I can't see how it's any different to holding a phone to your ear.

Quixo Wed 29-Jan-14 14:26:42

Child protection is a very serious issue and I think the people responsible for putting forward the ban on smoking in cars have this is mind. Whether or not it is the right thing to do....I am not sure, we do not live under a dictatorship and whilst there is no doubt passive smoking in confined spaces is unhealthy, is it any worse that a parent who blends a mcdonalds to wean their baby? It is bad parenting but it is not abuse worthy of intervention. For safety issues however, it is as logical to ban smoking as it is a distraction to driving. However I am sure that should this ban go through it will add another level of unacceptability to smoking in general. This will filter down to the next generation and hopefully smoking will eventually just be a chapter in history.

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 14:34:07

I wish they made as much fuss about fitting child car seats correctly.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 14:40:38

If car seats aren't fitted correctly that's the parent's fault too. use the instruction book.

peggyundercrackers Wed 29-Jan-14 14:49:07

no im not deluded or bonkers... i hate smoking - neither me nor my brother smoke. we are both amazed our parents have never had any time off work due to illness given the amount they both smoke, they have both smoked for near on 50 yrs now...

i agree with eveylikesv - most kids are only in the car with their parents for short amounts of time so will affect only a small number of people however i wonder how much time they spend cooped up in the house with their parents when they are puffing away like chimneys. how many kids are in homes where there are real fires burning? a fire is the same as smoking...

its a pointless law which is just going to make more people criminals for no reason - thats only if labour gets into power - if sillyband and ol' crystal balls are still running the show that wont happen smile

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 14:50:13

A fire is the same as smoking? confused

KatnipEvergreen Wed 29-Jan-14 14:50:24

I'm against it. For one thing it's a piece of pointless legislation. I was in favour of the ban on smoking in pubs, workplaces and public places. I think this is a step too far into the personal domain.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 14:51:09

Anything that protects children from the foolish actions of adults can never be pointless IMO.

KatnipEvergreen Wed 29-Jan-14 14:53:57

Also it's politically naive for Labour to get into this now. It won't win them any support. They are already seen as a "nanny state" party though the current Government has done enough to take over that title, in spite of their criticisms of such policies in opposition.

What Labour need to do is focus on convincing people they can run the country. Smoking is becoming more and more unpopular with the price of fags and the bans in workplaces etc. It's a non-issue compared with all the others we face.

Grennie Wed 29-Jan-14 14:56:42

My parents were both heavy smokers when I was a child. I had constant sinusitis that cleared up once I left home.

HaroldLloyd Wed 29-Jan-14 15:08:08

Despite Peggy's family with their lungs of steel, it's pretty obvious that smoking in a confined space with children is not going to do them any favours at all.

I don't get this point that there are bigger things to worry about, of course there is, there always is.

Banning in just sends out a message to people, and I think it would reduce this happening personally.

And if it's a money spinner for them then I wouldn't have a problem with that.

flatpackhamster Wed 29-Jan-14 15:08:18


I think smoking in a car should be banned whether you have children in there or not. If you're lighting a fag and puffing away on it you are not concentrating on driving. I can't see how it's any different to holding a phone to your ear.

Will you also ban driving with the radio on? How about driving while holding a conversation? How about driving while thinking about what to cook for dinner? In all of those situations the driver isn't paying attention.

Dumb legislation that is unenforceable.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 15:10:24

I think people should not do stupid things in cars basically. Most people can drive and listen to the radio and hold a conversation without causing a pile up. You can actually keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Unlike when smoking/eating/drinking.

flatpackhamster Wed 29-Jan-14 15:13:31


I think people should not do stupid things in cars basically. Most people can drive and listen to the radio and hold a conversation without causing a pile up. You can actually keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Unlike when smoking/eating/drinking.

Presumably we can add your banning of 'doing stupid things in cars' to your plan to protect all children 'from the foolish actions of adults'.

Wouldn't you find it more efficient just to 'ban the stupid'? That would deliver the same unenforceable legislation without the need for specifics.

dreamingofsun Wed 29-Jan-14 15:15:11

lucky you peggy. Both my husband and BIL have asthma. My husband nearly died a few years ago. Quite likely as a result of sitting in a smog filled room due to my MIL, whose teeth have all dropped out possibly due to gum disease brought on by smoking.

the thing that also shocked me was that she now smokes outside at home, so she doesn't ruin the paint (no problem her kids lungs, but save the paint!!)

HaroldLloyd Wed 29-Jan-14 15:17:47

How is banning smoking in the car with minors unenforceable?

You already can't smoke in work vehicles.

I'm sure they are not going to bust a gut trying to hunt people down but it's a message.

So you can't passive smoke on work colleagues but you can on your children.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 15:17:56

I would love to 'ban the stupid' flatpack.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 15:19:30

Exactly Harold it's a message for the numptys who think that it's an ok thing to do.

flatpackhamster Wed 29-Jan-14 15:24:01


How is banning smoking in the car with minors unenforceable?

How are you going to police it? Take me through the specifics of a prosecution. Does the EVIL SMOKER need to be caught in the act? What happens if there's a used cigarette in the ashtray and children in the back? What happens if the car smells of smoke and there's a child seat? Is that proof?

What will the punishment be?

It's ridiculous. And how often do the rozzers stop people these days anyway? They don't have the time. Their number plate readers scan for dodgy cars, they know the sort of cars they're interested in, and 'smoking while driving with child on board' sounds like about 15 pages of paperwork for a pointless piddling fine. No copper worth his boots will bother.

ivykaty44 Wed 29-Jan-14 15:26:04

I can see the people that care getting the message loud and clear, but they most probably don't smoke in the car any.

But those that don't care will probably not bother yo change third habits and justify themselves by saying it s a load of bollocks anyway that smoking in cars is harmful to children

I saw three men light up the other day and then get inside their removal van work vehicle and sit in the cab smoking, before getting out again and continue with the job, it wasn't raining either.....

principalitygirl Wed 29-Jan-14 15:27:28

Welcome and long overdue!

HaroldLloyd Wed 29-Jan-14 15:30:39

Like I said flat pack, I doubt they will bother.

However knowing they might get an on the spot fine might deter some people as well as the clear message it's banned.

I am sure they are not planning on employing a crack commando unit of fag police.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 15:35:32

Yes, they don't have 'seatbelt police' or 'mobile phone police' but the risk that you could get caught should be a deterrent.

marmaladecatbob Wed 29-Jan-14 16:02:25

Smoking is incredibly harmful. Full stop. It can cause a myriad of cancers, scientific research has proved this.

MiniTheMinx Wed 29-Jan-14 16:25:27

Wouldn't you find it more efficient just to 'ban the stupid'? That would deliver the same unenforceable legislation without the need for specifics

For once I have to agree with the Hamster.

This is a liberal democracy in name only, another fucking illusion of those who want us to think we have freedom. Another example of how the power of the state is used to wage a war upon on our freedoms, when the actual stated purpose is meant to protect our freedoms.

What next? The long arm of law indeed.

MiniTheMinx Wed 29-Jan-14 16:28:58

Just reading some of the comments in favour...why are people parroting back what they told. Why is it that every new encroachment upon our freedoms is seen as welcome because some research, some bloke, some TV programme, some news paper, some such other culturally hegemonic entity says so.

madhairday Wed 29-Jan-14 16:45:10

I am not making a case for smoking in cars, as I detest cigarette smoke. I am making a case against the 'fink of da liddle children' argument BackBriefly quite rightly pointed out. We are patronised enough.

Well, if someone had thought of me as a liddle child, I just might have more than 42% lung capacity now hmm

Bring it on. Of course people will still do it, just like tossers still go on their phones while driving, but if it stops just a few then it will be worth it, for the sake of their children.

Peggy, I am fairly speechless. Lucky you and your family - does that make it the case that no one ever really gets ill because of smoking/passive smoking? Passive smoking never harmed anyone? I never ended up being blue lighted to hospital when pregnant because someone lit up next to me in a bus stop? hmm

Take a look at some COPD statistics and educate yourself.

madhairday Wed 29-Jan-14 16:48:17

How about freedom to breathe, Mini?

Freedom for our children not to develop lung disease?

It's not about war against freedom, it's about perfectly sensible protection in the light of what we know about smoking's effects.

BoffinMum Wed 29-Jan-14 16:49:41

Well, if we cared about children's safety and wellbeing, frankly we would drive about 10% of the amount we currently do. We bundle them into cars on the slightest pretext and then if we are not making them obese through lack of exercise, we are banging into them by driving too fast, or filling their homes with exhaust fumes thereby lowering their IQs. It seems to me we only pick the low hanging fruit when it comes to child welfare.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 29-Jan-14 16:50:58

What's next? No fucking in cars?

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 16:52:45

Not while the DC are in it IfNot. or whilst driving.

KayHarker1 Wed 29-Jan-14 16:55:53

God, there's some utter bollocks on this thread - real flat-earther-ism about the dangers of smoke.

As I said at the beginning of the thread, I'm for the ban because of simple safety, the same as mobile phones. But the fact that it would save kids like I was from the sickening effects of second hand smoke is certainly not a negative.

ProfPlumSpeaking Wed 29-Jan-14 17:09:07

Sparklingbrook grin

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Wed 29-Jan-14 17:35:17

I'm completely in favour of the ban. Smoking in cars is disgusting. I live in an area where a lot of people still seem to smoke, inside their cars included. I know someone who does, and both their 5 year old and their 4 month old stink of smoke. They are otherwise sane, sensible people, but when smoking comes into the picture, it is cigarettes first, children second.

KatnipEvergreen Wed 29-Jan-14 17:51:25

I think smoking in a car should be banned whether you have children in there or not. If you're lighting a fag and puffing away on it you are not concentrating on driving. I can't see how it's any different to holding a phone to your ear.

For road safety purposes we should probably ban children from being carried in road vehicles. Then no children would be killed in cars.

They must be the biggest distraction there is.

Poloholo Wed 29-Jan-14 17:51:27

BoffinMumn for stats the BMA said in 2011 that there was up to 11 times the toxins in a smoky car compared to a smoky room. Given the relative air space in a car v room sounds plausible. Appreciate that doesn't as of itself show a link to increased child health but would make sense that if you wanted to reduce them, banning smoking in cars would be a logical next step.

KatnipEvergreen Wed 29-Jan-14 17:53:17

Also it would stop them having to breathe in exhaust fumes through the air vents in the car.

In fact just petrol/diesel ban cars and reduce air pollution massively and cut carbon emissions.

KatnipEvergreen Wed 29-Jan-14 17:53:59

The last sentence was not necessarily in the right order. I'm sure you can work it out.

MiniTheMinx Wed 29-Jan-14 17:55:33

If other drugs can be made illegal, make smoking illegal, job done.

You can't pit ones right to smoke over another's right not to inhale second hand smoke or the other way around. If it is legal to smoke, then one's right not to inhale second hand smoke can't be used to trump another's right to smoke.

Obv those that smoke do not have the right to do so when it infringes upon another's right not to inhale smoke, but then equally because smoking is legal, I shouldn't put myself in a car/home with a person who is smoking and then claim that they have infringed upon my right not to inhale second hand smoke, to make this claim infringes upon their right to smoke.

Neither claim can take precedence over the other, unless of course either is forced. In the case of children, they are not actively able to enforce their rights. Which is why this law makes sense, but it should be applied across the board in all environments where a person who lacks the capacity to enforce their own rights, should have that right upheld by the law.

Of course parents will/and do smoke over their children, will do so out of sight in their own homes but the rights of those children, will not be upheld by this law.

Either make smoking illegal and accept that some people make silly and unhealthy choices, so their actions must be curtailed, or not. You can't legislate for stupidity and its unethical to take revenue from drugs, and then use that money to police the victims of your own greed and policy.

ProfPlumSpeaking Wed 29-Jan-14 17:56:12

katnip the thing is that there is a social good from having DC in cars (you take them to school, or the doctors, or their gran's) to weigh against the risk of them distracting the driver. But the smoking adult in the car is not doing anything socially valuable, they are ONLY presenting a danger. That is why it is proposed to ban one and not the other.

Ditto, cars provide social benefit (people use them to go to work, to visit the sick, to shop for food) so banning them would have its drawbacks. Banning smoking in cars would have NO downside whatsoever.

DameDeepRedBetty Wed 29-Jan-14 18:09:50

The only person who is ever in my car is me. It already mings permanently of wet dog, with an added top layer of fox poo. I have the window open most of the time anyway to let at least some of the pong out. I find having a cigarette occasionally in there far less distracting than the radio or passengers talking or a mobile going off.

Oblomov Wed 29-Jan-14 18:12:07

I too can not see that the police will enforce it.

11 pages of reports for what punishment exactly?

KarmaVersusGeorgeOsbourne Wed 29-Jan-14 18:16:06

I don't see how 'people use their mobile phones anyway, despite the ban' is an excise for not banning cigarettes.

I am constantly hearing people moan because they've been pulled over for using their phone!

princesscupcakemummyb Wed 29-Jan-14 18:29:36

i dont smoke how ever i dont agree with the ban although i dont like smokers around the kids i think if the gov keep banning everything way its going we will need permission to do every thing this is just my opinion of course not intended at anyone smile

Inertia Wed 29-Jan-14 18:41:25

Ah well Peggy, if we are using our 'child of the 70s' families as data, then my family must prove to be the counter-argument to yours. Almost everyone in my family smoked too- and then they died (some as young as in their 40s) of smoking-related illnesses such as cancer, emphysema, and heart attacks. Of those still alive, all have suffered at different times with respiratory illnesses such as severe bronchitis. Of course, this doesn'tt constitute a full set of statistically valid data any more than your family does.

In terms of a ban being unenforceable- I'm not a police officer, but those I know are under pressure to make sure that the crimes they record are solvable / prosecutable in order to avoid having their crime figures deemed unacceptable. Now that so many police traffic cars are equipped with video cameras, it'd be a pretty cut and dried case to demonstrate that somebody was smoking in a car if caught on camera so they'd probably be keen to prosecute anyone caught, it'd improve their figures.

tallulah Wed 29-Jan-14 18:49:42

peggy, you don't believe passive smoking causes harm? Ask Roy Castle's family.

BTW the Earth is round shock

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 29-Jan-14 18:49:52

Have none of you heard of multi-tasking? grin
I agree about banning children from cars, as they are very distracting. And ban people from picking their noses at traffic lights, as that is distracting for other drivers, not to mention disgusting.

I'm neither lawyer nor law enforcement, however: if eating an apple was upheld (undue care and attention, I should imagine?) then the same would apply to any policeman wishing to pull over a smoker regardless of children in the vehicle.

For those of you who are more focused on the children being protected surely it should be illegal for a pregnant woman to smoke?! Why does her right to smoke trump the rights of an unborn child who can't even have the windows open? Toxins straight into the bloodstream thankyouverymuch, no need for pesky lungs to filter it. Obviously, the law would only apply post 24 weeks <facetious> And, hey, if a person is caught speeding with a child in the vehicle then their punishment ought to be more severe too?

And the next step, of course, is the right to enter your home to check you're not smoking in a small room that contains children. Maybe multiple smokers, and multiple children.

Devil's advocate. Kinda.

ContentedSidewinder Wed 29-Jan-14 19:17:57

I welcome the ban, I had both parents smoke in the car when I was little and would have loved it to have stopped. The house was bad enough, but the car was very confined, I hated the smell and the taste.

My Mum died of lung cancer, I watched her suck her last breath into those disease infested lungs of hers; my siblings and I watched on in abject horror at the suffering. She was 62.

And yes, having worked in a school, children of some smokers absolutely reek of smoke on their clothes and their hair. Heartbreaking.

merrymouse Wed 29-Jan-14 19:20:04

Sorry if somebody has already said this but you can already be fined and given penalty points for smoking while driving - it comes under driving without due care and attention.

Presumably this legislation would also apply to passengers.

Sparklingbrook Wed 29-Jan-14 19:21:49

sad Contended at having to go to school stinking of cigarettes.

I often help DS1 with his paper round. there's one house that as you open the letterbox the smell of cigarettes takes your breath away. I hate to think what it's like in there-and yes, there are children living there.

MiniTheMinx Wed 29-Jan-14 19:30:01

MandaHugNKiss, yep yep yep.

If smoking is a public health matter, make it illegal everywhere to everyone. I say that as someone who smokes. Its not ethical to take revenue from the sale of drugs and then impose stupid laws that infringe upon the persons right to do something which is basically legal. It may protect children in cars but it won't protect children in their homes. It may of course also raise money in fines which is possibly something which commends it to those who wish to legislate, but this aint about public health.

Chigley1 Wed 29-Jan-14 19:37:03

I can tell which of my pupils have parents that smoke, even if I've never met them. You can smell it on the child, on their homework, everything.

BirthdayMuppet Wed 29-Jan-14 19:39:50

Those who are still smoking in their cars when their children are also present won't give a rats ass what the law says. The information and advertising and social stigma has been out there for years, anyone still doing it is either stupid or narcissistic...

BusBipBop Wed 29-Jan-14 19:47:32

Read the thread, was all ready to get uppity at a blanket ban. But yes - I agree with the ban when children are in the car.

I'd love to know why someone wouldn't.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 29-Jan-14 19:52:50

Smoking is vile. I actually had to stop cuddling a child - totally legitimate reason for the cuddle, at work - because he stunk of smoke. He was 2 and a half. A colleague put him in spare clothes, and handed the smelly ones back to Dad later.

Why can't all smoking be banned? It's revolting, disgusting and a massive drain on the NHS.

flipchart Wed 29-Jan-14 19:58:56

I think it is a poor state of affairs when the government have to think about introducing a law to keep smoking in cars away from children.

Where's the common sense in some people? I would have thought it was blindingly obvious a stupid thing to do/

redrubyindigo Wed 29-Jan-14 20:17:28

I rarely see a police car so who is going to enforce the ban? Cameras?

I don't smoke btw.

Thurlow Wed 29-Jan-14 20:27:27

Agree with mini - revenue from tax on cigarettes makes so much money the government won't ban it outright.

mummypower123 Wed 29-Jan-14 20:46:25

I have no idea how they will police it but my ex smokes around my son in car and it drives me mad!
ive asked him to not do it but he still does i personally think it a good idea for my child if the ban comes in

Yes, what mini said. The duplicity of tobacco control in this country is jaw dropping.

Smoking in a car with children is clearly shitty, shitty behaviour but looked at against the overall background of the tobacco industry, the tobacco control industry, big pharma, government coffers and the tangled web of dependencies they have created between them, this law is clearly not health-driven.

I'd like to see some absolute stats. Relative stats of risk are slippery and misleading. 11% higher than what? I don't doubt there are risks to passive smoking and particularly passive smoking in a car but I'd like it if the risks could be considered proportionately.

I'm also wondering what political purpose it might serve to have a group of people - smokers - who can be vilified to such an extent with complete social approval.

Full disclosure: I'm an ex-smoker, now a vaper.

threeleftfeet Wed 29-Jan-14 22:07:16

Saying that only people who don't care, smoke with their DCs in the car is massively oversimplifying.

My DP is exactly the kind of person who this law will make a difference to.

He does care, and is an intelligent man - usually! - but he thought that smoking while the windows down was OK. I was horrified to discover he was doing this on a regular basis with DS in the back, but he genuinely thought it was OK.

He's generally law abiding, so will comply with this I'm sure.

Sasha1234 Wed 29-Jan-14 22:12:31

tottaly agree with the ban i smoke and have 3 young children i would never ever dream of smoking in the car house or anywhere where thier little lungs can breath it in. i smoke outside and have a smoking jacket always wash hands after having one. i think they should ban smoking in the car it is dangerous and a lot of people smoke in the cars with thier children they wont stop everyone but hopefuly stop a lot of people

RavenVonChaos Wed 29-Jan-14 23:03:19

my fil smoked his pipe in the car when he and mil were transporting my kids back home to us. I knew immediately as they stunk when I hugged them. DD1 let the cat out of the bag and said it was awful, even tho he had the window open and she didn't feel able to say anything. I WAS FUCKING LIVID! with him and for mil not stopping him. I think if there was a ban, at least the kids and her might have been able to use that as a reference and feel backed up by science and the law.

When I opened their suitcase, guess what all their clothes smelled of (which had been freshly laundered by mil)?

DelightedIAm Thu 30-Jan-14 00:25:26

I am all for it, it really is a child protection issue.

I do think again it is a child protection issue when adults smoke in a house with children. I don't understand how they justify opening a window when in the house or standing by the door either.

I don't agree with smoking in cars with children. However I would not legislate against it. I think it would be near impossible to police, too costly to enforce and entail a massive amount of data entry somewhere.

IMO its unlikely that modern parents don't know the dangers of passive smoking. Let parents set their own moral compass.

My Dad smoked heavily when I was growing up. I constantly had severe earaches. The car interiors were always stained yellow and car travel made me feel sick. The rows we had were epic. He gave up smoking at 40. He died of lung cancer at 70. But I defend his right to choose. A fag in the car on a 6 hour journey going on holiday with a bored kid doing the are we nearly there yet, back in the day when there were no rear seat belts probably brought his stress level down and therefore safer.

Final point. DH has a company car which is deemed company premises. No employee is allowed to smoke on company premises. So to smoke in the car, would be a violation of his terms of employment. DH doesn't smoke anyway but if he did he would already be banned IYSWIM.

moonbells Thu 30-Jan-14 07:43:38

I know it was a different age when I were a lass smile, but I was subjected to in-car smoke from my DF's pipe for years as a young child. I hate think what it did to me and I'm a lifelong non-smoker mostly because of that bloody pipe.

It made me car-sick, I used to beg him to open the window nearly every car journey. They never once realised that I didn't actually get motion sick, it was simply my system trying to reject the smoke.

I would ban it tomorrow in cars with more than one occupant.

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 30-Jan-14 08:10:30

Sasha well done for not smoking near your DC. You do realise however that you still may force them to watch you die a horrible death before the age of 50? That won't be too nice for them. Perhaps they hope that you will live to see their own children, but you have much less chance of that as a smoker. See earlier posters. Half of smokers will die a smoking related death. Half of those will die before they are 50. Please think about whether your enjoyment of cigarettes outweighs that future for your children. I bet it doesn't sad

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 30-Jan-14 08:11:53

moonbells Same. I am also life long car sick. I would cycle/take the train/walk rather than be a passenger in a car / taxi / coach.

minionmadness Thu 30-Jan-14 08:39:22

I don't think the ban will make any difference really.

I can't understand that any adult would think it ok to smoke with children in the car. If you must smoke do it away from your children.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 30-Jan-14 09:43:15

Oh FFs Prof plum. Smoking is an addiction. Guilt and fear are not the best tools to quit with. In fact, just reading what you wrote made me want a fag.

Thurlow Thu 30-Jan-14 10:12:19

ProfPlum grin Yes, that is all smokers need to quit. In fact, we hadn't realised it before. Thank you for pointing it out! I thought it was making me healthier...

I would be in favor of a ban. My brother and I both had horrible asthma when we were small - hospitalized quite a few times for it. Our paediatrician had to tell my mother that my father's smoking in the house was making our asthma worse, because they just plain didn't know better. As smart as my parents are, smoking was a normal part of life for the two of them, and it did not occur to them that the cigarette smoke might be the cause of their kids' lung problems until years after we were diagnosed. I wish the paediatrician had mentioned the car as well, because my dad smoked in the car until the day he quit, when I was 11 years old. He always smoked with his window opened a bit, but the wind from an open driver's side window blows towards the back of the vehicle, where the kids sit.

RockinHippy Thu 30-Jan-14 10:58:41

Its way over due IMHO

IceBeing Thu 30-Jan-14 11:04:52

I think it is a road safety issue. Driving while phoning is as bad as driving drunk for increasing risks of accidents. Smoking while driving is certainly as bad as eating while driving and probably worse when you consider the fire possibilities. So it should be banned on that basis.

colafrosties Thu 30-Jan-14 11:10:46

A ban on smoking in the car with children would be fantastic. My parents both used to smoke in the car when we were children, and it made me feel really sick. When I complained they opened the windows, but it didn't make any difference, the car was still full of smoke. Yuk!

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Thu 30-Jan-14 11:53:08

I wish they would just ban smoking full stop but that will never happen, so anything that helps protect everyone from someone else's less than sensible choices is good.

Smoking in a car with a child is just not on.

I have asthma as a direct result of having to move in with a relative and their partner who smoked about 20 a day each. My Grandmother is dead from cancer due to living with her husband who smoked. He died 30 years prematurely due to smoking.

I get annoyed at all the it is my right to smoke shit. Yes it is but my right to breath clean air does not make you ill. Your right to smoke could.

MaryM78 Thu 30-Jan-14 11:55:12

I think this is a great idea, but how will it be enforced.... Very hard one I would imagine and will the police bother as they have lots of other more important `crimes` to solve....

TalkinPeace Thu 30-Jan-14 12:16:43

The Police have limited resources.

Which crime would you like to see them STOP dealing with to leave them the resources to have traffic officers following mums around the whole time?

Stupid idea.

PotsofGold Thu 30-Jan-14 12:55:02

I support the ban. Smoking is a disgusting habit.

I also think that they should ban smoking when driving at all times. Your only task should be driving the car safely, not doing something else at the same time.

LauraBridges Thu 30-Jan-14 13:04:49

It is a good idea and 70% pf people support the ban.
As for enforcement I am sure lots of us will be more than happy to knock on car windows when the car is not moving and point to shame these people into stopping.
Children will also be able to video their parents on their phone and upload it to youtube to shame them too.

Inertia Thu 30-Jan-14 13:07:03

TalkinPeace- I'd imagine it'd be enforced by the officers already out on traffic patrol. There will already be dedicated traffic officers who are on standby to deal with RTAs, monitoring for driving offences such as dangerous driving/ speeding/ drunk driving, checking roadworthiness /insurance/ vehicle duty/ seatbelts/ phone use- it'll be one more thing that these officers would check for. If a police force already has a traffic/roads team, then they'll use the existing structure- I doubt anyone thinks they'll be pulling officers away from armed response/ DV team/ CID duties to follow potential smokers around.

Speaking of seatbelts, I seem to remember the same arguments about non-enforceability and civil liberties when that law came in...

TalkinPeace Thu 30-Jan-14 13:12:46

Enforcement by officers is a joke

I see council vans driving past police cars with the driver on a phone and the police do NOTHING
I reported the bin lorry where the driver was on his phone. The police chose not to act.

Count how many times in a day you see a traffic car on your daily journey.
Ten, eleven, twelve?

now think how many of those dozens of traffic cars you see have the time to process an hour of paperwork for a mum smoking a fag
rather than cars crashing and jumping red lights

So, how many traffic cars DO people see on a normal day?

I suspect most of you see none at all because they have REAL crime to deal with.

My twopenn'orth.

1. Enforceablity isn't really the issue. As PP have said, see seatbelts, mobile phones. Of course its enforcible. The question is one of resource allocation - would the public prefer the police to stop people smoking in cars with children, or stop another type of crime? (not murder - its a different department)

2. If it is illegal to subject colleagues to second hand smoke, surely it should be illegal to subject children to it. (obviously this only holds weight if you believe in the dangers of passive smoking - which most people do)

3. Its unfortunate that there is so little hard evidence with regards to smoking as the offence would be greater - i.e. child abuse, assault - if there were.

4. The argument about laws not being used to invate private space - laws are only useful if they do invade one's private space. Otherwise coppers will be just stood outside peoples houses looking a bit lost.

Rooners Thu 30-Jan-14 14:03:57

It's a good thing, but I'd prefer if they banned buses tbh.

Bloody bastard empty huge fuck off things with passive aggressive drivers usually trying their level best to kill you.

claig Thu 30-Jan-14 14:24:35

Well done, Mini, for being opposed to this Labour policy.

This is what our politics has descended to. Labour are so ineffectual and impotent over serious issues that they resort to these type of infringements on liberty. They may gain a victory, but it may turn out to be Pyrrhic. Yet again, Labour will be associated with banning, control and the nanny state.

Eventually the silent majority will swing against them.

Here is something from Paul Nuttall, deputy leader of UKIP, from a while back that argues against this policy.

"UKIP Euro MP, Paul Nuttall today described moves by the British Medical Association in favour of banning smoking in cars as “draconian”.

And he also accused the BMA of flagrantly abusing the facts in its attempt to bully the Government into introducing such a ban.

“The key argument that the BMA is using is that ‘ the restrictive internal environment in motor vehicles exposes drivers and passengers to 23 times more toxins than a smoky bar.’

“This is demonstrably rubbish”, said Mr Nuttall, Deputy Leader of UKIP and North West MEP.

“Anybody who has any claim to be interested in scientific evidence – and one hopes that an august organisation like the BMA should be interested in scientific evidence – would know that this fictional statistic is derived from a tiny article in an obscure Canadian newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News.

“It was never scientific, but merely the expression of rage on the part of an anti-smoking campaigner.

“It is wrong that such a false statistic should be used to back up this move, which is plainly a step too far.

“The evidence of their sleight of hand can be found in a study of the evidence published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“The proposed ban is based on junk science and would be an outrageous infringement of civil liberties. Not only would it be wrong, but it would be impossible to police.

“Nobody would encourage people to smoke and no one thinks forcing children to breath your smoke is wise. But there are such things as car windows.”

FreddoBaggyMac Thu 30-Jan-14 14:49:08

My parents used to smoke in the car when I was a child and I HATED it. I was just told to stop moaning when I asked them to stop... I think it's a completely selfish thing to do for that reason! It's interesting how much things have changed and how society is so pro-children - thirty years ago you were told to stop moaning, next year you may be able to place your parents under a citizens arrest grin

bizzzybee Thu 30-Jan-14 15:09:36

Long overdue. It is basic common sense that shouldn't really need a law but, if it still happens, then a law is absolutely necessary. More worrying tho', is the number of children living in homes which are not smoke free indoors.
As for those who see such a move as a 'further erosion of parental liberties', smoking in an enclosed space which also contains your child is not, in my view, a 'parental liberty' and should never be seen as such; it is an inconsiderate, unkind and selfish act and certainly not any form of positive parenting at all! Parents who consider they are entitled to 'parental liberties' should also consider their parental responsibilities and balance them accordingly!

ivykaty44 Thu 30-Jan-14 15:22:15

threeleftfeet - are you saying - i hope you are not - that you dh will not sot smoking in the car until this legislation is law?

merrymouse Thu 30-Jan-14 16:13:19

I think it's more about spreading a message that secondary smoking is dangerous than enforcement.

It's like using safety belts and child seats - not many people will be prosecuted, but a line is drawn to show that a particular kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

merrymouse Thu 30-Jan-14 16:17:22

three left feet, smoking while driving already comes under the 'driving without due car and attention' law. (I am assuming that if only he and your ds were in the car he must have been driving).

However, I agree, this law makes it clear to people who would argue the toss that smoking in a confined space with children is not acceptable.

merrymouse Thu 30-Jan-14 16:22:11

Really, I think they should just ban all smoking in cars and be done with it.

Either you are driving and you are endangering yourself and other road users or you are subjecting somebody to your second hand smoke in an enclosed space.

TalkinPeace Thu 30-Jan-14 16:26:33

just wait till cannabis is legalised in a couple of years ....

LetZygonsbeZygons Thu 30-Jan-14 16:50:47

cars are small metal boxes and claustrophobic. and shut windows.

houses are bigger and so more space for smoke to hopefully not be near children.

apart fro m that, smoking in cars dangerous as you can drop the fag and burn yourself, both hands aren't on the steering wheel, and can cause accidents.

ps-car smokers. you do know theres an ashtray in the car? stop flicking your ash and fag ends out of the window to hit cyclists/motorbike riders/car behind with open window in peoples eyes and clothing and cars!

ProfPlumSpeaking Thu 30-Jan-14 18:02:08


"Yes, that is all smokers need to quit. In fact, we hadn't realised it before. Thank you for pointing it out! I thought it was making me healthier..."

I take it that you are trying to quit, Thurlow? I wish you well with that - it must be tough.

But presumably there are lots of people who DON'T take the health consequences on board otherwise how come they start smoking, or carry on? Are you telling me that every single smoker is trying to give up and only still smokes because they can't physically quit? I know that applies to some, but not all surely - the remainder must have not really processed/ understood/ believed the consequences hence the need to keep bringing the message home.

Sasha in particular, sounded lovely and genuinely caring about her DC - being so particular not to smoke near their little lungs. In fact, she seemed so nice that I can't believe she would be smoking at all if she had properly taken in what she is quite likely condemning them to in the future as a result.

Most smokers start as children. I was 12. I do believe that the majority (not all) of people still smoking are the ones who find it incredibly difficult to stop and not start again

We've had pictures of diseases on fag packets for a few years now. Smokers are reminded of the health consequences every time they pick up the packet. It doesn't seem to be working too well.

ProfondoRosso Thu 30-Jan-14 18:22:42

If you read Allen Carr's books on smoking, ProfPlum, he discusses how thinking about health risks and the warnings on packs are often ineffective because they terrify smokers, put them in a state of stress that makes them want another cigarette.

As Plenty says, most of us start young, thinking we're invincible, that we'll quit whenever we want to. But it doesn't work like that. I really want to not be a smoker, but I haven't made it there yet. I won't stop trying, though.

Albert - 4. The argument about laws not being used to invate private space - laws are only useful if they do invade one's private space. Otherwise coppers will be just stood outside peoples houses looking a bit lost.

And so they are unless they have applied for and been granted a warrant. I'm quite pleased about that personally, I'd hate to live somewhere the police could enter your home at any time for no particular reason (or somewhere that children were encouraged to video their parents and shame them publicly, come to that).

Claig, do you have a link to the Canadian Medical Association research? I'd be interested in reading that.

Profondo, have you tried an e cig?

LetZygonsbeZygons Thu 30-Jan-14 18:28:33

those who want to stop smoking and cant cold turkey....cant you just have one less fag a day? for a week? then one less after that next week etc etc.

that's how I stopped having 4 sugars in my tea! cut down bit by bit and now cant stand sugar!

AfricanExport Thu 30-Jan-14 18:35:36

And back we go to telling people how to live their lives. They can't even police bad drivers. .. people who actually cause accidents .. resulting in instant death. They don't police mobile phones, only police drunk driving in the run up to Christmas. . but god help you if your bulbs gone angry . How are they going to police this??

It's laws to appease the masses that acheive nothing but beauracracy and paperwork.

Really. .. do we not have bigger fish to Fry?

Cutting down to stop doesn't work, sadly. All it does is reinforce how 'lovely' the few fags you are smoking are, especially when you get down to the few 'special' ones in the day.

dreamingofsun Thu 30-Jan-14 19:05:11

african - but what is more important than protecting the health of children? And yes,if people aren't responsible enough to want to protect their own children then the law should stand in.

we now protect the health of bar workers in pubs against others cigarette smoke, whats wrong with doing the same for children in cars?

Thurlow Thu 30-Jan-14 20:02:02

ProfPlum - nope, I'm just like sasha, I do exactly the same as her. I just wanted to point out that most smokers know the bloody obvious. From my.experience, actually most smokers smoke a smaller amount now, outside, in the evening, that sort of thing. However I do agree with an earlier poster that smoking fewer but much wanted cigarettes might actually be harder to quit,.psychologically they are moving from 'need' to 'treat'

Wherediparkmybroom Thu 30-Jan-14 20:14:54

I smoke, wouldn't in the car, keep it to the garden, what really gets me is pub gardens, if I go out and it is Rare with two dc's how dare someone complain about it my usual reaction is fuck off inside then and why have you got your children in a pub at night!

I think they should just ban smoking and be done with it. Speaking as a smoker. Fed up of death by a thousand cuts - the government should just be honest, instead of making billions out of smoking while simultaneously lecturing and punishing smokers. Feck 'em.

claig Thu 30-Jan-14 20:21:33

'Claig, do you have a link to the Canadian Medical Association research? I'd be interested in reading that.'

The claim about the '23 times more toxic' was made several years ago. It is no longer being made.

It sounds a bit similar to how some of the exaggerated claims about what is called 'global warming' are spread.

'The British Medical Association has admitted that its claim that smoking in cars generates 23 times more toxins than you would find in a smoky bar is wrong. It included the claim in a press release issued yesterday, and the churnalists of the mainstream media, from respectable broadsheets to intemperate tabloids, repeated it without question. Yet as I argued in a post here yesterday, it is bunkum: last year a serious academic study for the Canadian Medical Association Journal said it had "failed to locate any scientific source" for the idea that lighting up in cars produces secondhand smoke 23 times as potent as that found in a bar. Now, quietly, with no media fanfare, the BMA has corrected its press release. It now says: "The restrictive internal environment in motor vehicles could expose drivers and passengers to toxins up to 11 times greater than in a smoky bar."

But this is also a dubious claim. Can it really be the case that having a ciggie in a car exposes passengers to a climate 11 times nastier than you would find in a bar packed with people puffing on fags? Even one of the studies cited by the BMA as proof for this figure actually says something quite different.'

Below is a link to the Canadian Medical Association Journal article which says that the claim is a myth

That's interesting Claig. I had a quick google and looked at an ASH report proposing banning smoking in cars - followed the references claiming there was 'evidence' for the claims about how exceptionally dangerous it is and it was all 'a pilot study' or 'a case report'. Not actually strong evidence of the type claimed at all.

Basically summed up as 'we know smoking is bad for you, so smoking in cars must be bad for passengers, so let's make it sound like the most frightening thing ever'.

Made-uppy shite based on supposition. It is probably bad for air quality, but so is being anywhere near a busy road.

Wherediparkmybroom Thu 30-Jan-14 20:36:03

Could always WALK the kids to school, could work!

claig Thu 30-Jan-14 20:40:17

Yes, this is the problem with made-uppy shite, it means that the adocacy groups who are in favour of these type of policies begin to lose credibility if they use unsound arguments. It is analogous to what has happened in the area known as 'global warming'.

This is what the Canadian journal article says

"Changes to public health policy do not usually occur simply as a result of epidemiologic research detailing the health hazards facing a population. Policy change requires both strategic and opportunistic advocacy to transform research findings into health reforms. Successful advocacy campaigns often require the translation of complex research findings into short and memorable media quotes. Managing the risks involved in either oversimplifying research results or misreporting findings is essential to maintaining the credibility of public health professionals. Unfortunately, inaccurate reporting of health information is not an uncommon phenomenon."

We clearly need real scientific evidence to say how bad it really is, before the great and the good make laws which infringe on liberties, and I say that as a non-smoker.

Thank you, that's really interesting.

I wonder where the 11 times higher comes from?

Does anybody have any stats for absolute risks of second hand smoke?

claig Thu 30-Jan-14 20:53:37

The Mail recently reported on a study that claims that there are no clear links between passive smoking and lung cancer or heart disease

Ha! I'll read that tomorrow as will have to turn my kitten block off first. Before I bother, do they link to any actual research at all?

There are also things like asthma and glue ear to consider of course.

claig Thu 30-Jan-14 21:03:11

This is the link to the research

Of course, the Mail regularly carry articles saying that passive smoking is harmful as well.

BoffinMum Thu 30-Jan-14 21:24:20

Claig, thank you.
Plenty, there will never be such a thing as an absolute risk as genetics is also likely to be involved. That's why some people can effectively get away with smoking when others don't.
If it was up to me I would be arguing that we don't know if particular kids are prone to developing problems, so to be on the safe side, keep them away from as much smoke as possible.

peggyundercrackers Thu 30-Jan-14 22:33:24

If this thinking that smoking damages children whilst they are in cars, surely the next logical thing would be to ban it in the home... Then where next, in order to protect the child would it be a big jump to ban/prosecuting pregnant woman from smoking or drinking alcohol? Or a ban for everyone smoking in the presence of a pregnant woman? Where will the state intrusion end I wonder... Where would either of these measures leave woman's liberties?

TalkinPeace Thu 30-Jan-14 22:35:53

Yeah, lets ban smoking, as banning stuff has worked so well with illegal drugs
and prohibition worked a treat in the USA hmm

LongStory Thu 30-Jan-14 23:01:24

if you keep the window open, hold the smoky end slightly out of the window, and exhale to the window, you can still hold the wheel and keep most of the smoke outside.

obviously, to be completely safe, you have to ask a passenger (your oldest DC) to light up for you.

or so my friend says .... [bring it on!]

Grennie Thu 30-Jan-14 23:24:28

Peace - Actually prohibition in the USA has had an impact until the present day. Order a bottle of wine between 2 people in much of the USA and the waiters will look at you as if you are an alcoholic.

ivykaty44 Thu 30-Jan-14 23:40:07

So how does a waiter look at an alcholic ? Cats bum, shock surprise, or frowning scornfully face?

Boffin, I mean absolute risk as opposed to relative risk. e.g. -

my chances of dying of some rare disease are 0.00001%
my chances of dying of that disease increase if I smoke to 0.001%

Expressed as relative risk, I am 100 times more likely to die of that disease if I smoke, which sounds really scary.

My absolute risk - 0.001% - is not nearly so alarming.

Other factors such as genetics, how many fags I smoke, for how long, other environmental pollutants etc. of course have an effect which is why it's a risk not a certainty.

BoffinMum Fri 31-Jan-14 08:58:43

Fair point, plenty.

I imagine crossing a main road, or driving along a motorway in wet weather, is statistically more risky for children than breathing in fag smoke.

ProfPlumSpeaking Fri 31-Jan-14 09:27:40

BoffinMum it all depends on how you measure risk. You are weighing a tiny risk of a dramatically immediate consequence (being run over) with a much higher risk of cutting 10 or 20 years off health from your life. The way that NICE do this assessment is to look at QUALYs - Quality years of life. So a 50% risk of losing 20 years of good quality life, would be the same as a 25% risk of losing 40 years of good quality life and that in turn would be the same as a certain 50% reduction in quality of life for 40 years.

If you assume a 10yo has 70 years of life ahead of them then being killed in a car accident in childhood would have to have a reasonable percentage chance to be on a par with the expected loss of QUALYs through passive smoking (although I realise that there are no accurate stats yet). In fact, only about 24,000 (still far too many) children are killed or seriously injured each year in road accidents which gives each child only a tiny risk of 0.035% (given 11.7 million children and childhood lasting 18 years) at some point in their childhood. So on this measure, breathing in fag smoke seems a lot more risky.

More relevantly, breathing in fag smoke is completely avoidable with no downside. Crossing the road is not. Just because you face other risks in life does not mean that you should not reduce the ones that are amenable to reduction.

Plenty sadly you are not quoting true stats. You have a 50% chance of dying from smoking if you smoke. It is not 0.001% It is not as clearcut what the risk from passive smoking might be, but it is likely to be measurable and significant when talking about small children.

Yes Prof, that's why I said e.g - it was an example to show the difference between absolute and relative risk. Thank you for pointing out the bleeding obvious again though. You'll be telling us that smokers smell next. hmm

From your post -
'although I realise that there are no accurate stats yet'
'breathing in fag smoke seems a lot more risky' (my bold)
'It is not as clearcut what the risk from passive smoking might be'

Is it really so unreasonable to want some actual real data in order to discuss the risks of passive smoking sensibly and proportionately?

LeBFG Fri 31-Jan-14 10:52:19

I'm following with interest. I find MinitheMinx's posts correspond closely to my opinions on this subject.

It's a fact that most smokers don't die from smoking related issues (from memory, and I haven't the paper) it's about 1/3rd. Still fecking high of course. So, we either deem smoking a public health scourge and ban it, or it is legal and we tolerate that people make up their minds where they want to smoke.

We shall soon be in the silly position of being able to by fags but not allowed to smoke them. Anywhere. Nuts.

ProfPlumSpeaking Fri 31-Jan-14 11:29:20

Fair point Plenty. I have since looked at research papers and found there is in fact plenty of evidence about the harm done by passive smoking (I was being lazy before). Yes, asking for data is fair enough. It's there.

ProfPlumSpeaking Fri 31-Jan-14 11:30:03

BTW have you noticed how gross smokers smell? wink

colafrosties Fri 31-Jan-14 11:43:33

For me, when I was a child with parents who smoked, and even now, the problem with passive smoking is not the long term health risk (whatever that might be) but the immediate fact that other people's smoke smells horrible, and leaves you with smoky clothes and hair.

I was mortified when my friend's mum said she always knew when the friend had been at my house because she could smell smoke on her.

So a ban that helps to raise awareness and to protect other children against this is a good thing in my book.

AbouttoCrack Fri 31-Jan-14 11:53:06

There is a little girl in my sons class who is very unpopular. (I feel very sorry for her. The kids don't understand that her family has problems, which I won't go into here, and I only know about as I was on the pre-school committee when she was there, and the SW approached us)

I have tried to encourage my son to be kind to her even if the others aren't, but one of the reasons my son has given for not wanting to play with her is that 'she smells of cigarettes'.

ProfondoRosso Fri 31-Jan-14 11:57:46

Yeah, lets ban smoking, as banning stuff has worked so well with illegal drugs and prohibition worked a treat in the USA

Completely agree with Talkinpeace. Banning smoking would just open up a black market with more opportunities for crime and all the attendant shit that comes with it.

HSMMaCM Fri 31-Jan-14 12:12:50

Holding anything in your hand while driving should be illegal - phone, cigarette, sandwich, cuppa, whatever.

We can keep telling parents to be sensible about smoking around their children (in the house, car, or wherever), but not all will take any notice.

specialsubject Fri 31-Jan-14 12:46:52

worth a ban, although given how many think that the ban on a phone doesn't apply to them I don't expect much to change.

smoking is a help to evolution and adults should be allowed to smoke if they want - smokers reek so their breeding chances are reduced, and of course their chances of dying earlier are higher. Not fair to impose on kids though.

Not read the whole thread yet, but wonder if my OHs point has been bought up yet...?

He said if you can ban smoking in your own private car (with children in it), does that mean you can also ban it in your own private house, because there are children there too?
Surely you cannot be banned for doing something LEGAL in your private space? By banning something legal in your own private space, surely that is contradicting human rights laws or something?

PrincessScrumpy Fri 31-Jan-14 14:18:03

My parents used to do this and I hated it. My db and I always complained like crazy once we were teens in particular... this means dad opened his window a bit more! :s

My db and I both had asthma as children despite no family history. dh and I don't smoke and neither does db and sil - all our dc are free from asthma.

I know that's not medical proof but it's proof enough for me. Filling your kids lung with something other than air is not good for them.

Having said that - how on earth will it be enforced. Makes it a pointless law. If people choose to do it, despite all the knowledge these days, then I doubt they will listen to a law.

I haven't read the whole thread but my Dad did this too. I was in the back of the car always and he opened his window only a crack. Hated it. The smoke always pooled in the back and was over powering.

At least in a house it's dissipated a bit. But actually as they grew older they began to smoke outside. But he still smoked in the car.

I can't see how they can enforce it either but I really don't think anyone should smoke around children.

SwimmingClose Fri 31-Jan-14 14:52:59

How about enforcing speed limits first?

ivykaty44 Fri 31-Jan-14 15:56:53

How about enforcing not using mobile phone handsets to text and talk, not eating and drinking whilst driving, or jumping red light long after the other use has changed, then think about other dangers

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Fri 31-Jan-14 16:17:42

Parents have the right to give their kids cancer or asthma.

How very dare the govt try to take that power away.

HoratiaDrelincourt Fri 31-Jan-14 16:29:48

Visualise there are other legal things you can't do at home including, off the top of my head, performing surgery even if you're a surgeon, cooking soup to sell, etc.

merrymouse Fri 31-Jan-14 18:24:37

It is legal to drink alcohol but it is illegal to share your drink with a child who is under 5.

KerryKatonasKhakis Fri 31-Jan-14 19:32:50

I used to pull my sleeve over my hand and wear it over my face like a gas mask in the car. Did it for the dog too. Was bullied at school for stinking of smoke and now my mum is dying of lung disease.

Ban it completely, I would gladly pay any shortfall in tax just to be rid of the stench, litter and disease.

Prof - Fair point Plenty. I have since looked at research papers and found there is in fact plenty of evidence about the harm done by passive smoking (I was being lazy before). Yes, asking for data is fair enough. It's there.

Great! Care to share?

ProfPlumSpeaking Sun 02-Feb-14 18:46:59

Well, really you only need to google. There is SO much out there.

Here is a round up:

More accessible, may be the American Cancer Society's summary:

Secondhand smoke causes other kinds of diseases and death.

Secondhand smoke (SHS) can cause harm in many ways. Each year in the United States alone, it’s responsible for:

An estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are current non-smokers
About 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults
Worse asthma and asthma-related problems in up to 1 million asthmatic children
Between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (lung and bronchus) in children under 18 months of age, with 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year
Making children much more likely to be put into intensive care when they have the flu; they stay in the hospital longer, and they’re more likely to need breathing tubes than kids who aren’t exposed to SHS
In the United States, the costs of extra medical care, illness, and death caused by SHS are over $10 billion per year

Some studies have linked SHS to mental and emotional changes, too. For instance, a Chinese study has suggested that SHS exposure is linked to an increased risk of severe dementia syndromes. A UK study reported that women exposed to SHS during pregnancy were at greater risk for symptoms of depression during that pregnancy. More research is needed to better understand the relationship between SHS, dementia, and mental health.

Surgeon General’s reports: Findings on smoking, secondhand smoke, and health

Since 1964, 34 separate US Surgeon General’s reports have been written to make the public aware of the health issues linked to tobacco and SHS. The ongoing research used in these reports still supports the fact that tobacco and SHS are linked to serious health problems that could be prevented. The reports have highlighted many important findings on SHS, such as:

SHS kills children and adults who don’t smoke.
SHS causes disease in children and in adults who don’t smoke.
Exposure to SHS while pregnant increases the chance that a woman will have a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), stillborn birth, low birth-weight baby, and other pregnancy and delivery problems.
Babies and children exposed to SHS are at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), upper respiratory and lung infections, ear infections, and more severe and frequent asthma attacks.
Smoking by parents can cause wheezing, coughing, bronchitis, and pneumonia, and slow lung growth in their children.
SHS immediately affects the heart, blood vessels, and blood circulation in a harmful way. Over time it can cause heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.
SHS causes lung cancer in people who have never smoked. Even brief exposure can damage cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion. The Surgeon General estimates that living with a smoker increases the chance of getting lung cancer by 20% to 30%.
Chemicals in tobacco smoke damage sperm which might reduce fertility and harm fetal development. SHS is known to damage sperm in animals, but more studies are needed to find out its effects in humans.
There is no safe level of exposure to SHS. Any exposure is harmful.
Many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to SHS in their homes and workplaces despite a great deal of progress in tobacco control. In fact, almost half of non-smokers and more that 60% of children in the US continue to be exposed.
On average, children are exposed to more SHS than non-smoking adults.
The only way to fully protect non-smokers from exposure to SHS indoors is to prevent all smoking in that indoor space or building. Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot keep non-smokers from being exposed to SHS.

Thanks prof and yes I can google smile I shouldn't have to though really, those who are pushing for this law should have the data at their fingertips (I mean the politicians and tobacco control lobbyists btw, not MN posters).

What you have provided isn't really that helpful though.

The first link is all about nicotine, which is not the bad guy in cigarette smoke - it's everything else in it that does the damage. It's also very outdated research. This is interesting for anyone who wants an overview of recent research into nicotine and its effects (although even this paper doesn't take account of the latest scientific thinking on toxicity, which is that the lethal dose for nicotine is likely to be many times more than was previously thought).

The rest of your C&P contains no stats for absolute risk, which is what I was after. Having spent far too long googling, I found this paper which contains the sort of data I was looking for - see here and here for graphs of the data. It's easy to see the added risk from SHS but it is presented in context alongside data from people who are not exposed. Interestingly, this data appears to contradict the US Surgeon General's estimate on the risk of lung cancer from SHS.

I would be interested in seeing similarly presented data for the risks of SHS to children with asthma, also glue ear, SIDS and any other risks associated with childhood exposure to SHS.

Then I would like to see (I don't want much do I? grin) similar graphs showing the risks from other environmental factors such as childhood diet or living on a busy road. Maybe we'd discover we could save more lives by making all new cars hybrids and eventually banning combustion engines in urban areas, for e.g.

I don't much care about this particular law either way - my DC are grown up, I no longer smoke, I don't drive and am very rarely in a private vehicle. I'm more bothered by the tone of the more general debate around smoking and the effects this has on anxious parents. Today I have seen yet another thread where lots of people are saying it's perfectly reasonable to deny contact to a child's father because he smokes. I think that matters.

ProfPlumSpeaking Tue 04-Feb-14 10:54:20

I agree that those proposing reform should have the data. When I have a moment I will check Hansard and see what they referred to in Parliament.

I agree with you about comparative risks but OTOH sometimes you just have to go with the zeitgeist and get change in the particular area where it is feasible at that moment due to public sentiment. Also, as mentioned before, many other risks posed are adverse side effects from positives (eg fumes from transport) and it is hard to ban the negative effects without impacting on the positive (people can travel to work/school/hospital in their cars). In the case of smoking, there is simply no upside so banning it in as many places as possible seems like a no brainer.

No, I don't want laws based on kneejerk populist sentiment - that's a great way to create crap laws (dangerous dogs act for e.g.) I want laws based on evidence and I want the evidence to be readily available for public scrutiny.

I haven't seen any actual proper evidence that smoking in a car is worse than smoking in any other confined space. Both are bad, obviously, so why not ban smoking in the home too?

As a pp said, we'll end up with the ridiculous situation of being allowed to buy fags but not being allowed to smoke them anywhere.

The honest thing to do would be to ban smoking altogether but that will never happen and we all know why. The whole thing stinks.

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