Ban smoking in cars - and go further than that
The British Medical Association has called for a ban on smoking in cars, along the lines of the ban on smoking in public places established in 2007, perhaps the only permanent achievement for the better of New Labour. New research has revealed that being in such a confined space, a car's occupants could be exposed to 23 times more toxins than they would in a smoky bar.
The bias of this man is made unashamedly evident in the opening paragraph - the smoking ban is the only good thing that Labour did. To myself and most people I know, the ban was the most hateful, childish and divisive thing the Labour Government did, and is one bad policy out of thirteen years of the same.
The '23 times more toxic' quote has been debunked long ago, yet Chris Snowdon at Velvet Glove, Iron Fist predicted they would use this piece of junk science anyway, even before the reports came out in the media.
The reaction in the blogosphere has been such that the BMA have amended that statement so as not to appear utter dicks. The amendment is still bollocks though, so no help there.
David Cameron did not support the 2006 vote against smoking in public places but recently admitted he got that one wrong. Now he is saying he would need to have a "serious think" about any ban on smoking in cars, even if it was to apply only when children were present - a move that opinion polls suggest has overwhelming public support.
He didn't admit he had got it wrong, he said he thought the smoking ban had worked. He did however, get that wrong, unless by 'worked', he was referring to the intention to totally destroy the pub industry.
As for opinion polls being behind a ban in cars, I haven't seen any. Just take a look at the comments on any media article about the proposals and you'll see where the public opinion lies. There are a few rabid prohibitionists like Mr Sexton here, that are calling for smokers to be flogged in the village square, but the overwhelming majority of people are very much against the proposed ban and think it would be the Nanny State gone bonkers.
"I'm much more nervous about going into what people do inside a vehicle," Cameron declared at Prime Minister's Questions earlier this month.
He shouldn't be. On the contrary.
Pray tell. Why should our Government tell me I can't have a fag in my car?
None of us has ever had any kind of natural right to drive and do as we wish in a car. It is a highly restricted activity, only permitted after passing a test (for most of us, it is the only one we ever encounter conducted with proper rigour, having a pass rate no higher than 43 per cent).
When we drive we must observe the Highway Code, a complex system of rules. We must maintain the vehicle correctly. We must wear a seatbelt.
We may not drink too much or be affected by drugs. We are forbidden to use a mobile phone or in any other way fail to drive with due care and attention. Plenty of people have been successfully prosecuted under that clause simply because they were eating or drinking water at the wheel.
Driving is thus an activity already completely governed by health and safety rules, aimed at preserving life in a hazardous environment. Demanding that people stop driving in a self-generated cloud of poisonous gas doesn't seem such a big ask.
Ahh... The Government regulates some things we do in a car so should be able to regulate anything else it feels like.
This man is the type of sheep who bends over whenever the Government bring out a new regulation and take away a little more of our freedom. "Rules are rules and must be obeyed". People like this never question if a law is good and just, they just accept it and do as they're told. It's people like this who are responsible for the state the country is in today, not the politicians, there are only 650 of them but 60 million of us. They need useful idiots like David Sexton to make their control freakery possible.
Cars and driving are heavily regulated; they have been around a long time and changed immensely over the years of their existence.
A lot of the rules surrounding motoring however, are pretty arbitrary.
You must take a test before you are allowed to drive. The Government says you must be 17 years old before you can do this. The day before your seventeenth birthday you are not mature enough to drive a car. 24 hours later you are. The test itself has also changed drastically over time, now involving a bunch of hazard awareness rubbish done at a computer screen. It's not about making the roads safer but making it harder to get a licence, plus appeasing some single issue lobby groups.
When cars first appeared on our roads, there was very little in the way of regulation, if anything. Now we buy insurance so if we ever cause an accident we are able to make things right. The simple act of driving without insurance is a victimless crime, yet carries heavy penalties, and the compulsory nature of motor insurance gives the insurance companies a captive audience to whom they can charge what they like.
There was a time when you could drink as much as you like before you got behind a wheel. Now there is a set limit you cannot go over before having the book thrown at you, as it has been recognised that alcohol is a serious impairment to driving. Alcohol affects different people in different was, and again, the simple act of driving while over the limit is a victimless crime. You can lose your licence and your livelihood without causing harm to anyone.
The seatbelt laws are the silliest of all driving laws. No one is at risk other than yourself if don't wear one. If you drink and drive it's possible you may injure someone. It is totally impossible to hurt anyone else by not wearing a seatbelt.
Mobile phones are quite a modern invention, and now it is illegal to use one of those while driving, even though some people can do it perfectly well without a problem.
We are given an arbitrary speed limit that we cannot drive over, regardless of the road conditions.
Yes there are many laws surrounding motoring, some good, some bad, some that improve road safety and some that take thinking and common sense away from the driver. None of this has anything to do with the debate on banning smoking in cars.
Mobile phones were around for less than ten years before their dangers were recognised and their use was banned while driving. People have been smoking at the wheel since the first motor car hit the cobbled streets. It has never been a problem in the past and it isn't now.
If the smoking ban were to only be for cars with children in them, it would be almost impossible to police. To be effective the ban has to include all cars regardless of the occupants. That's why we are only now hearing that it's a safety issue.
Passive smoking is a myth, 23 times more toxic than a smokey bar is a myth and most people with children don't smoke in the car with them these days anyway. Yet the prohibitionists must have their ban, not for the children, not for public health, but because it's the next small step on the road to total prohibition. The endgame.
Tobacco industry group Forest bleats (or more likely rasps and splutters): "What next, a ban on smoking in the home?" Yes, indeed, eventually. Although perhaps after a ban on smoking anywhere at all in public, including outside. To be followed eventually by a ban on the sale and possession of cigarettes altogether.
The endgame. A total ban on sale and possession of cigarettes. We smokers are all well aware of the risks but we want to be left alone to enjoy a fag in peace. The antis don't like the smell so smoking must be banned, no compromise.
For smoking restrictions operate on a ratchet system; quite rightly, they only go forward, never backward. We used to think it normal to see people smoking on planes, in the Tube, on trains. Already that seems utterly bizarre. In years to come, the idea that people smoked in cars will seem similarly incredible.
Having a smoking carriage on a train does not sound bizarre to me. I remember smoking on the top deck of a bus and that was not bizarre either. Why should it be viewed as incredible that people smoked in cars; their own private space?
In the meantime, among the many delusions about their habit that smokers foster - such as the belief that they themselves will not be among the half of all regular users to be killed by it - one of the most remarkable is their refusal to grasp how they are viewed by the three-quarters of the population who do not smoke.
Fifteen percent, not half. You really have a problem with figures don't you, or is that just my delusion?
It is not with sympathetic tolerance, let alone affection. Repugnance, even disgust, would be nearer the mark, though most are too polite to express it.
No, it isn't three quarters of the population who think like that, it's just the intolerant anti smokers like yourself. Three quarters of the population who don't smoke are more than happy to live and let live. The majority of the population are non smokers, not anti smokers. That is changing over time though as the tobacco control lobby poisons the minds of more and more non smokers, turning them into bitter, hate filled cretins like yourself.
In every poll that's ever taken, a two-thirds majority supports further legislation against smoking. Almost without exception, non-smokers want smokers to stop if they can and not to come anywhere near them if they can't.
Would you care to show us some of these polls? A lot of people who don't smoke may well say they are not against certain legislation as they think it won't affect them. More non smokers are now against the pub ban than were before it came out, because now they have had the chance to see the damage it has done that they never foresaw when the legislation was proposed. If you want polls, I invite you again to look at the comments in online newspapers. You don't have to look far, under the article that you wrote would be a good start.
Suck on that, smokers. How does that taste?
Rick in the comments points out that this muppet has form.