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« Review of the week | Main | BMA apologies for "error" »

Huffing and puffing

Some excellent articles on the subject of smoking in cars.

I strongly urge you to read a piece by Brendan O'Neil, editor of the online magazine spiked – The BMA admits it was wrong about smoking in cars – yet it is still making dubious claims – and forward it to as many people as possible.

O'Neil writes:

It's time for the BMA to admit that its report demanding a ban on smoking in cars was a career low, a true jumping-of-the-shark for this busybody outfit determined to lecture the British populace. This is what happens when you opt for moralism over medicine and become more concerned with socially re-engineering the feckless masses than with boosting medical services. The BMA needs to butt out of our private lives and choices and go back to doing proper medicine, and the media should be more critical of nanny-state demands dressed up in pseudoscientific garb.

On a lighter note I enjoyed Jeremy Clarkson's comments in The Sun yesterday. Invited to answer the question 'Should smoking in cars be banned?' he replied:

It is very difficult to smoke in my car because the ashtrays are already too full.

What next? Are they going to install a CCTV camera in my downstairs toilet so they can see if I am smoking in there?

It is nonsensical. If you are a fascist non-smoker I can vaguely understand why you wouldn't want people smoking in pubs and bars.

But what possible difference does it make to anyone if I smoke by myself in my car?

It is interfering — doctors should stick to putting their fingers up people's bottoms and not worry about what I am doing with my life in my car.

Everybody smokes with the window open, the smoke is sucked out, there is no second-hand smoke in there.

There is no residual cancer hiding in the glove box.

I was pulled over for smoking once, about five years ago. In fact it was the last time I was pulled over by the police.

I was on the M40 in my car on my own and I was pulled over and he said: "That's not very sociable is it." I replied: "Can I go now? I can't even be bothered to listen to this."

I am smoking a cigarette now in protest at the very idea of this ban.

Meanwhile my article for the Huffington Post can be found here: Smoking ban in cars: how dare the BMA dictate how we live our lives?.

Note: it was written before the BMA issued its mea culpa (see previous post) so you may wish to add an appropriate comment.

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Reader Comments (19)

"It is very difficult to smoke in my car because the ashtrays are already too full."
I have that problem too. The only thing that goes out of my car window is the smoke.

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 11:24 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

If this should be forwarded to anybody it should be to Stephen Williams MP, Chair (an inanimate object) of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health.

They took so called evidence about a possible ban – so let these clods choke on it!

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 14:52 | Unregistered CommenterDan Hartman

Does anyone here have a connection to Jeremy Clarkson?

He would be a splendid ambassador. It sounds like he has accepted a lot of the guff that ASH etc put out, but chooses to smoke anyway. If he can be disabused of the propaganda the MSM carries, he could genuinely make a difference. People would tend to listen when he comments, and perhaps think a little more deeply than the health fascists would like them to.

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 14:52 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

Dunno if this site could help. There is a phone number to make further enquiries. Worth a go?

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 15:20 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

I know that Simon has to be 'politically correct', but I do wish that it was not necessary to keep saying that it is bad to smoke in a car with a child present. Sure, if the car is stationary, but I would not fill a stationary car with cig smoke if I was on my own! The whole charade is improbable in the extreme, when you think about it.

When my daughters were little, we used to holiday in South Wales - a 6 hour drive in those days. Occasionally, wife and I had a fag while driving along. The smoke was sucked out of the window, even if the window was only open a couple of inches. The girls never complained or coughed or anything. They did not suffer in any way whatsoever.
I just feel that keep saying that it is wrong for a parent to smoke when children are present is playing into the hands of the 'public opinion' justification.

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 20:17 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Have you heard the joke about a baby and a full ashtray in a car, she thought it was a sherbet

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 22:39 | Unregistered CommenterDickie doubleday

Simon, you must allow DD full rein. He really is jolly, jolly comical. LOL. Like, very knowledgeable. LOL. Clearly, the lack of any sort of brain growth hormone has produced the wonderful expertise, as depicted by the wonderful Professor Doctor (ALL HAIL!!) Nathanson. ALL HAIL!!

Silly people like him (if it is a him) are wonderful (LOL) examples of how not to convince intelligent people to comply with the thinking.

Let the silly person speak - everything that he/she says is very comical (LOL).

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 1:47 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

"This is what happens when you opt for moralism over medicine.."

A brilliant encapsulation by the ever-articulate Brendan of where we are today. And the 'moralism' (by which I assume he means simple bossiness masquerading as ethical concern for others less intellectually capable) extends well beyond the sphere of 'health'.

I only hope he has the courage at last to lament his grievous slander of 9/11 truthers as 'nutters' (even given that most people tend to find some truths less 'convenient' than others).

I think we know who the real nutters are by now !

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 10:08 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

I liked Simons no evidence of smoking in cars whilst driving is dangerous on the BBC, since when did common sense get replaced by no evidence as justification to be irresponsible whilst driving, my wife knows using her hairbrush whilst driving is dangerous without the need for scientific evidence to be produced for her to see sense. This is just another gaffe and a backwards step for smokers rights cos just anything to do with stop smoking has to contested ....

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 11:05 | Unregistered CommenterDickie doubleday

"my wife knows using her hairbrush whilst driving is dangerous without the need for scientific evidence..........."

Hear, hear !

As indeed are (to suggest just a few common examples): playing squash, wearing a blindfold, tying one's shoelaces, using a back-scratcher, rustling up a stir-fry, having a quick nap.

Yep - common sense, really.

But, smoking a fag ? Don't quite see it, somehow.

And only the village idiot (or his GP) would suggest it, I think.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 14:00 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Have a think about the safety issues of hands on steering wheels and a burning stick at the same time-nope you can't see it,perhaps an indisputable study sometime may help or you stop smoking and then it will become so easy for you to understand-trust me !

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 14:20 | Unregistered CommenterDickie doubleday

According to Dave Atherton on BBC news of 16th. Nov., a North Carolina 'survey' (you've got to love 'em) showed smoking whilst driving as 0.8% risk. The highest 'risks' were eating, CD's and radio's quoted at 20/30% with several others in between those and smoking. As said if you're going to try and ban smoking for practical reasons, you must first ban the above. After all, we don't want people to get the wrong impression, do we?

So now the BMA have had to retract, though quoting another made up figure of 11 with no idea whatsoever where it came from (sounds about right, you see) we now descend to spurious, childish crap.

Keep it up, double dickhead.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 16:09 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Accidents caused by smoking is at No 9 out of 10 on the most caused list - that's 9 other things you'd be looking to ban first in the interests of road safety I suppose as you are ever so concerned.

For lifelong smokers and those who have smoked over many years, smoking is more like breathing than brushing your hair.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 16:12 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Smoking and driving is banned in many places and without doubt it causes distraction ....not that I need to point that out to you because you know a burning stick in your hands whilst driving would be a certain 100% no no if it wasn't a fag .

The real issues are the disgrace which is the smoking ban on

things like the elderly in nursing homes standing outside in sub zero temps on walking frames having a fag- Christ the public would rally around that cause and similar ones , the nonsense that gets posted on this blog and others is a disgrace and let's down smokers big time

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 16:59 | Unregistered CommenterDickie doubleday

And if you really were a supporter you would know that we actively raise attention and fight on those very issues that you mention above but promoting smokers as selfish addicts who would blow smoke in babies faces just to have a fag in their car is abusive and that you can't see it reveals that this isn't about health to you.

Personally I go further and attack the NHS for its shameful neglect of both smoker and non smoker elderly people that it leaves to die in inhumane and humiliating circumstances. The Quality Care Commission recently reported that one in five NHS hospitals are breaking the law in their care of the elderly.

I would have thought he BMA should been focussing its efforts on this.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 17:58 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Here we are again. Never mind the bigger 'distractions', let's just ban smoking and driving, eh?

These people are incapable of the slightest self appreciation.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 18:56 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

I'm a non smoker who supports smokers rights who stumbled accros these blogs and was gobsmacked at what I saw, don't call me an active supporter or a smokerphobic, i have opinions that's all.

You sum up pat where you go wrong in that last post perfectly, a reasonable angle of babies and safe driving theme which is moderate and would without doubt get widespread support is seen by you as abusive to smokers and you twist comments like blow smoke in babies faces.... It's a dead end road which leads nowhere and gives the impression that smoker supporters twist and slant and are dishonest.

When you say such things on the radio or tv then you lose credibilty on a subject you were naive to try and rubbish in the first place.

I get the feeling this smokers rights lark is almost like a family were no one dare upset each other no matter what gaffes they make.

Take it from me an honest bystander you have lost the plot

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 19:48 | Unregistered CommenterDickie doubleday

No, DD, no. It would not be dangerous to drive with a 'burning stick' in your hand - provided that you are in control of the vehicle, of course. And don't say that it is not possible to be in control because I know a chap who has only one arm and drives perfectly safely, a) because his car is automatic, and b) because he has a special knob on the steering wheel. How much easier, therefore, to be in control with only a cigarette in your fingers? Especially when you have done it thousands and thousands of times?
Of course, being a non-smoker, you would not know that.

But, just a minute, aren't smoking bans supposed to be health related?

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 21:46 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

"Never mind the bigger 'distractions'................"

Mind you, Frank - I'm sure I'm not alone in suspecting that the current War On Tobacco is itself (in part, at least) just another officially-contrived distraction.

A bit like Children In Need - with all that saccharine sentiment, that wretched bear, Oirish Terry, and those madcap funsters (what good sports etc) from Celebrity Street.

No mention, of course, of the numberless orphans and the crippled, blighted young lives that our Masters have created, and are continuing to create in distant lands.

That would be churlish.

Forget about the cluster bombs - and just concentrate on the satanic effect of cigarette smoke.

Makes a kind of sense, I suppose.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 22:20 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

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