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« David Hockney lights up the House of Commons | Main | Messages from absent friends - and even the BBC is interested! »

Stick an exhaust pipe in your car, says doctor – it's safer than smoking

I got a call yesterday from the Press Association.

Delegates at the British Medical Association's annual conference in Cardiff had called for a blanket ban on smoking in cars (irrespective of whether children are present). What was Forest's response?

I said what I usually say (“A car is a private vehicle and an outright ban would be a gross intrusion" blah blah blah) but what struck me, when I read the reports this morning, was this comment by "public health doctor" Douglas Noble who told the conference:

“It would be safer to have your exhaust pipe on the inside of your car. A ban would protect non-smokers, particularly pregnant women and children."

Safer to have your exhaust pipe on the inside of your car?!!!

I'm no expert but, as I understand it, attaching a hose from your exhaust pipe and feeding it into the car is a very effective way to commit suicide. If Dr Noble is correct (and why wouldn't he be, he's a "public health doctor" for goodness sake), Britain's roads – in the Fifties and Sixties especially – would have been littered with the corpses of drivers (and their passengers) who expired at the wheel thanks to their suicidal habit of smoking while driving.

I know we have to put up with a lot of hyperbole and sometimes downright lies from anti-smoking activists, but is there no limit to which tobacco control advocates will sink when arguing their case?

See: Don't smoke and drive, say doctors calling for a ban (Daily Mirror)
Dangers of smoking in cars extremely damaging to health - say BMA (Wales Online)

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Reader Comments (10)

What baseless crap! All of it! These people don't appear to have any discipline. Like infants, they run off at the mouth seeming to say the first thing that comes into their minds. Perhaps they're still on a high from the initial ban and, like kids at Christmas, can't control their emotions. Or, maybe, they still can't believe their luck over the ban and are rushing for as much as they can get before the sky falls in. Either way, it doesn't breed confidence to see our much vaunted Medics behaving in this manner. Certainly not a Doc I'd choose even for a sprained ankle.

When I first started off it was always said that some Solicitors and Accountants, under the auspices of professionalism, could be some of the biggest rogues you're ever likely to meet. It now seems medics have overtaken them.

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 9:26 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

OK then,as posted on another site,let,s have the Media there.I,ll sit in my car and have 2 cigarrettes to maximise eposure and he can sit inside his car for the same length of time with a pipe attached from his car,s exhaust...I,m sure he would relish the chance to prove me wrong,so let,s go for it!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 9:32 | Unregistered CommenterKen

I have long awaited the day when, fired by their perceived success in the war against smoking, the antis would start to come out with statements and proposals that even fair minded non smokers would find ludicrous. And, hopefully, in doing so sow the seeds of this draconian bans demise.
We had a glimpse sometime ago when it was seriously suggested by one idiot that smokers shoud have a licence to enable them to buy cigarettes. That would have been fun. Today a doctor seriously states that it is safer to put your exhaust in your car than it is to smoke in it. And a councillor in Stoney Stratford wants smoking banned in the town as the saliva from our butts is a danger to health.
You couldn't make it up.

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 9:35 | Unregistered CommenterGrumpybutterfly

As someone who has never believed in the 'absolute power' that doctors regale themselves with, this obviously comes as no surprise to me. The last time I went to consult a doctor, was at least 30 years ago, maybe longer. I am not registered with a doctor, and have no intentions of ever doing so, for the simple reason that I believe, rightly or wrongly, that most of their diagnosis are based on assumptions, guesswork, and prescribing the drug that earns them the most money.

I recently had an online argument about (yes, you guessed it) the fallacies that abound regarding passive smoking (ETS). The main protagonist in the group I was arguing with, ended by saying, "I am afraid you are outnumbered by the medical profession as a whole Peter, your theory regarding ETS being harmless is total bunkum (words to that effect). The BMA et all, wouldn't be saying these things if they wasn't true now, would they?"

This, believe it or not, seems to be the general consensus today. Someone in a position of some authority says something, and it is believed whole heartedly, and never questioned.

A year or so ago, the media bombarded us with the 'fact' that if you sunbathed for any time, over ten minutes, with a factor 90 (or more) sunblock, and a sunhat, and a long sleeved shirt, it was inevitable that you would contract cancer in one form or another. 'Caring parents' rushed out and bought all the necessary sun blocks etc., and covered their little loved ones up, blocking every bit of vitamin D their poor little bodies were entitled to. Not only were children being 'protected by the terrible and harmful rays of the sun, but so to was their parents.

Now, a new study has revealed that a lack of sunshine, enabling vitamin D to penetrate our bodies, not only causes brittle bones in children, but it also contributes to breast cancer in women. The study states that we need at least 4 hours sunshine per day, without such ridiculous products as factor 90 sun blocks.

Over the past few years, literally thousands of women have died of breast cancer. I wonder how many of these women could have been saved, had not doctors thought first before issuing their rash statements on what the latest politically correct danger was, and how much they might earn from the pharmaceutical companies by promoting their products?

These same doctors are the very ones who are now saying that smoking is more harmful than a car's exhaust, and we are meant to believe them? It is just so ridiculous - what next - the USA introducing smoking a Marlborough Light instead of the electric chair?

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 10:30 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

Ken, absolutely with you on that!

When I heard this on the news yesterday I could not believe what I was hearing, but like you, then thought "Ok, prove it! Drive your cars, Mr Doctors, with the exhaust on the inside and see just how long you survive. In the meantime, I will drive mine whilst smoking and we shall see who comes off better (or should that be alive?)"

Anyone know how this can be set up? If nothing else it would get rid of a few of these idiots who must, surely, have bought their medical qualification off EBay or some such site to come out with this bullsh*t!

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 13:32 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Simple question... Agreed hosepipe is more dangerous, stupid comment.
However, should parents be allowed to smoke in the car (enclosed space) with their children?
Do the kids get a vote to say no to the smoke?
Or should parents possibly consider their children.

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 21:29 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Jules,My car is smoking throughout.Unlike this Government,I have given people a choice.Either get in it or not!!If the window is open there is a vacuum effect which draws smoke out faster than I can exhale it.I have done 3 studies on this(all peer-reviewed by my wife)and they all reach the same conclusion.
I long for the day when there is a Law protecting adults from children,because I,m sick of them being used and human sheilds

Friday, July 1, 2011 at 8:23 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Jules: That's up to the parents. As a matter of courtesy, some will but it's up to them. You have the assumption not only that it's dangerous but that everybody knows and agrees. Quite a few of us brought up with smoke almost everywhere including cars and living to a ripe age, don't.

You see, we need a lot more convincing on the 'dangers' of SHS . At the moment, it's not there. And don't bother quoting surveys and opinions, we've seen them!

Friday, July 1, 2011 at 9:02 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

" there no limit to which tobacco control advocates will sink when arguing their case?"

That's a rhetorical question, right?

Friday, July 1, 2011 at 9:31 | Unregistered CommenterTom Paine

oh did Douglas Noble really say that!?? wow I have not heard of his comment, and he really was not thinking clearly or was he high? it could explain why he said so, or maybe he could say that is safer to buy viagra online than on a local pharmacy which would not make any sense of course

Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 14:22 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

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