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)