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« The Freedom Dinner, June 26, 2012 | Main | Message from New York »

Breaking news: landlady fined for smoking in pub and Smoke-free Private Vehicles Bill passes second reading

The Bolton News has just contacted Forest for a quote.

A local landlady has been fined £80 plus £400 costs for smoking – and allowing customers to light up – in her pub.

I understand that the pub was raided by police officers (following a tip off?) and she was arrested on the premises. (The pub, I should add, is also her home.)

Meanwhile peers today passed at second reading (without a vote) the Smoke-free Private Vehicles Bill.

A private members' bill introduced by Lord Ribeiro, a Tory peer, it "seeks to amend the Health Act 2006 to make provision for a ban on smoking in private vehicles where there are children present".

I am doing an interview on the subject later this afternoon. In the meantime I have been sent this report:

Lord Ribeiro said: "This Bill is in effect a public health bill. It seeks to protect children from the effects of second-hand smoking in the same way that legislation exists to protect children through the appropriate use of car seats for those under the age of 14."

Under his Smoke-free Private Vehicles Bill, people caught would be given an opportunity to go on an awareness course (my italics)to avoid a fine on the first occasion they were spotted with a cigarette.

Thankfully not all peers are quite so authoritarian:

Tory Lord Colwyn warned the legislation could open the floodgates to a range of similar bans. "I regret the imposition of yet more nanny state legislation," he said.

"Banning smoking in cars with children present might surely open the floodgates to other bills which reflect the many harmful factors which effect us all at different times.

"I'm not sure that the Government will have the time or the inclination to take on so much legislation."

The Government too seems less than enthusiastic:

Earl Attlee, the Government's frontbench spokesman, said banning smoking in cars would be very difficult to enforce. It was not known what proportion of instances of ill health among children came as a result of passive smoking in cars, he told peers.

While local authority officers have the powers to prevent smoking in public places, they do not have the authority to stop cars or detain drivers.

Enforcement of any ban would therefore be up to the police, peers heard. Earl Attlee said: "Without authorisation to stop cars and therefore easily identify passengers, enforcement by local authority officers would be difficult.

"Therefore we see the only realistic option would be for the police to enforce any ban on smoking in cars. This additional task may not be welcome by police, on top of their many other responsibilities.

"The practicalities of enforcement may be further complicated by the fact that small children may not be easily visible from outside the vehicle and it may be difficult where the passengers in the car where somebody is smoking are under 18.

"I do not believe that we should legislate in this area without first identifying first how any law could be enforced effectively."

Summing up the debate, Lord Ribeiro said:

"I'm prepared to let my own individual liberties go for the benefit of young children. I think this is something the Government will need to take away and think about."

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    Simon Clark - Taking Liberties - Breaking news: landlady fined for smoking in pub and Smoke-free Private Vehicles Bill passes second reading
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Reader Comments (9)

I thought this stinking little idea had been dropped. Now this ugly monster is peering round the corner, you just knew it would come didn't you? We thought this might be outrageous nonsense - not anymore. Their only concern is whether or not it can be enforced, and not whether it's a gross intrusion into someone's private space.

Of course boys and girls you can use your own imagination, your home will be next - just give it time.

When dear God will this ever end?

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 15:35 | Unregistered CommenterDave Scott

"When dear God will this ever end?"

Short answer: NO....well not until The cASHites have their Final Solution. Did you miss the Health Sheriff Andrew Landsley openly confessing their desire to run the Tobacco Industry out of town on a rail?

The bill may not get passed this time but its only a matter of time-let's not kid ourselves.

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 16:30 | Unregistered CommenterThe Blocked Dwarf

"It was not known what proportion of instances of ill health among children came as a result of passive smoking in cars, he told peers"

Yes, it is. 0%

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 16:48 | Unregistered CommenterDick Puddlecote

I already have the appropriate signage on the rear window of my car,bought last year.
It says"This car is smoking throughout..No Children Allowed!!"

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 17:13 | Unregistered CommenterThe Misfit

As a believer in Freedom I do not agree with bans of any kind - apart from the seven deadly sins - murder etc., which I am sure we all agree with.

If something is genuinely proven to be bad for one's health than surely the way to deal with this, is to educate - not enforce one's will on people, whether they want it or not?

I know Simon doesn't like the use of the word 'Nazis' but this was surely their way of enforcing what they wanted and demanded - the Jew was a dirty word to them, so they demormalised it in exactly the same way the anti- tobacco industry is denormalising smokers.

If second-hand smoke is harmful let them show us irrevocable proof - that would be classed as educating the public - not bullying them into submission.

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 17:40 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

No offence: Just because you think "The Government too seems less than enthusiastic..." doesn't make it so, Simon. We have all heard that before -- every time new legislation is proposed in fact. A "lack of enthusiasm," in my opinion, means it will be enacted easily with the vast majority of MPs and Lords supporting it. Besides, it has the magic words for all bills: Protect The Children! It's a winner for both houses if they pass it, and a loser for both houses if they reject it. Believing otherwise is disingenuous.

I apologise if that seem ... inappropriately forthright (part of my charm, I admit)... I know you want to put a favourable impression that we have support in government, but we truly do not have any support at all. If police are now arresting (?) proprietors for smoking when it should have been a civil fine, then it is absolutely game over for the "battle of ideas." That is a extreme show of force against citizens for daring to exercise free choice and free will against a growing totalitarian state. That is where we are heading. This is not a democracy. It is a demockery.

I understand your focus is currently on plain packaging, but in a few weeks, then what? This car thing? Then when we lose that, what next? Homes? Then outdoor bans? Till we get to the real holy grail of a total ban? It's pretty clear to me where this is going... At least NZ and AU are being more honest about their intentions to eradicate smokers.

/end rant

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 17:42 | Unregistered CommenterJay

"I'm prepared to let my own individual liberties go for the benefit of young children. I think this is something the Government will need to take away and think about."

You should most definitely lose them. Preferably a lengthy stretch in Pentonville

Friday, June 29, 2012 at 19:57 | Unregistered CommenterThe Filthy Engineer

If smokers are banned from smoking in their own private vehicles, what will they do?

Will they do as the Publicans did? Will they do as their smoking clientele did? Will they do as "Freedom Fighters" did? Will they do what the Keyboard Brigade did? Will they do what the Web Warriors did?

Warble, fluster, twitter, gigabytes of ghostly anger, unheard by most, disregarded by the few, contempt by the powerfull.

Will they play the rules laid down by above, correct, polite and subserviant, awaiting the next kick. Of course they will.

Lets all play musical deckchairs (as per Titanic) lets all play another lament, lets all do a Morris Dance around Freedom's budget coffin, yes, let us all carry on waving the Shrouds of Liberty Farewell, Adieu, Auf Wiedersehen Freedom, we knew thee well.

Nero's Quartet

Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 12:36 | Unregistered CommenterGungha Din

The Bolton News article has been published here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 11:16 | Unregistered CommenterJay

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