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Saturday
Jun092018

Smoking in cars

According to today's Yorkshire Post:

Only one person in the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber was fined in the first two years after it became illegal to smoke in cars carrying a child, a new analysis has found.

An investigation by The Yorkshire Post also uncovered confusion among local authorities about just who is responsible for enforcing the legislation.

Crime reporter Georgina Morris asked Forest to comment so I said:

"The figures vindicate the argument that a ban on smoking in cars carrying children was unnecessary and would be impossible to enforce.

"The reality is that even before the ban very few adults were smoking in cars with children present. The overwhelming majority of smokers knew it was inconsiderate and had stopped doing it.

"The only impact the law has had is to stigmatise ordinary, decent people who don't need the government telling them how to behave in their own private space.

“Let this be a lesson to politicians and campaigners who want to extend the smoking ban to other areas. Allow smokers to use their common sense when lighting up and most will behave responsibly and with consideration for others.

"The last thing we need are more rules and regulations governing people's behaviour."

I was quoted in full. ASH also responded:

Chief executive Deborah Arnott said: “Compliance with the legislation on smoking in cars with children is dependent on the level of public support not enforcement action. And people are complying with this popular law which protects children from the harm caused by secondhand smoke."

She argued that there is now growing support for a ban on smoking in all cars, quoting a survey which found 62 per cent of adults in England backed the idea in 2016 compared to 45 per cent in 2009.

“Prohibiting smoking completely would make the law simpler to enforce as well as protecting all car occupants from the harmful toxins in tobacco smoke,” she added.

I'd like to see the survey she cites and the question that was asked.

In June 2016, on behalf of Forest, Populus interviewed 2,089 UK adults online and one of the questions was 'Do you think adults should or should not be allowed to smoke when alone in their own private vehicle?'

The response:

Should be allowed – 64 per cent
Should not be allowed – 30 per cent

Anyway the Yorkshire Post has posted online a fairly meaningless reader poll ('Would you support a ban on all smoking in all cars?') but I'm competitive enough that I want to win it so do pop over and cast your vote. The score, as I write, is Yes, 46 per cent; No, 54 per cent.

To vote click here and scroll down.

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Reader Comments (9)

Link goes to "unavailable".

Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 20:53 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Scot

If ASH was correct that the public supports the notion of not smoking in cars with children present there would be no need for a ban. But then again, the alleged support for smoking bans in bars wouldn't be necessary if there was such broad support for 'smokefree' pubs.

Once again the tobacco control ahead defies logic and err on the side of propaganda. After all, smoking bans aren't really about health; they're a means of imposing incremental prohibition by force. Reject this cal for another draconian smoking ban.

Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 21:26 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

Link works for me. Anyone else?

Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 22:49 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

The link worked for me.

Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 12:24 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

The poll is a bit "off" and takes ages to display. I managed to vote, and after a long wait, the results (40% for, 60% against) were displayed.

Monday, June 11, 2018 at 1:30 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

not available

Monday, June 11, 2018 at 11:47 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

The ban was never about anything more than to push the idea that smokers were pathetic addicts who could not even control their addictions in front of their own children. They never cared if it was unenforceable nor that parents don't smoke in the car with kids without the need for a law. It did the job to denigrate the smoker in the eyes of the general public that little bit more and brought a few more smokerphobic bigots over to the anti smoker hate campaign.

Monday, June 11, 2018 at 12:42 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Wait a minute. Is the same Debs quoting public opinion polls that favour her stance? Yet when polls show most are in favour of ventilated smoking rooms and/or designated smoking bars, public opinion has no place when it comes to this issue? That Deborah? I think a prohibitionist has exposed herself. In light of this and her membership of Impress, she worries me. A fanatic at heart. Fanaticism never ends well. Time to start calling her out. She's unelected, unaccountable and has too much influence on public life. If there was ever a case for one "playing the man not the ball" Deborah Arnott fits that bill perfectly. It's time to start calling these folk out. They're dangerous.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 0:16 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew O'Dowd

Banning smoking in all cars will be a step too far for me. My car, my choice. I only indulge when alone stuck in a traffic jam or resting in a lay by or car park. If I accepted such a law I would be agreeing to total and meaningless control over my life. After fifty odd years of driving I would have to say no. Take me to court. Will be a sad day in a sad world if that ever happens. Grumpybutterfly

Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 18:08 | Unregistered Commentergrumpybutterfly

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