The Thin End Just Got A Little Thicker

Smoking in cars carrying children set to become illegal in England next year

I, as a non-smoker, find the need to vote this ban through on the basis of the presence of under-18s in a car to be an odd one.

Simple safety should tell you that holding a burning ember while in the control of a machine capable of committing every injury up to and including death probably isn’t the most sensible thing to do.

Eating, texting, using a phone, etc. have been outlawed (though enforcement is dependent on how much revenue is needed to be generated at the time) because they distract the driver, so from a simple competency of driving status you would think smoking in cars would be banned for this reason.

But the reasons for going down this route are many fold, and in my mind, far more sinister.

Firstly, in creates in the mind that smokers are such a disparate and desperate breed that they are in need of a constant fix, regardless of their surroundings, regardless of who is present.

It also creates in the mind a snobbish attitude; simply put if you say you saw someone in a car smoking and a child was present you’d get the exact same picture in your head of what said “offender” looked like.

slobOf course, just how prevalent smoking in cars with children present actually is is not actually quantified or qualified. It is the same mechanism designed to create prejudice against anyone in society that doesn’t quite fit in with a model that the state and it’s numerous “health” quangos wish to enforce.

Secondly, it lets you know that the state can invade your personal space.

The argument is that smoke is more concentrated in a car, so there is no need to worry about this kind of health diktat being extended to breaking into a persons home to check that no smoking is occurring in the presence of minors.

Probably after scare tactics about “third-hand smoke” were never taken seriously.

It will take an astute copper to realise how old any child is in any car and if it is a cigarette that is emitting the smoke and not an e-cigarette, otherwise a lot of time is going to get wasted.

It is this kind of criminalizing of common sense that enables people to not only be stripped of simple, basic rights but also allows people to nod along and passively accept it.

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2 thoughts on “The Thin End Just Got A Little Thicker

  1. It’s possible to make a case for banning drivers from smoking at the wheel, but given that people have been doing it for decades and there’s no good evidence of disproportionate accident involvement the safety case would appear to be pretty weak, and it would come across as simply anti-smoking vindictiveness. The Highway Code does now list smoking as an activity that may prove distracting. There’s no specific law against eating at the wheel, but depending on the circumstances it may be considered to be “failing to maintain proper control of the vehicle”.

    However, a law to ban passengers from smoking in cars clearly wouldn’t be a safety regulation in any sense. In principle it would be just the same as banning you from allowing your guests to light up in your living room. And banning smoking in cars where children are present is conceptually identical.

    Will it apply to open-top cars, I wonder?

    Also, as you say, well-nigh unenforceable, especially given how few actual traffic police there are now.

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