Ban on smoking in cars where children are passengers moves closer

The Northern Echo: Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to "look carefully" at a proposal to ban smoking in cars when children are present Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to "look carefully" at a proposal to ban smoking in cars when children are present

A BAN on smoking in cars when children are passengers moved a big step closer today, when David Cameron pledged to examine the idea.

The prime minister surprised MPs by agreeing to “look carefully” at the proposal along with other possible measures to further curb smoking in public places.

A day earlier, Anna Soubry, the health minister, threw her weight behind the plan, telling a conference: “I would ban smoking in cars where children are present.”

Any ban would represent an extraordinary victory for Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, who has led a two-year campaign for the move.

Mr Cunningham introduced his own private member’s Bill, warning that 300,000 UK children are taken to their GP with smoking-related illnesses every year.

One cigarette in the car - even with the window open - creates a greater concentration of second-hand smoke than a whole evening's smoke in a pub used to, research had found.

Yet, back in 2011, Mr Cameron dismissed Mr Cunningham’s plea for action, saying he was “very nervous about going into what people do inside their car”.

The Stockton North MP hailed the apparent U-turn, saying: “First the health minister confirmed what she has said privately, that she is in favour of a ban.

“Now the prime minister has said it will be looked at, which is shift from what he said to me a couple of years ago – when he gave me a flat no.

“Time will tell whether they are willing to match words with deeds, but the statistics speak for themselves.

“Thousands of children, each year, are forced to breathe second hand smoke in a confined space, with the obvious damage to health – and 86 per cent of children think there should be a ban.”

The issue arose at prime minister’s questions, when Gateshead MP Ian Mearns urged Mr Cameron to back Mr Cunningham’s Bill as a “significant step further” in protecting children.

In reply, he said: “I think we should look carefully at what he, and others, have said.

“We are looking across the piece at all the issues – at whether we should follow the Australians with the ban on packaging, what more we can do on restricting smoking in public places.

“We have to look at each one and work out whether there is a real public health benefit but I think he makes a good point.”

Later, the prime minister’s spokesman confirmed to Westminster journalists that the issue of second-hand smoke in cars would be examined.

Coincidentally, Mr Cunningham’s Bill is almost certain to be killed off tomorrow (FRI), because of a lack of parliamentary time.

However, its supporters are likely to seek an opportunity to tag the measure to other legislation – and see whether the government will back it.

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4:31pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Voice-of-reality says...

Cameron's 'change of heart' has little to do with actually supporting the measure - it is more about the parliamentary timetable. In a situation in which the coalition in broken down with the Lib Dems blocking any overtly Conservative policy and v.v., the PM has to find a series of issues with which to fill parliamentary time - as the government cannot be seen to do absolutely nothing for two years - it is of course mandated to stay in power for the full five years. In reality, of course, that is precisely what is happening - as no 'pressing' policy initiatives can be initiated as a consequence of the voting deadlock between the parties. Expect therefore two years of 'fringe' policies - smoking, devolution, gay marriage - all issues that in one sense are unimportant (though paradoxically also fundamental from constitutional and liberty viewpoints) as a consequence of the two warring factions of government being unable to 'come together' to actually address the non-fringe issues that actually matter; such as the economy and the need to cut the welfare bill so that the country can afford to live. The effect of both the coalition and the fixed-term initiatives has been to introduce into the Westminster model a form of the 'lame duck' - that vexatious of issues that permeates the American model of democracy.
Cameron's 'change of heart' has little to do with actually supporting the measure - it is more about the parliamentary timetable. In a situation in which the coalition in broken down with the Lib Dems blocking any overtly Conservative policy and v.v., the PM has to find a series of issues with which to fill parliamentary time - as the government cannot be seen to do absolutely nothing for two years - it is of course mandated to stay in power for the full five years. In reality, of course, that is precisely what is happening - as no 'pressing' policy initiatives can be initiated as a consequence of the voting deadlock between the parties. Expect therefore two years of 'fringe' policies - smoking, devolution, gay marriage - all issues that in one sense are unimportant (though paradoxically also fundamental from constitutional and liberty viewpoints) as a consequence of the two warring factions of government being unable to 'come together' to actually address the non-fringe issues that actually matter; such as the economy and the need to cut the welfare bill so that the country can afford to live. The effect of both the coalition and the fixed-term initiatives has been to introduce into the Westminster model a form of the 'lame duck' - that vexatious of issues that permeates the American model of democracy. Voice-of-reality

4:34pm Wed 27 Feb 13

behonest says...

Yet another Tory u-turn. They are utterly clueless.
Yet another Tory u-turn. They are utterly clueless. behonest

4:36pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Copley23 says...

I'll just bend over and they can wipe my backside whilst they are at it.
I'll just bend over and they can wipe my backside whilst they are at it. Copley23

5:25pm Wed 27 Feb 13

battboy77 says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
Cameron's 'change of heart' has little to do with actually supporting the measure - it is more about the parliamentary timetable. In a situation in which the coalition in broken down with the Lib Dems blocking any overtly Conservative policy and v.v., the PM has to find a series of issues with which to fill parliamentary time - as the government cannot be seen to do absolutely nothing for two years - it is of course mandated to stay in power for the full five years. In reality, of course, that is precisely what is happening - as no 'pressing' policy initiatives can be initiated as a consequence of the voting deadlock between the parties. Expect therefore two years of 'fringe' policies - smoking, devolution, gay marriage - all issues that in one sense are unimportant (though paradoxically also fundamental from constitutional and liberty viewpoints) as a consequence of the two warring factions of government being unable to 'come together' to actually address the non-fringe issues that actually matter; such as the economy and the need to cut the welfare bill so that the country can afford to live. The effect of both the coalition and the fixed-term initiatives has been to introduce into the Westminster model a form of the 'lame duck' - that vexatious of issues that permeates the American model of democracy.
Yeah thanks for all that!!!!!!! cant you just be glad for a positive move towards this type of ban without all that ramble???
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: Cameron's 'change of heart' has little to do with actually supporting the measure - it is more about the parliamentary timetable. In a situation in which the coalition in broken down with the Lib Dems blocking any overtly Conservative policy and v.v., the PM has to find a series of issues with which to fill parliamentary time - as the government cannot be seen to do absolutely nothing for two years - it is of course mandated to stay in power for the full five years. In reality, of course, that is precisely what is happening - as no 'pressing' policy initiatives can be initiated as a consequence of the voting deadlock between the parties. Expect therefore two years of 'fringe' policies - smoking, devolution, gay marriage - all issues that in one sense are unimportant (though paradoxically also fundamental from constitutional and liberty viewpoints) as a consequence of the two warring factions of government being unable to 'come together' to actually address the non-fringe issues that actually matter; such as the economy and the need to cut the welfare bill so that the country can afford to live. The effect of both the coalition and the fixed-term initiatives has been to introduce into the Westminster model a form of the 'lame duck' - that vexatious of issues that permeates the American model of democracy.[/p][/quote]Yeah thanks for all that!!!!!!! cant you just be glad for a positive move towards this type of ban without all that ramble??? battboy77

5:55pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Voice-of-reality says...

In direct answer 'no'. The whole point is that this is not a positive move - it is nothing of the sort. Had Cameron pledged legislative support in the form of a government sponsored bill or even a consultative green paper then that would have been a 'positive move' (if one agrees with the proposal). Pledging merely to 'look at it' is a promise to do absolutely nothing and without specific party backing such a proposed ban will not materialise. Thus, not a ramble, but a comment upon the absolute 'nothingness' that has actually been agreed to by the PM.
In direct answer 'no'. The whole point is that this is not a positive move - it is nothing of the sort. Had Cameron pledged legislative support in the form of a government sponsored bill or even a consultative green paper then that would have been a 'positive move' (if one agrees with the proposal). Pledging merely to 'look at it' is a promise to do absolutely nothing and without specific party backing such a proposed ban will not materialise. Thus, not a ramble, but a comment upon the absolute 'nothingness' that has actually been agreed to by the PM. Voice-of-reality

7:12pm Wed 27 Feb 13

NO EINSTEIN says...

Any one who smokes in cars with anyone should be fined, its mild ABH if not worse......
Any one who smokes in cars with anyone should be fined, its mild ABH if not worse...... NO EINSTEIN

8:40pm Wed 27 Feb 13

your joking says...

Its funny this should come up today. I was in my car waiting at traffic lights and looked in my rear view mirror. In the car behind me was a young woman with a child who looked under 3 in the front passenger seat (no car seat or booster) who was smoking inside the car. I have to be honest and say I was shocked that the female adult either wasn't aware of the danger or wasn't bothered about the effects the smoke could have on the child passenger. I did discuss this with my husband and noted how times have changed. As an ex smoker myself I have to admit that 20 years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about doing the same thing as the young girl. I am better educated these days and realise the harm I could bestow on my passengers. I gave up smoking about 8 years ago but obviously as today proves some people just couldn't care less what damage they do to children. I'm all for banning people from smoking in cars when they have passengers. smoke to your hearts content when you are on your own or Adult smokers but not when children are in the car
Its funny this should come up today. I was in my car waiting at traffic lights and looked in my rear view mirror. In the car behind me was a young woman with a child who looked under 3 in the front passenger seat (no car seat or booster) who was smoking inside the car. I have to be honest and say I was shocked that the female adult either wasn't aware of the danger or wasn't bothered about the effects the smoke could have on the child passenger. I did discuss this with my husband and noted how times have changed. As an ex smoker myself I have to admit that 20 years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about doing the same thing as the young girl. I am better educated these days and realise the harm I could bestow on my passengers. I gave up smoking about 8 years ago but obviously as today proves some people just couldn't care less what damage they do to children. I'm all for banning people from smoking in cars when they have passengers. smoke to your hearts content when you are on your own or Adult smokers but not when children are in the car your joking

10:57pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Parmenion says...

I wonder if there is any constitutional right to be a moron?
It's a rhetorical question, but let's get to the facts...

The idea that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke turned the laws of science on their head. The first rule of toxicology is that the dose makes the poison. All substances are toxic at high enough levels just as they are harmless, even beneficial, at lower levels.

Most of us understand that coffee contains benzene, water contains arsenic and that televisions pump out radiation but we don't let it worry us since the levels of these highly carcinogenic toxins are too low to pose a threat to our health. Apparently only one substance disobeys this law of toxicology: secondhand smoke.

"As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.
I wonder if there is any constitutional right to be a moron? It's a rhetorical question, but let's get to the facts... The idea that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke turned the laws of science on their head. The first rule of toxicology is that the dose makes the poison. All substances are toxic at high enough levels just as they are harmless, even beneficial, at lower levels. Most of us understand that coffee contains benzene, water contains arsenic and that televisions pump out radiation but we don't let it worry us since the levels of these highly carcinogenic toxins are too low to pose a threat to our health. Apparently only one substance disobeys this law of toxicology: secondhand smoke. "As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. Parmenion

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