Smoking in cars

 

I am told I will have a free vote soon on whether people should be banned from smoking in cars where children are also travelling.

I have so far agreed with the government’s view that we should aim to eliminate smoking in a confined space with a child present by persuasion and health education. I am now consulting on whether the government should go further and ban smoking in these circumstances.

I am always reluctant to legislate to reduce people’s freedom. The issue here is more complex as we have to weigh  the freedom of the child to travel smoke free against the freedom of the adult to smoke. The child often may have no choice in the matter.

I would appreciate constituents’ views on this to help in coming to my decision. It would be helpful to have your address to confirm you are a constituent. This can be sent to the website by reply, or to my Parliamentary email if you wish the address to be kept private.

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12 Comments

  1. me
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Mind your own business.

  2. Antisthenes
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I am not a constituent but I should like to put my penny’s worth in anyway. There is always a case to ban some things that are truly harmful but that should be only when the action of one is harmful to others such as smoking in places where people do not have a choice in avoiding that place. However in a private car that is totally down to personal responsibility of parents and they are quite capable of making their own decisions. Whether we agree or not with that decision is none of our business.

  3. Sheila Donald
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Mr Rewood,
    As far as I am aware, I am free to comment on any other of the articles on your blog. As a hitherto Conservative voter, can you please explain why on this subject, you are not interested in my opinion?

    Reply I am conducting a constituency consultation as Wokingham’s MP on the local pages.

    • Sheila Donald
      Posted February 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the reply.
      Can I just say that we seem to have developed a similar situation here regarding the Houe of Lords ‘ children & families ‘ bill, as that which occurred with the recent referendum bill.
      Out of all the thousands of cases of children, allegedly being taken to hospital for respiratory problems, it would be interesting to establish just how many have been subjected to diesel or general traffic fumes. Over the last 40/50 years. Smoking rates have come down whilst asthma rates have gone up. Something clearly does not add up and I object very much, having the state dictate what I do or don’t do in my own private space.
      I firmly believe that this is a ‘ smoke & mirrors ‘ tactic being orchestrated, by the Labour Party, with their real agenda being a total car ban, followed by a ban in the home. Truly frightening and must be opposed.

  4. Sue
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Stay out of my life!

  5. david
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Again, not a constituent.

    All recent and proposed legislation has been promoted by the need to protect children, be it from display and packaging and now smokers themselves. Thinly disguised though – it’s simply about denormalisation and alienation of law abiding citizens (who contribute nearly £12,000,000,000 pa to The Treasury). And it doesn’t take much to realise that (to avoid confusion) the ban will ultimately apply to all cars. The same last minute trick was used with the existing ban – (as good as) no exceptions in public enclosed spaces, regardless of the presence/absence of employees. Indeed, the ban applied equally to sole traders premises and vehicles.

    Public Health is now out of Control. It did a fine job eradicating or controlling communicable disease, but is now obsesses with hectoring and bullying those that fails to live so-called healthy lifestyles. Hence the latest ludicrous assaults on sugar salt and alcohol. What precisely are they hoping to achieve – that no one will suffer/die from all those diseases that are claimed to be caused by disapproved lifestyle choices ? If so, what on earth are we expected to die of?

  6. Steven Simon
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    How would it be policed.does this mean if you smoke in front of your children at home you could be punished.what about taking your children into town and letting them breathe all thos carcinogens coming out of a car exhaust.im not surprised the House of Lords passed it.eighty members have links to pharmaceutical companies.this does not require legislation because most parents would not smoke in a car with their children.

  7. Andrew McIntosh
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Sir, I am not a constituent nor do I smoke, but…….

    Cars today, our homes tomorrow? Let’s start with local authority housing, right? How long before the four o’clock knocks start? “We’ve received reports from neighbours of the odour of burning tobacco emanating from these premises.”
    A slippery slope? No fizzy drinks in cars with children on-board? Never going to happen? Let’s meet here again in five or so years and see how things are shaping up.

    Think of the children? If it’s as dangerous to kids as the health zealots would have us believe, thus harming children, is it not already against the law to cause harm to children? Or would those big scary numbers they like to use just get ripped apart in court as pure fantasy?

    Think of the children? Give this some thought; the more governments insist on trying to hold everyone’s hand, the less likely it will become that anyone will bother to learn to walk on their own. Or is that the plan?

  8. Colin
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I’m not a constituent but, in light of your comment above that, “I have so far agreed with the government’s view that we should aim to eliminate smoking in a confined space with a child present by persuasion and health education,” I do hope that you will take into account in reaching your decision that the evidence for so-called passive smoking is strongly disputed and it is far from clear that there is a problem requiring state intervention.

  9. Sue Doughty
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I am a smoker and avoided smoking in the car while children were in it, and now if anyone as well as me is in the car. I used to pull over and park to have a smoke if travelling a long way with children.
    Yes, I think smoking in a car with children in it should be banned. But since they still haven’t managed to fully enforce the seat belt laws I doubt this ban will be enforced apart for exceptional circumstances when the car is being driven badly.

  10. DadOf3
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    As often happens with controversial proposals, many ask “Where will this end?”, as if the slippery slope argument carries any weight. It never does.

    Either this proposal as it is written is good and should become law, or it is not. Argue on that basis. To invoke the slippery slope is to suggest that I should not spend money on a raincoat to protect against rain because later I may spend more on armour to fend off meteors.

    Save your breath. Lobby today’s parliamentarians on today’s issues. For my part, I will be writing to my MP to tell him that this particular restriction on smoking, in a confined space, in the presence of young lungs whose owner may not be in a position to object, is proportionate and just. The right to smoke should be upheld but it is trumped by the right to avoid smoke.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I am a constituant, you have my address on file, and for the record have never smoked, although my Father did when I was a child, although we did not have a car.

    Me thinks the government is going far too far with such proposals.

    Has no one ever heard of Parental responsibility, or freedom of the individual.

    Yes a childs health may well be damaged having to inhale smoke in a confined space, but then feeding them countless sweets, fizzy drinks, fat busting takeaways, allowing them to sit too close to the Tv for hours on end, or listening to music with headphones on too loud will probably cause them long term harm as well.

    Jogging, walking and cycling with headphones on is probably far more serious, as you are more likely to be involved in a road accident because you are then deaf to what is going on outside of your own little world!

    Time for commonsense to prevail, let us hope that Parents will use some.

    Surely we have more than enough laws in place already

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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