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UK to ban smoking in cars with kids… it’s already illegal here!

From 1 October (2015) it will be illegal to smoke in a car or any other vehicle with children under the age of 18 present. But it’s already illegal in Australia…

WE ALL KNOW THE dangers of second-hand cigarette smoke. And we all know the dangers of children breathing in second-hand cigarette smoke, and while we’re moving fast towards a smoke-free society in our pubs and restaurants cars are the last safe haven.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favour for more government control, but when there’s scientific evidence to support a case, and the costs of supporting smokers (and those who’ve been exposed to second-hand smoke) once they become ill surely out weighs the tax benefits that cigarettes offer the Goverment’s purse.

Sure, we live in a mostly free country and individuals are mostly free to do as they wish, smoking cigarettes included. But I’m a big fan of, if you’re going to smoke then definitely don’t do it near children, or anyone who isn’t a smoker, for instance. But particularly children.

So, like making it illegal to hold and use your mobile phone in your car, does the Government need to institute common-sense laws around smoking in cars? Does there need to be a fine for smoking in cars with children in order to ensure that those children who’ve potentially been sucking down second-hand smoke for years either, take up the habit or develop a chronic illness from it later in life.

Well, actually it’s already illegal in every single state and territory of Australia to smoke in a car with a children under the age of 18. Bet you didn’t know that… there are some variations, like Queensland which has made it illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under the age of 16 present, and in Western Australia it’s 17.

Despite the fact it’s already illegal to smoke in cars here, I’ll bet you’ve all seen people puffing away with a backseat full of kids. That means those people are, one, breaking the law and, two, hurting their children.

Now, I tend to look at this issue in a fairly blinkered, black and white way and so my reaction is usually, if we know the harm smoking causes and we know the cost to our groaning healthcare system then maybe we should just ban the things… But, then that raises a whole host of other issues that I don’t just don’t have the energy to get tangled up in right now.

So, if you’re a smoker and you’ve got kids, don’t smoke in the car with them, or in your car at all. The smell lingers and it’ll hurt your resale when it comes to time to sell the car. But, at the end of the day, I’ll leave it to Yul Brenner who said: “Whatever you do, just don’t smoke”.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober