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« Quote of the week | Main | At last - a result! »

Forest versus Prof John Britton

On Wednesday I appeared on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 opposite Professor John Britton of the Royal College of Physicians. Click on the bar above to listen.

Reader Comments (15)

Noticed he brought in road safety to try and get around the question of banning smoking in cars with no passengers. Although he didn't have to spell it out, his argument against a passenger smoking was that it was harmful to the driver - even if the driver is a smoker. My prediction is that they will try the road safety route. Luckily you don't have to hold a cigarette against your ear to smoke it so there won't be much enforcement. Probably a lot more accidents caused by people trying to hide cigarettes when they think they might be reported.The research on this always puts smoking as a negligible hazard compared to passenger distraction and fiddling with the satnav, cd player etc. We will end up with childless smokers being fined for smoking in their own parked cars.

March 26, 2010 at 15:41 | Unregistered Commenterjon


Time to ban breeding.

I bet mental health has deteriorated a lot with the increased persecution of smokers.

March 26, 2010 at 16:01 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I noticed a potential Freudian Slip. He clearly stated with 20 secs to go in the interview that 'We need to pretend er protect'. That is the crux of his argument. Tell enough lies and people may believe them.

March 26, 2010 at 16:15 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Peoples

I thought you were a little bit too conciliatory at first, Simon - my reaction to Britton's introductory speech would have been to yell abuse at him for talking a complete load of sh1te! But you got him bang to rights on the asthma issue - he went noticeably quiet and then conceded that they don't know what had caused the current rise. If they don't know, how can they say that smoking is a factor?

On the other issue, how come Britton is a road safety expert as well? And if the hazards of smoking while driving are so great, how is it that virtually every car built in the twentieth century had an ashtray and a lighter as standard fittings? You really would think that somebody might have noticed the danger in all that time!

March 26, 2010 at 18:02 | Unregistered CommenterRick S

I drive an automatic convertible.
To my knowledge, no child has ever been in my car.

am I exempt?

In. My. Dreams.

March 26, 2010 at 18:14 | Unregistered CommenterCarbchick

I bet mental health has deteriorated a lot with the increased persecution of smokers.

I can vouch for that Katie, first hand and witnessed at the local Mental Health Day Hospital where I see a psychiatrist and have just finished, for now anyway, seeing a psychologist.

Once the ban was decided on and the date set the numbers of referrals to psychiatrists increased hugely and being the poor relation in the NHS their resources are stretched extremely thinly!

March 26, 2010 at 20:48 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Here are 2 papers on smoking and driving, one I pinched from TL..

Smoking while driving is far from proven as being a cause of accidents, being responsible for 0.9% of accidents, by comparison: "Outside person, object, or event, 29.4%, Adjusting radio/cassette/CD, 11.4%, Other occupant, 10.9%.."

This paper from the Australian State Of Victoria suggests 2% and out of 11 risks is the least problem. Pages 19 and 20.

March 26, 2010 at 21:55 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. 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

March 27, 2010 at 1:28 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Trent

seems to me that the esteemed professor doesn't understand simple mathematics.(like most doctors of medecine)

March 27, 2010 at 9:57 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

My niece is an asthmatic and sometimes uses an inhaler and smokes 20 cigs a day.
Her husband and two children are anti smoking and her daughter is an asthmatic too.
When her family were growing up they pleaded with her to stop smoking and she would always tell them to F**k off and mind their own business.
Her children are grown up now and married to non smokers, and my niece who celebrates her 49th birthday next week and is in excellent health, has no intention of giving up her smokes.

March 27, 2010 at 10:25 | Unregistered Commenterann

Since the workplace smoking ban, I now must take my cigarette break standing outside my place of work, unless it is raining, then I sit in my car for shelter. Am I to be banned from doing this? It is absolutely ridiculous that I will have to stand in the rain to smoke a cigarette whilst I look through the windows at the dry interior of my own car longingly.

March 27, 2010 at 13:18 | Unregistered CommenterAnts

Ants, buy a single seat bubble-car, and plaster it with "No Children" stickers...

March 27, 2010 at 23:50 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph K

@MichaelPeoples - ha! yes I noticed that 'Freudian Slip' as well.
@George Trent - yes, I have that quote stored in my database as well. It's a shame more of the public are not aware of it, trouble is, the 'Godwins Law' card would be used.
@myself - When I am driving to, and especially driving home from a gig which is 1 or 2 hours away, as a smoker, a cigarette aids my concentration and alleviates potential tiredness.

March 28, 2010 at 0:52 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Timbone, I know exactly what you mean. I have raised this question before; when was it that accidents involving lorries seemed to become more prolific? I believe it was about the time of the smoking ban in the workplace, which included lorry cabs.

Many drivers now ignore the law as it is better to smoke to help with concentration, especially when on long, monotonous motorway journeys being restricted to between 55 and 60 mph, where smoking helps to alleviate the hypnotic effect, than not to smoke and risk causing an accident due to the monotony.

It is completely insane for anyone to think or believe that smoking kills more people than road accidents, some of which could be prevented if professional drivers were allowed to smoke in their cabs. Simple!

March 28, 2010 at 12:34 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Has anyone noticed the increase in the amount of pedestrians who have been knocked down and killed since the smoking ban, especially in rural areas.
The poor innocent punters recon its safer and to prevent getting charged for having 2 or 3 drinks.
Why dont we see headlines saying BANS are Killing People!
The anti bastards have a lot to answer for.

March 29, 2010 at 11:46 | Unregistered Commenterann

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