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« Another day, another dinner | Main | AWT: pubs need smokers »

Government: no plans to extend smoking ban to private vehicles

Further to my post about Caroline Lucas and her parliamentary question about smoking in cars where children are present, the Government response is quite encouraging. Responding to the Green MP's written question, health minister Anne Milton has replied:

We have no plans to extend the smokefree law to private vehicles. Many families are now voluntarily making their homes and their cars smokefree, reducing their children's exposure to second-hand smoke. We will continue to urge parents to do this in encouraging them to take responsibility for their children's health. The Public Health White Paper due later this year will set out our priorities for action in this and other areas of tobacco control.

As it happens, this is precisely the point I have made, repeatedly, in interviews on the subject. Why ban smoking in cars where children are present, I have said, when the evidence suggests that the vast majority of parents no longer smoke in those circumstances.

To support my argument I cite opinion polls and many of the comments on this blog. (See Smoking in cars - by smokers, Taking Liberties, June 2010.)

Perhaps (steel yourselves) the Government is actually listening.

Reader Comments (31)

I hope we can believe them. I suspect, however, that, ASH won't be happy and might even now be compiling a report to show that it needs to be banned because parents might buy a second hand car in which smoking has taken place at some time....

September 10, 2010 at 16:31 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

"a report to showit needs to be banned because parents might buy a second hand car in which smoking has taken place at some time"

You mean like this, Joyce? ;)

As for smoking in cars. Job done for the antis, their recent full-on publicity avalanche has placed the idea of it being deadly to kids - 'child abuse', even - firmly in the minds of the public.

September 10, 2010 at 18:23 | Unregistered CommenterDick Puddlecote

To echo Joyce's comments above, there is a real and present danger of even the second-hand car accompanied with an authorised smoke free certificate, if the owner knew, for example, that his third cousin, once knew a guy who went out with a girl who's Grandmother used to smoke, before she died of it, of course. !


September 10, 2010 at 18:27 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Mallon

Biased results?

Good link DP. The only problem I have with this Abstract is this:

‘Sellers were interviewed about smoking behavior and restrictions’. You can see the problem can’t you? If these tests were picking up evidence of residual smoking particles in cars then why would you need to ask about sellers’ smoking behaviour?

Would they have any discernable evidence if the sellers were not asked whether or not they smoked. Surely these stand alone tests would irrefutably establish smoking had occurred in the vehicle.

Asking sellers about their smoking behaviour already establishes a bias towards results found in sellers cars where smoking had occurred.

How sellers behaved after smoking restrictions were brought in is a red herring…what difference does that make – either particles (to whatever extent) are found in the car or not.

Incidentally the word behavior is the American spelling...this is an American study...that explains everything - the title Oxford journal mislead me.

September 10, 2010 at 19:24 | Unregistered CommenterDavidR

I believe that David Cameron himself when questioned about the 2006 Health Act said that the Conservative approach to tobacco control had always been to encourage voluntary restriction. Believe it or not, the Labour white paper of 1998, 'Smoking Kills', also called for a voluntary restriction, complete with recommendations. Yes readers, this even included a kind of traffic light system of notices on pubs and restaurants to say whether they were smoking, non smoking or had segregated areas!! What happened? Well, 1998 was a year into the New Labour government, before the 'wimmin' had got control.

September 11, 2010 at 0:45 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

'Well, 1998 was a year into the New Labour government, before the 'wimmin' had got control.'

In this day and age, I've hesitated to state this, Timbone. It's not 'wimmin' in general (I think they're a pretty good idea overall) but the NuLab breed of 'wimmin', a particularly naive, bitter and nasty one.

September 11, 2010 at 8:29 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

"before the 'wimmin' had got control........................."

Snap, Timbone.

I was reflecting only a couple of days ago on that crass prediction - the one in support of Postive Discrimination, Women-Only shortlists etc - to the effect that Parliament (and hence, Society) would 'benefit' from a huge influx of female MPs.

THEY would inject a much-needed dose of Compassion, Warmth, Common Sense, and Humanity into the daily proceedings of the House.

That COULD have meant people like Patsy, Joyce, Lyn, Margot, Ann, Rose etc - REAL women of passion, humour, restless curiosity, high intelligence, and an almost religious sense of the vital importance of Truth and Freedom to both Individual and Society.

Instead, we get an androgenous company of self-serving, bigoted, and largely low-calibre careerists and bargain-basement feminists like Hewitt, Lucas, Harman, Blears, Cooper, Kelly, Flint etc.

Why couldn't they just have formed one of those karaoke-style Girl Groups ?

They certainly possess the ONE talent vital to success these days: the ability to repeat a single dreary theme with a mediocrity that's almost dazzling.

'The Knuckle-Duster Sisters', perhaps ?

At least we could have blocked our ears........................................

September 11, 2010 at 9:10 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V


'No plans'.

As yet....................................................

September 11, 2010 at 9:20 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Or maybe the Government are beginning to realise they were sold a pup in getting Caroline on board?

September 11, 2010 at 11:40 | Unregistered Commenterann

The thought of someone being arrested for smoking around a child even in the open air makes my flesh creep ,bit like Lucas.

September 11, 2010 at 15:31 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Interesting link DP, but I couldn't help noticing that all they could pick up was nicotine residue.

Perhaps I am being particularly dim here, but I had understood that it was not the nicotine that was the problem - which is why it is 'safe' to use NRT - but the alleged 'toxins' in the smoke caused by the burning process.

Presumably, to my simply mind anyway, this means that no traces of these 'toxins' could be found.

Therefore, where is the problem?

Thank Martin V for your vast array of compliments regarding us women who post here - much appreciated.

September 11, 2010 at 17:49 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Lyn -

My (very real) pleasure !

Nothing but the Truth, though: I've had quite enough of The Other Thing........

September 11, 2010 at 19:26 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

I would rather smoke 100 cigarettes in my car with the windows shut with a child on board than have a child in a car with the windows open with traffic poison coming in.
A pipe from the exhaust into a closed car will kill in minutes. Just how many cigarettes would be needed to commit suicide in this manner is debatable.

September 11, 2010 at 19:52 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Absolutely Jean!

Trouble is those elected to rule this country (obviously not on brain power or common sense) do not yet seem to be able to comprehend this, although it is easily proven. We could perhaps start with Caroline Lucas as the guinea pig regarding a pipe from the exhaust into a car?

I'd volunteer for the 100 cigs trial.

September 11, 2010 at 20:34 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

I agree Martin, nothing but the truth.

Unfortunately too many in power would not know the truth if it slapped them in the face and bit them on the bum!

Where there's no sense ...!

September 11, 2010 at 20:36 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

Thank you from me, too, Martin, for the compliment!

September 11, 2010 at 22:40 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

Smoking is good for you?

Why do governments want to ban smoking? I mean, it’s not as if they actually care about their citizens’ health. If so, they would spend more on healing than killing. But, more to the point, they would address the far more personally and socially destructive effects of alcohol and refined sugar, (which of course, are one and the same) evidenced by alcohol fueled late night violence and sex between drunken obese teenagers (and beyond), who cram casualty departments and make our city centres no-go areas until the sun comes up.

Yet, regardless of this epidemic, because the sugar/alcohol multinationals’ influence is so powerful, health is a minor distraction – however, tobacco companies carry the same political influence, so this is not the reason. In addition, governments make billions annually from smoking: taxes, needless to say, but also in terms of unneeded pensions and the extraordinary savings in health care which escalate dramatically in old age.

Given this perspective, is it not strange that whilst not exactly pushing it, (they would not want to appear heartless now, would they?) governments do not offer smoking the same tacit approval they give to alcohol, junk food and gambling – all of which are many times more socially destructive?

So why do they hate smoking so much?

It was a question that had tumbled around in my head for months. The best I could come up with, was that they wanted to use the fields for a more lucrative crop. But what, barring illicit drugs, could generate such revenue? (Particularly with Heroin production back up to pre Taliban levels.) It just did not make sense.

Ponerology Book CoverThen, by chance i happened upon ‘Political Ponerology’ by Andrew Lobaczewski, which considers how wicked, power hungry people gradually take control over society. And he points out, that the last organised attempt to stifle smoking on the scale now under way in Europe and the United States was in pre-war Germany, under the Nazis. (P.156)

You see, what Nazi scientists discovered very soon into their research, was that carbon-monoxide, a central component of tobacco smoke, creates resistance to pathocratic influence: i.e. imbibers are more likely to question and less likely to blindly follow orders from psychopathic leadership (perhaps we could think of it as ‘attitude’, as symbolised by ’50s icons like James Dean and Marlon Brando). What is more, research also suggests ’second-hand smoke’, as breathed by children of smokers, may in fact immunise them against the influence of psychopaths. Hardly useful, one would suggest, if the objective is filling heads with supremacist beliefs and obtaining undivided loyalty.

To Nazi leadership, with their early, unsophisticated attempts at propaganda, reducing peoples’ critical thinking and increasing their susceptibility to messages of hate and fear and identification were central to their objective. So while the government made supply of tobacco increasingly difficult, and smoking areas increasingly limited, the Nazi propaganda machine set about pushing the party line, vilifying and condemning “red-man’s weed” and persecuting those who would smoke it. It was a campaign begun in the mid 1930s and continued and intensified until they were finally overthrown. (The anti-tobacco campaign of the Nazis – )

Today, when one considers the enormous advances in psychological warfare, be it for product sales, national/religious/corporate identity or fear of the other, and the increasingly sophisticated delivery techniques, the need for smoking to be eradicated becomes blazingly obvious. What government or corporation (or religion) in their right mind, whose primary goals are submission and association, cannot see the benefit of losing a few million in taxes, pensions, operations… for the benefit of a compliant, malleable ready made workforce, and market. From such a perspective, considering our current political and corporate leadership, it is clear, smoking never stood a chance.

What a good job we have a free and independent news media to stand up for the citizen, expose authoritarian lies and ensure governments and corporations cannot cynically manipulate and frighten people into servicing their nefarious goals… oh, err… looks like we’re in big trouble.

Better get puffing guys!

September 12, 2010 at 0:05 | Unregistered Commenterarold


Until you can give me a reason not to post this I will continue to post it and embarrass you.

September 12, 2010 at 0:06 | Unregistered Commenterarold

arold -

A most interesting post !

As you will have gathered, you're not the only one to have puzzled over the REAL explanation for this WORLDWIDE phenomenon of frenzied - but highly orchestrated - anti-tobaccoism.

The Health, Economic, and Children arguments - all the customary stalking horses employed by the Antis - simply fail to stand up under the simplest scrutiny.

They ARE, however, sufficiently convincing for the Masses to accept as valid, before passing on to more pressing matters in their lives.

And in this regard, 'The Masses' includes the vast bulk of MPs - who have deluded themselves into believing that they have been admitted into the Charmed Circle of Power.

Most, of course, have not.

But they DO perform some useful functions.

First, in serving as conduits for whatever 'message' their Masters wish to convey to the (despised) People.

Second, in serving as lightning conductors for the frequent outbursts of anger from the electorate that all political action generates from time to time.

Third, to act (together with the Civil Service and other agencies) as an information barrier to deter overly scrupulous investigation by the truth-seeker.

In this regard, MPs are (for the most part) as much victims of the System as the rest of us. Naturally, however, they are happy to convince themselves otherwise.

Which leaves our True Masters.

Beyond the now well-publicised objective of Global Governance, what could THEIR motive possibly be ?

I have absolutely no idea, I'm afraid. But I SUGGEST the following:

First, yet another distraction-by-design (and there are many) that keeps us focussed on the local, and the personal and which therefore serves to deflect our attention away from larger issues. The socially divisive results of ant-tobaccoism are also a useful side-effect.

Second, smokers DO tend to be more inquiring, more combative, more individualistic than non-smokers. A VERY broad generalisation, I know - but it's what THEY are led to believe that matters: in short, that smokers are measurably MORE likely to be 'subversive' (as some of your Nazi science – not all of it bogus - suggests).

Third, by persuading even reasonable people to stigmatise a perfectly normal activity, and cajoling even hardened smokers into quitting, they are using the Tobacco Issue to acclimatise the People towards acceptance of a New Habit (in reality, a very OLD one):

The Habit of Obedience.

The National Socialist experiment was brief, costly, and something of a failure.

But it WAS an ‘experiment’.

The architects of International Socialism – with sixty years of technological advance and massive corporate power to assist them – will not make the same mistakes.

THEY, at least, HAVE learned from History.

Make any kind of sense ?

Just some random thoughts, anyway..............................

September 12, 2010 at 0:33 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Yes, the real point is that we are children controlled from day one through to our end days. The real point is our belief mechanisms and what they are filled with. Now anyone with any sense knows 9/11 was an inside job and the end game is Iran. Sad but true. It's a shame Simon deletes my posts and wants this facts hidden from the people.

September 12, 2010 at 1:30 | Unregistered Commenterarold

Arold/Sid/Jed (or whatever your name is), you are entitled to your opinion, although this is not a blog that encourages conspiracy theories or references to National Socialists in relation to tobacco control.

The reason for deleting your original comment was because I had just posted a reminder asking people to limit comments to 200 words and yours was 600+. If you want to submit an article or a guest blog please do so and I will consider it for publication here or on our Free Society website.

(In my experience, lengthy comments that have no direct relevance to the original post or the preceding comments kill threads and discourage people from commenting on the original topic, which defeats the object of the exercise.)

You also posted using several different computers whilst employing at least three different names (none of which, I assume, are your own), which sets alarm bells ringing. Oh, and you then threaten to "embarrass" me if I don't publish your comment. Nice.

I guess this is my grumpy old man moment. Fact is, I'm too old to be embarrassed and I'm too old to put up with someone threatening me on my own blog. I'm old school and this blog comes with a set of house rules. If you don't like them I politely suggest that you find a blog or other forum that is more accommodating. There are thousands to choose from.

September 12, 2010 at 10:03 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Clark


You say

You also posted using several different computers whilst employing at least three different names (none of which, I assume, are your own), which sets alarm bells ringing.

NO JUST ONE. a simple reboot Simon.

You say

Oh, and you then threaten to "embarrass" me if I don't publish your comment. Nice.

NO, just trying tp point out that blocking me from the site due to my reasonable post was strange AND it will be easy for me to reboot and continue posting. Now surely blocking me several times for what I have posted is unreasonable Simon. I can only conclude that the post ruffles to many feathers.

September 12, 2010 at 11:28 | Unregistered Commenterarold

"I'm too old to be embarrassed...................."

From the little that I deduce of Simon's character and personality, I'd say the only thing likely to 'embarrass' him is a £5 Million win on a lottery.

Organised by ASH.

Not terribly likely, one imagines................................

September 13, 2010 at 10:14 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

"I can only conclude that the post ruffles to many feathers." - arold.

Simon has made it clear in the past that he does not like conspiracy
theory rubbish, equating tobacco control with NAZI's, long rambling off topic posts.

"Now anyone with any sense knows 9/11 was an inside job and the end game is Iran. Sad but true. It's a shame Simon deletes my posts and wants this facts hidden from the people."
Gold plated nonsense. See above.

September 13, 2010 at 12:04 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

Fredrik -

Conspiracy Theory Rubbish we certainly DON'T want.

After all, we're not exactly short of 'rubbish' these days, are we ?

But Conspiracy Fact......................that's something we NEED to know about.

And conspiracies DO happen: it's WHY the word 'conspiracy' was invented, and constitutes a crime in English Law.

Sadly, we can't magic away all the Nastiness with a silly phrase (often employed by those who wish to appear more savvy than they really are), I fear.

I've tried Oofle Dust (it worked for Sooty and Sweep).

Hugely over-rated in my opinion.

Facts, however..........................................

September 13, 2010 at 12:47 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

"the end game is Iran.................."

If only it were.

But the DECLARED ambitions of Zbigniew Brzezinski and his mad PNAC pals go WAY beyond Lil' Ol' Iran.

If they succeed, it won't be Wayne Rooney's love-life on the front pages any longer...............

September 13, 2010 at 13:08 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

Martin, I do not deny that people conspire,It was more a comment that Simon is just being consistent with his stated blog policy!

September 13, 2010 at 13:36 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

Fredrik Eich

Bilderberg group

Look it up old son.

September 13, 2010 at 14:44 | Unregistered Commenterarold

Fredrik -

I wasn't aiming at you.

Sorry if it seemed that way.

Just using the mention of that dread phrase to make a point, really.

And - in these particular times - it's rather an important one, I think........................

September 13, 2010 at 15:18 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V



I wonder how many people worldwide know of the Bilderberg group. My guess would be below 10%.

September 13, 2010 at 15:32 | Unregistered Commenterarold

arold -

WAY below that, I fear.

Curiosity may have killed the Cat.

But Lack of Curiosity may well kill our Freedom.

Please let me be wrong..............................................

September 14, 2010 at 6:52 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

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