Want a cigarette? In you own car? The BMA say NO! (16 November 2011)

I don’t smoke yet I am horrified that the British Medical Association has today announced that they are urging governments within the UK to consider banning the public from smoking in all motor vehicles.

This means your own private c
ar.  Yes, that car you work hard to pay for probably within a building that doesn’t let you smoke within it all day.  If the BMA get their way you’ll not even be able to light up while you drive home either.


I don’t smoke yet I am horrified that the British Medical Association has today announced that they are urging governments within the UK to consider banning the public from smoking in all motor vehicles.

This means your own private car.  Yes, that car you work hard to pay for probably within a building that doesn’t let you smoke within it all day.  If the BMA get their way you’ll not even be able to light up while you drive home either.


The BMA suggest that a ban on smoking in private motor vehicles could save the lives of children and adults.  They say 23 children and 4,000 adults die each year as a result of passive smoking.  Not all a result of smoking in cars, of course.


Now, let’s take the point of children.  I have several friends who have children and I don’t know one of them that lights up in the car without a window open.  They know that having the window closed means a collection of smoke in a small place and is potentially harmful plus they don’t want the car to smell of cigarette smoke.  I don’t think I know of anyone that smokes in their car without a window open even when their children aren’t there.


The BMA are not giving parents much credit with regards to the safety of their children.  Basically they are saying “we have tell you how to smoke around your children because you don’t understand”.


Worse than all that though is the fact that the BMA are asking governments to take away the rights of people and their own private property.  You buy a car, it’s yours, you can do what you want (within reason) to that car.  You can have a set of furry dice hanging from the rear-view mirror, you can put fashion covers on the seats, you can drink a can of juice, you can modify the sound system and you can smoke inside it because you own it, it’s yours.


The worry therefore is, if the BMA get their way and the governments in the UK decide to bring in a ban on smoking in private vehicles then what’s next? Our own homes? Seems like it could be. What’s to stop them?


Don’t get me wrong, I support the ban on smoking in company vehicles and smoking in bars/restaurants and the previous ban of smoking non public transport but telling people they shouldn’t smoke in their own private vehicles is ludicrous and I absolutely hope that the governments in the UK don’t consider the BMA advice on this.  What’s wrong with a good old AD campaign highlighting, to parents, the dangers of smoking near their child – in any location?
If it’s an issue of safety then let’s look at that.  Speaking on mobile phones is banned.  Rightly so, speaking on a phone is a distraction, if it’s social then you’re likely absorbed in what ever the other person is telling you, gossip, family news, a joke.  If it’s work related then you’re likely absorbed in taking in instructions or trying to find out information.  


Ban smoking on safety grounds and you then need to think about banning eating, drinking and listening to the radio – or paying attention to your sat-nav.  They’re all distractions.
You can read the BMA report on Smoking in Vehicles here.


The BMA suggest that a ban on smoking in private motor vehicles could save the lives of children and adults.  They say 23 children and 4,000 adults die each year as a result of passive smoking.  Not all a result of smoking in cars, of course.

Now, let’s take the point of children.  I have several friends who have children and I don’t know one of them that lights up in the car without a window open.  They know that having the window closed means a collection of smoke in a small place and is potentially harmful plus they don’t want the car to smell of cigarette smoke.  I don’t think I know of anyone that smokes in their car without a window open even when their children aren’t there.


The BMA are not giving parents much credit with regards to the safety of their children.  Basically they are saying “we have tell you how to smoke around your children because you don’t understand”.



Worse than all that though is the fact that the BMA are asking governments to take away the rights of people and their own private property.  You buy a car, it’s yours, you can do what you want (within reason) to that car.  You can have a set of furry dice hanging from the rear-view mirror, you can put fashion covers on the seats, you can drink a can of juice, you can modify the sound system and you can smoke inside it because you own it, it’s yours.


The worry therefore is, if the BMA get their way and the governments in the UK decide to bring in a ban on smoking in private vehicles then what’s next? Our own homes? Seems like it could be. What’s to stop them?

Don’t get me wrong, I support the ban on smoking in company vehicles and smoking in bars/restaurants and the previous ban of smoking non public transport but telling people they shouldn’t smoke in their own private vehicles is ludicrous and I absolutely hope that the governments in the UK don’t consider the BMA advice on this.  What’s wrong with a good old AD campaign highlighting, to parents, the dangers of smoking near their child – in any location?
If it’s an issue of safety then let’s look at that.  Speaking on mobile phones is banned.  Rightly so, speaking on a phone is a distraction, if it’s social then you’re likely absorbed in what ever the other person is telling you, gossip, family news, a joke.  If it’s work related then you’re likely absorbed in taking in instructions or trying to find out information.  


Ban smoking on safety grounds and you then need to think about banning eating, drinking and listening to the radio – or paying attention to your sat-nav.  They’re all distractions.
You can read the BMA report on Smoking in Vehicles here.

%d bloggers like this: