A top doctor has called for a ban on smoking in cars carrying children.
Professor Terence Stephenson, the head of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, says it should be illegal to inflict smoke on youngsters in cars.
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I'd go further. I'd ban people from having children if they're going to smoke anywhere near them.
I'm sure there will be the usual howls of protest from pro-smoking groups about this but why should you be allowed to pump noxious fumes into your children's lungs?
You're not allowed to beat your children. Why are you allowed to give them lung cancer?
It drives me crazy just to see parents walking down the street, baby in one hand, fag in the other.
Apart from the health risks, these parents are also setting their children an incredibly bad example and increasing the chances that they will smoke themselves when they grow up.
As for parents who smoke in enclosed spaces, such as the house or the car, with their children around, well that should be just criminal.
I'll admit I used to chug away on roll-ups all day long but I gave up years ago when I realised I would want to have children.
How could you live with yourself if you knew that your self-indulgence had damaged your child's health?
As Prof Stephenson says: "Why on earth would you light up in your car whilst your children are sitting quite happily in the back?
"On the assumption that you wouldn't pass the packet round and invite the kids to light up, why make them breathe tobacco smoke at all?
"You can't inflict this on your colleagues at work any more. Why should we treat our children's health as a lower priority than our employees?"
He admits that a change in the law would lead to accusations of a nanny state. But he says this is a small price to pay for protecting our children's health.
I'm a big fan of liberalism but on this occasion I say, bring on the nanny state.
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