It was a revelation this month to discover that calling for tougher curbs on smoking, made me a Nazi. Strike that, it was a surprise when my (admittedly provocative) Huffington Post article received a slew of 'she's a Nazi' comments, when my twitter account was inundated with trolls, when I received hate E-mail...
People may be happy to be seen as a fun kind of tipsy at a party, but nobody wants to be a drunk-driver.... Playing with our own safety is something that must remain personal choice, but the second it endangers somebody else, anybody else, this is the time for the state, and society, to step in. Smoking anywhere in public must become as unacceptable as drink driving.
Electronic cigarette use is rising, with Action on Smoking and Health estimating that there are now 1.3 million current users of e-cigarettes in the UK. This number is almost entirely made up of current and ex-smokers, with perhaps as many as 400,000 people having replaced smoking with e-cigarette use.
The 'debate' this week in Parliament regarding smoking in cars with child passengers had me hanging my head in disbelief. We are talking about an activity that puts more than 4,000 chemicals into the air, a number of which are known to cause cancer. Why are we debating it at all... and why are people in our government still opposing it?
"A ban would be the nanny state going too far"? People once described the law against drink-driving as an example of the nanny state going too far, telling people what they could or couldn't do in their own car. Yet most now accept it as sensible. Other than being about protecting children within the car rather than pedestrians and other drivers outside, this law would be exactly the same. And given the number of children it affects, the benefits for the nation's health could be equally if not more dramatic.
Any sensible adult knows that one should not smoke around children and especially when one is in an enclosed space such as a car or even in the same room; however do we really need legal legislation for this? There are a number of issues that we need clarification on, but we also must ask how the police are going to enforce this law?