More about the Welsh Consultation

I thought that I might follow up on the Welsh Consultation about smoking in cars with kiddy-widdies aged 17 in the cars. You can respond to the consultation here:

http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/healthsocialcare/smoke-free/?lang=en

But if you can work out how to do so on-line, you are a better man than me, gunga din.

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Not to worry. In the end, I responded by email. I thought that it might be amusing to reproduce my responses. (NB. There seem to be no restrictions on where the responses come from at all. You do not need to be Welsh or live in Wales, or even in the UK. At this time, there seem to have been around 141,000 responses)

Question 1
Do you agree with the proposal to make it an offence to smoke in an enclosed private vehicle when there is more than one person present and a person under the age of 18 is present?

Ans:

No.

There is no need for such a law. Very few people smoke in their cars with significant frequency, and certainly not so much as to cause harm to children. Further, it is unlikely that a person will smoke in a car without a window open. Even a slight opening causes a significant draught within the car which vents the smoke rapidly.

Question 2
Do you agree that the offence of smoking in a private vehicle when a person under the age of 18 is present should fall on the person smoking regardless of their age? (please refer to examples at paragraph 4.2)

Ans:

No. There is no need for such a law.

Question 3
Do you agree that the offence of failure to prevent smoking in a private vehicle when a person under the age of 18 is present should apply to the driver regardless of their age?

Ans:

No. There is no need for such a law.

Question 4
Do you agree with the proposal for the new offences to apply to caravans and motor caravans when they are being used as vehicles but not when they are being used as homes?

Ans:

No. There is no need for such a law.

Question 5
Do you have any comments regarding the enforcement of the proposed changes to the law?

Ans:

Enforcement would be a nightmare. Suppose that a parent is smoking with his son/daughter in his car. How could the police judge whether the son/daughter is seventeen or eighteen? How could stopping that car with a view to ascertaining the age of the ‘children’ or ‘not children’ be justified? On the other hand, would the police be justified in not stopping that car if they suspect that ‘a crime’ is being committed? The potential for ‘bringing the law into disrepute’ is very great.

Question 6
Do you agree that the use of electronic cigarettes should be prohibited in private vehicles when there is more than one person present and a person under the age of 18 is present?

Ans:

No. This question is pathetic. I suppose that it has been asked because e-cigarettes ‘look like’ tobacco cigarettes. They do not – not since better versions have been produced. The vapour that they produce looks something like tobacco smoke, but it is not. Exhaled breath, on a cold day also looks like tobacco smoke. Vapour rising from a hot drink looks like tobacco smoke.

Question 7
Is there anything else that we should be taking into account in relation to smoking in private vehicles when a person under the age of 18 is present?

Ans:

There is a huge potential for accidents to be caused by such a law. An ‘addicted smoker’ will be more likely to have an accident if he is distracted by the craving for a cigarette. Further, if he lights a cigarette, he will be constantly watching for police cars or other enforcers, who may be ‘in plain clothes’. It is likely that such enforcers ‘in plain clothes’ will be taking photographs while driving alongside the driver. Further, you will be creating a charter for vindictive busybodies to create hazards on the road as they try to use their mobiles to take pictures of the act of smoking and of the children in the car. A sure recipe for disaster.

——

I then added a ‘Final Comment’:

Final Comment.

“There is no evidence that healthy children are harmed by the passing exposure to cigarette smoke while travelling in a car. May I remind you of ‘The McTear versus Imperial Tobacco Case’ held in the Scottish Supreme Court 2004/5. McTear sued ITC for damages because he claimed that smoking their products caused his lung cancer. All that McTear was required to do was prove to the satisfaction of the court that smoking probably caused his cancer (“on the balance of probabilities”). McTear (representing Tobacco Control) could not or would not produce any evidence that his claim was correct. The Judge, Lord Nimmo Smith, rejected all four of the claims presented, including that smoking is a cause of lung cancer. How can you therefore honestly claim that the passing exposure during a car journey could harm a healthy child?

This call for legislation has nothing to do with the health of children. It is a vindictive act to further inconvenience, punish and persecute people who enjoy tobacco.
It has no merit”.

——

Carl Phillips has written a very admirable ‘fugue’ (as he calls it), meaning critique, of ‘Health Professional’ attitudes. You can read it here:

http://antithrlies.com/2014/09/21/dear-public-health-the-public-despises-you-so-you-are-probably-doing-it-wrong/

Essentially, he says that ‘Health Professionals’ have created a language which excludes words and phrases which permit any doubt about their veracity. Thus, they have a mantra which states: “There are no benefits to the enjoyment of tobacco”. Further, they have extended this mantra to: “There are no benefits to nicotine”.

Such has been the bashing of these ideas that the ‘movement’ has become idealistic, puritanical, unethical, bombastic, unscientific, arrogant, etc, etc. As was illustrated by Prof Ashton’s outbursts on Twitter. He was almost certainly a bit slat at, but, as they say, “In vino veritas”. That is, that the others have the same attitude but hide it.

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Is it not odd how politicians are so elastic? For example, the previous Heath Sec, Lansley MP, voted against the smoking ban, but, once in office, he said that he hoped that tobacco companies would have no business in the UK.

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There are only two ways forward. Either politicians change or wholesale disregard of their decisions predominates. In fact, we are already seeing the results of Government policy in the abysmal profits of Tesco. Huge regulation results in standardisation, and thus lack of competition, and thus stultification.

May I remind everyone that ‘A Treaty’ has no legal implications. It is a temporary agreement. The FCTC has no force at all. It is based upon hot air. Why is Britain still supporting that useless gang of charlatans?

The reason is almost certainly that Cameron and co are unaware of the expenditure because it is relatively small directly. But the knock-on effects are enormous, and that is what the politicians are denied knowledge of. They are stupid because the answer is simple. A committee of Statisticians without ideals would do the trick.

 

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2 Responses to “More about the Welsh Consultation”

  1. beobrigitte Says:

    May I remind everyone that ‘A Treaty’ has no legal implications. It is a temporary agreement. The FCTC has no force at all.

    EXACTLY. There is no reason for NOT tearing it up!!!! The first to do this will cause a land slide.

    This treaty has cost this country (and others!) quite a lot and continues to do so.
    A increasingly disgruntled population is a recipe for changes in politics.

    • junican Says:

      The zealots are under attack from both sides now – not only individuals on the internet, but also many of the ‘sincere’ health professionals. Their blatant Big Parma backed opposition to ecigs has revealed them in their true colours.

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