Caring for our kids or bullying the nation?
- By: Nyla Khan
Labour MP Alex Cunningham’s private member’s bill is to be given a second reading in Parliament this year.1 If the bill comes into effect, it will become illegal to smoke in private vehicles carrying children in the UK. The British Medical Association has supported the proposal and suggested extending it to all vehicles.2 In a statement released in October last year, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health stood by the BMA.3
The rationale behind the legislation is not difficult to appreciate; we are aware of the evidence linking passive smoking in children with respiratory problems. For many, this causal link is not argument enough. The proposal has been met with anger by many. Smokers’ lobby group Forest argues that it is a “gross over-reaction,” citing that it intrudes on an individual’s personal free will.4 Others argue that bans are not the answer to the problem and will always