Matt's View: Smoking ban in cars is a hypocritical move

PUBLISHED: 15:33 15 February 2014

MPs have backed a smoking ban in cars

MPs have backed a smoking ban in cars

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Despite being a non-smoker, the Government's decision to try and stop people from lighting up in their cars while driving with children as passengers interests me.

The ban took a step closer to law this week when it was passed by the House of Commons.

As you will note (if you have been reading your Crow thoroughly and not just jumping straight to the best bits) our MPs, Oliver Heald and Andrew Lansley, both backed the move.

Offending motorists could face fines or points on their license if caught having a crafty fag, and the law could come into force before the next election.

Health charities have welcomed the decision, with Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “The introduction of a law that would help prevent hundreds of thousands of children from being exposed to second-hand smoke in the car is now within reach.

“With both Houses of Parliament having made their support for the ban clear, the onus is now on the Government to act accordingly and make this crucial child protection measure law at the earliest opportunity.”

It’s hard to argue with any of that, so I’m not going to: it’s obviously a good thing that children be exposed to as little passive smoking as possible.

But I do find politicians’ attitude towards smoking a bit hypocritical. Representatives from across the political spectrum will happily line up to have a go at smokers and make it as difficult as possible for them to pursue their habit. Yet they are still happy to cream off a large amount of tax every time someone buys a fresh pack of 20. You can’t have the best of both worlds, and for me if Parliament really are against smoking then they should look at banning it completely. Otherwise people should be given a bit of freedom to do what they like in their own homes or, in this case, vehicles.

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You can’t turn on a television screen at the moment without being confronted by the Winter Olympics.

I struggled to catch Olympic fever when the proper games were held here two years ago, and really can’t get excited about their inferior winter counterpart.

I mean, who really cares if we win a medal in snowboarding, or curling, or downhill tea tray sliding or whatever; any sport which doubles as a middle class holiday has dubious validity if you ask me.

On a more serious note, the amount of money being pumped into Team GB by British Athletics is a lot higher than I thought - £13.5million over the last four years according to figures published in the Guardian. With that in mind, I hope the athletes are aiming a bit higher than the solitary bronze medal we currently possess.

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