December 10, 2007

Smoking in Car Ban Coming to Ontario?

McGuinty open to smoking in car ban - Toronto Star

As I have said many times in the past, I give my full support to banning smoking in cars when children are present. I hope McGuinty gives the go-ahead for this initiative. The health and protection of children overrides any claims to the right of self affliction. Full stop.

See Also:
Hooray For The Nanny State....!?!

Putting Children's Health First

Smoking for the Children


ALW said...

Well, don’t overstate the case, Kyle. McGuinty is right to worry about a slippery slope here. It’s important to attempt to define some principled reasons why it’s right for the government to regulate parental behaviour here, but not elsewhere - otherwise we do indeed run the risk of telling parents what they can and cannot do.

Take eating habits for example. Much like the effects of secondhand smoke, the effects of poor diet on one’s health are well-documented. Should we therefore regulate what parents feed their children? And even if we wanted to, how would we enforce it?

We could say that the distinction lies in the ‘spillover effect’ of secondhand smoke, a characteristic of the activity of smoking that is not present in cases of eating or drinking (i.e. if you smoke around me, my health is affected; if you eat or drink around me, it isn’t). But this argument won’t work with children, because it is parents who control what their children eat or drink.

At some point we need to confront the fact that one of the prices of living in a free society is that free people will make bad and harmful choices, not only to themselves, but to those around them. As much as possible, we use the law to attach the consequences of detrimental choices to those who make them, which both protects the public and provides a disincentive to bad decision making. But it will never be perfect, and we need to ask ourselves where we draw the line.

As you know, I struggle with this immensely because as with smoking bans in general, they are intuitively appealing, and in this case the victims are children. But I fear the day when an argument is someday made using exactly the same arguments towards much more intrusive and controversial purposes, and that myself and others will have no basis to draw any distinction.

Kyle said...

I posted a reply here...

Anonymous said...

For some time now, proposals were being made to impose ban on smoking in cars with kids. In the countries like the US and the UK where smoking is nothing less than epidemics, these proposals were taken and even bills were passed to the effect. Now, even in Australia where smoking is not that rampant, similar laws have been passed where one can’t drive and smoke with kids. The laws would come into effect from the 1st of September 2008.

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)