Health Law

Banning Smoking In Cars. The Nanny State?

The British Medical Association has called for a ban on smoking in cars, and a private member’s bill to this effect will be debated in parliament a couple of days from now.  The proposed ban would include drivers on their own in the vehicle and would not simply apply to vehicles with passengers.

Now, I’m in two minds about this.  Certainly, anyone who smokes in a car with children is an idiot, and I should know.  After all, I was that idiot, many years ago, but what about the lone smoker?  If we start legislating to prevent people from harming their own health, where do we stop?  And for that matter, why don’t we start prosecuting people for harming their children’s health in different ways?

Yesterday, as I passed a school, I saw a distinctly tubby woman collecting an obese little girl.  Should we be prosecuting parents for feeding their children on fat-soaked microwave dinners, sugary drinks and instant snacks?  Maybe we should.  It’s at least as bad as smoking around them and probably worse since the assault of an unhealthy diet on children is more sustained than sporadic fouling of their air.

I don’t have the answer.  I’m just asking the question.  How far should we legislate for personal stupidity?

It’s perfectly true that smoking causes illnesses that put people in hospital, draining vital resources and making them a burden on society, but that’s also a futile and illogical argument, since people will eventually get sick anyway and end up costing money. We’re all a burden on society and that’s what society is for.  We shoulder a collective burden.  What’s more, by encouraging people to lead healthy lives, aren’t we simply creating a huge cohort of sick old people?  You could say that smokers are doing the country a favour by dying early.  Maybe we should pass a law banning old age.  The real trick is not to get rid of old-people sickness, but instead to deal with the more recent phenomenon of young-people sickness.

People like me might believe that we’ll live forever, but if course, that’s nonsense.  It’s the usual fallacy: the idea that medicine saves lives.  It does not.  It prolongs them.  Medicine defers death.

If we followed the logic, what else should we stop people doing?


Certainly.  Why not ban drinking at home immediately?   It’s bad for us.  No more bottles of wine with dinner.  We should also ban pubs where unmonitored drinking takes place.  Instead, we should set up official government drinking centres where qualified health professionals dispense an approved number of standard units in hygienic surroundings.

I think we’d have to ban mountaineering, an activity that results in fractures, hypothermia and worse.  Fortunes are spent deploying helicopters to rescue lost mountaineers and hill-walkers.  Sailing is just as bad.  Let’s ban it.

Banking.  Now there’s a thing that, worldwide, is causing illness and death on a gigantic scale.  How about banning banking?

Are we regulating ourselves out of existence?  It seems to me that we in Ireland are closing down our businesses due to overly-zealous regulation, and I wonder if our European neighbours — even the supposedly officious Germans — are as uptight as our inspectors.

In this country, perfectly good restaurants are being shut down, not because they’re dirty but because their kitchens don’t have sufficient floor area.  Go to Manhattan and you can enjoy top-quality foood in a diner with a kitchen the size of a phone box, but here in Ireland, we’re so paranoid we take no chances.  Our envirnmental health officers are there in case somebody, somewhere might throw up.  People minding kids in their homes have to send out to delis for the childrens’ lunches because our inspectors won’t let them make sandwiches.

This is madness.

Right now there’s an ad on the radio where an insane woman rants about your knife your spoon your sink your kitchen your children. It’s designed to make us terrified of our own kitchens where we raised and fed our families.  Why?  Because the hygiene industry is based on fear and lately the government has become complicit.

We don’t know what it is to use intelligent discretion.  If we didn’t have a rule book to follow, we’d be paralysed.

One thing we never hear about is stupidity.  Stupid drivers cost hundreds of lives every year. Stupid parents don’t bother to teach their children how to behave, resulting in assaults, thefts and general parasitic uselessness.  How much does it cost to bring your kids to the library once a week?  Nothing, that’s what.   Not a penny.  How much does it cost to cook your children a nutritious dinner so they don’t turn into fat bastards?  A lot less than your crappy instant supermarket shit, but you don’t do it because you’re stupid.  Now that you know passive smoking is dangerous, why do you smoke in front of others?  That’s right.  Because you’re stupid.

If I had my way, the big crime would be stupidity.   I’d put it ahead of drunk driving.  When the police stop drivers, by all means breathalyse them, but also administer a standard stupidity test.

You failed but I won’t explain why.  You’re not drunk but  you are under arrest being an idiot.



16 replies on “Banning Smoking In Cars. The Nanny State?”

I’m Just about to dive into a three day old stew and I’ll wash it down with a pint of home brew.A spliff may or may not happen on the way to the leaba and I will not feel bad about any of the above mentioned activities.If you use a clean spoon you will get away with all such crimes.

I’m with you

Let’s start to specifically target the stupid, they are the reason we can only have a glass of Guinness and drive home, or walk, or pay too much for a cab.

They are the reason we can’t buy wine at 9am when we do the rest of the shopping, when it’s quiet and you can avoid meeting the stupid people.

They might be the reason you have to pay more for a bottle of wine to have with your tea, because they want to make it more expensive for people to buy too much cheap drink, and drink it at home and get pissed for less.

Lets have more laws which are more specific and annoy the stupid instead of annoying the people just trying to get by, and where possible avoid the stupid, thoughtless, misinformed, bottom feesing stupid people, who cant’ be bothered to get more informed in life.

Was there some talk of a grumpy thread ?

I’m really glad that I grew up when I did. No stupid safety helmets to wear with my bike with no brakes, was allowed to go out & break bones on rope swings & slides on the ice. Went to concerts with very basic facilities but real loud often brilliant music & packed discos & pubs that were full of smoke, deafening noise & atmosphere. Lived in Stoke went to the old Victoria ground & stood packed like sardines in the Boothen end where everybody jumped & moved as one, in them days about 5000 of us, it was life threatening when they scored. Ate anything I could get my hands on, got deadly drunk & slept in drawers & on radiators or standing up on trains. Had very unsafe sex & woke up in strange beds. If that knocks 10 years off my life, then great, I have had wonderful sometimes dangerous times & I would rather die than end up in an old peoples kip stinking of piss. The tinitus is a bit annoying though.

PS, Health & safety was the excuse that New Yorks mayor used for clearing Zucotti sq. I bet mubarak wished he had thought of that.

It’s not a guilt free lifestyle it’s convenience, does anyone remember that before they decided to gradually erode civil liberties, and make everything less convenient to control the …… Stupid

Probably won’t save anymore lives as the stupid will find new ways to be, well more stupid,

And the rest of us will be inconvenienced to make them less stupid

Why is there an obsession with making laws against everything? whats wrong with giving people information and guidance? the answer to everything from Leinster house is to introduce new legislation just so that they can justify their existance.
this only fuels our anti-establishment mentality. the overall objective should be to encourage people to behave in a more socially responsible way beacuse its the right thing to do, not because they will be fined if they don’t.

“Right now there’s an ad on the radio where an insane woman rants about your knife your spoon your sink your kitchen your children. It’s designed to make us terrified of our own kitchens where we raised and fed our families. Why? Because the hygiene industry is based on fear and lately the government has become complicit”

I think there’s a bit more to it. This ad has appeared in recent weeks because there is a budget on the way and the Food Safety crowd think this might help stave off a cut. I saw on the news yesterday the Arts Council have just brought out research showing how many jobs they create, how much money they bring in, basically the message being “don’t cut our budget!”. Spending/wasting tax money to ensure that they get to continue to spend/waste tax money, in short.

I was reading something recently that in the U.S. all baby carseats have an expiry date (wtf does it go moldy?) and the hospital staff will check this when you are leaving the hospital after giving birth. They won’t let you home if the carseat is more than 5 years old. Ridiculous.
How did we all survive the years of being driven around in the back seat with no belts on even, nevermind car seats.
I suppose the safety business is big business.
You’re not going to stop people smoking in their cars when alone. But you can fine them if it’s against the law.

Just came across this thread. You mean driving at 140 kilometres an hour in your motor, while tearing the handle off your stomach – only ever interrupted mind you, by the odd swig from the Jameson bottle and the occasional hit from a lid is fucken illegal? Ah here!

Ironic, isn’t it – put out the fag, turn on the air conditioner and bask in the carbon-monoxide-rich air being sucked into your car from the vehicle in front of you.Scrub every inch of your home with toxic bleach and then serve your family an irradiated pile of processed food packed with nutritious preservatives, yummy
I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who finds that radio ad (and the ones on TV too) insane. LOOK OUT – there is a BACTERIA IN YOUR HOUSE!!!

Treated* myself with a KFC for lunch today. Followed by a long, luxurious marlboro light. IN MY CAR. Then came home and gave my 5 months old baby a soother *that was not boiled for at least 15 minutes*.Go ahead, send the health police – they’ll never take me alive , ha ha!!

*or punished, depending on your perspective

The nanny state has been around for years. Mandatory seat belts, motorbike helmets, no smoking, drink sesnsibly (what does that mean?, drink with accountants?, wear a suit?)

What about the ads for waist size, 37″ for men 32″ for women. Does thais mean that say John Hayes is over weight? Dietician on the radio the other day said that your waist should be measured 2 fingers above your naval. Eat butter it’s natural, don’t eat butter it’s full of fat. Eat margerine it lowers cholesterol, don’t eat margerine it’s a man made food product. Drink red wine it’s good for you, don’t drink red wine it causes alcoholism. No one had cholesterol until the Yanks told us about it, now you can’t eat eggs. Wait, you can eat an egg a day. I’m very confused.

Being a completely stupid person myself I am now setting myself up as champion of all those wonderful stupid people out there, and there is a lot of us I assure you. I am doing this to stop all those socially responsible ,politically correct fascists from dominating us. So fuck off. Remember, where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise.

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