Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Readers might remember that we brought to their attention back in April of 2010 an article that claimed that second hand smoke was twenty-three (23) times more toxic in cars, yet said claim was not based on any scientific evidence whatsoever. Of course, as we have highlighted frequently, the absence of solid scientific evidence has never stood in the way of public health policy when it comes to the smoking issue, but now the anti-tobacco crusaders are openly admitting to this.

Unable to quantify how dangerous second hand smoke is in a car , Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society, now urges lawmakers to legislate based upon what he refers to as an “unstoppable momentum” and the perceived popularity of proposed anti-smoking measures instead of on the basis of scientific evidence. Little does it matter to this crusader that such a legislation is invasion of privacy and an undermining of parental authority. Forcing open the door even wider for the State to violate even more parental and privacy rights, these crusaders just want to get on with the program whether or not such legislation is actually justified.

Without even having to spend thousands or millions of dollars from the public purse on agenda-driven studies that torture the figures to come up with the desired results, we as a society should take a moment to think about and acknowledge that there are many other behaviours that parents engage in that are truly risky to their children when travelling by car. Driving in conditions of poor visibility, in snowstorms and on icy roads, in poorly maintained cars or with the distractions of eating and texting are some of the true risks parents regularly take when driving with their children.

Why are these do-gooders, professed protectors of other people’s children, obsessively focussing on second hand smoke for which they can not even properly appraise the risk instead of denouncing proven risky behaviours which are tangibly quantifiable? Why are some people supporting and applauding such agenda driven legislation that is based primarily on hype? These questions are not purely rhetorical. The answer is because anti-smoking has now become a profitable moral crusade where Mr. Cunningham’s so called “unstoppable momentum” is what drives policy and legislation.

This being said, most parents do not smoke with their small children in the car if for no other reason than to not to cause them discomfort. Those parents that do smoke usually crack a window open and allow the negative air pressure thus created to dissipate the smoke fairly quickly. Let parents be parents and let the Canadian Cancer Society use our donations to do research towards cures for real ailments instead of wasting them on agenda driven advocacy.

Sound smoking policy should be based upon sound science.

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