Give our children room to breath

SCOTLAND was first country in the UK to ban smoking in enclosed public places which few people now dispute has been anything other than successful.

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With the Member's Bill from MSP Jim Hume now certain to be published it has a chance to do the same with smoking in cars in the presence of children.

Even those not convinced by the need for legislation, such as Nick Clegg, agree it is not acceptable behaviour, and there is an argument about enforceability, personal freedoms and how far the government should go to control behaviour.

However, in the midst of those arguments - which will come when both Westminster and Holyrood debate the issue - it should be remembered that the person who has no choice is the very person the Bill will be designed to protect.

The child, strapped into the car seat breathing in an adult's second-hand smoke, has no choice but to take in lungful after lungful of the smoke.

It can be enforced just like the ban on using mobile phones when driving or compulsory seatbelt wearing - if you are caught you are fined or charged.

Of course it would be better if we had no need for a law and people are persuaded not to smoke around children, but if not, then for the sake of the next generation's health a law might well be required.


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