Should Smoking be Banned in Cars? (2011), Sean Gabb

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Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance on BBC Three Counties Radio, on Wednesday the 22nd June 2011, to discuss whether smoking should be banned in cars where children are present. A Bill to this effect was discussed on that day in Parliament.

Sean says no for these reasons:

  1. The claim that 300,000 children suffer ill-effects every year in the United Kingdom from "passive smoking" is a falsehood. There is no way of gathering such data. There is even no sound epidemiological evidence that passive smoking even exists. The alleged figure of 300,000 children is what is called a "junk statistic." It is in the same league as the claims made in the 1980s about the number of people who would die of aids by 1990, or the claims made in the 1990s about the numbers who would soon be dead from mad cow disease. It is almost as gross a falsehood as the fraudulent global warming claims made by British scientists.
  2. These statistics produced by pressure groups and politicians are plainly dubious on their own account. Every single statistical claim reported by the media and accepted by the politicians seems to justify higher taxes or tighter controls on adult actions, or both. There was a time when it was necessary to bribe priests into saying that God wanted if before the authorities could oppress ordinary people. Nowadays, a set of junk statistics is produced.
  3. The demand for a smoking ban in cars is also an instance of the "saving the kiddies" argument. This proceeds by hiding the agenda of control behind a cloud of hot air about the need to protect children.

Therefore, the Libertarian Alliance is against any smoking ban in cars.