Today a new Quebec law kicks in banning smoking in the workplace. But the Quebec Lung Association wants the province to go further by legislating a full ban on smoking in vehicles carrying children.

More than half the provinces have started either passing or debating this sort of ban. Nova Scotia’s law banning smoking in cars came into effect April 1.

The Quebec Lung Association says second-hand smoke has been linked to bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, chronic respiratory symptoms and middle ear infections in children. Exposure to second hand smoke (in an enclosed space like a vehicle) increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

However, there is opposition to the idea  because it insinuates the state into what should be a private matter.   One couple with a two-year-old son says cancer is the luck of the draw and parents should be able to decide whether to smoke in a car with their children or not:  « It’s taking people’s rights away to do whatever they want. »

The Lung Association is behind an on line petition to be sent to Premier Charest asking for a ban on smoking in cars carrying children.  The online petition can be found at

What do you think?

Should the government be trying to regulate whether parents smoke or not in a family car with their children?

Would you sign the petition?



  1. 1
    Chimera Says:

    « Should the government be trying to regulate whether parents smoke or not in a family car with their children? »


    « Would you sign the petition? »


    All these things…bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, chronic respiratory symptoms and middle ear infections…are being used as excuses by some people to put pressure on other people to feel guilty about chosen behavior.

    If the government wants to ban something, they should just ban it, explain why, and get it over with. Using guilt and public pressure in incremental doses is so stupid that it actually makes sense that government would think it’s a good idea!

    Has anyone ever seen case studies that would support the idea that middle ear infections and all those other things are caused by second hand smoke? Has anyone definitively been able to determine that other air pollutants do not cause those things?

    And no, I am not a smoker. I just detest government interference in private lives.

  2. 2
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Even if Chimera had seen case studies, he or she would not trust them. Nevertheless I agree with Chimera that we are being regulated out of our wits. It seems nobody believes anymore in personal responsability for one’s actions and choices. I have not been a smoker since I forgone my pipes and my wife her cigarettes 40 years ago. When people board my car they usually abstain from smoking without being asked. Even at home, our visitors go smoke outside unless they are sick or severely handicapped.
    No one, my wife, my two daughters, my son, his wife and children, no one smokes. And we were not legislated into it.
    And no I will not sign the petition.

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    « Even if Chimera had seen case studies, he or she would not trust them. »

    Don’t be so quick to speak for someone else, Paul. In a different situation, making assumptions like that could land you in trouble.

    Case studies have more information in them than just numbers, so I tend to give them more credibility than I give to bare statistics.

  4. 4
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I’m glad to read that. My regrets if I jumped to conclusions too quickly.

  5. 5
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    I would sign that petition, not because I want to give the government more power but I would tell people myself if I felt there was a way to do that.Of course I could do it if I did not mind the finger or being yelled at. And that would include only the ones I see.
    I have always hated smoking and I would never have married a guy that smokes. Of course I fell in love with a smoker and fortunately for me he chose to quit before we married.
    I am not sure about the cancer issue, I have read about studies that say yes and studies that say no there is no effect. I feel it is a very dirty habit. I am not totally black and white. I do not mind some pipe smoking expecially with a nice perfumed tobacco. But cigarettes in cars with babies, I think even the smallest possibility to harm them is unacceptabel to me. Then it is rude to have someone sit in a smoke filled car, child or grownup. The third thing is clothes,People put on clean clothes and then they smoke and you can smell it from 100 meters away.
    I am happy to say none of my present friends smoke.And in my house no one smokes, even in deepest winter. I am very cruel there.
    My only concern would be again, the enforcement, I still see lots of drivers with handheld cellphones on their ears.

  6. 6
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    I dont mind enforcement  » the law is the law. » Most cigarette smokers abide by the law against smoking. I personally enjoy the odd Monte Cristo Cuban cigar outside on my deck, along with a cold pint of Guiness.

    In defence of cigarette smokers, I would like to argue on their behalf. I am not given to long written statements. Although, I would just like to say this.

    Most of us have bad secret habits which we would not like to go public.
    Cigarette smokers, even when they abide by the safety laws for other people, because of their visual target of weakness, are often condemmed.

    I know a lot of people who smoke cigarettes because of my long association with people with mental illness.

    Because their stigma of mental illness is their primary concern, their incidental bad habits of smoking and drinking, hardly effect their societal concern.

    The end result being, because they have embraced their demons of smoking and drinking, having being judged by society as being evil, they are at liberty and actively engage in compassion towards other people with any kind of weakness, overeating or gambling etc. This has been my observation and in my view cigarette smoking and drinking is a great blessing when it results in compassionate living

    We all need to embrace our demons and be compassionate to those who have different demons. Imagine being so self righteous just because we dont smoke cigarettes. to quote Bill Clinton « Give Me a Break ».

  7. 7
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    Peter: Just because I feel so strongly about smoking does not mean that after some soul searching I did not find some exeptions. I am against taking smoking away from prisoners because they have very few pleasures. It also may lead to violence against guards.But they are usually not sitting in cars with small children.
    The other exception are mental patients, as you mentionded. Cigarettes can reduce stress.
    I do not enjoy having smoke blown into my face but there is always outside to smoke if someone wants to.

  8. 8
    dez Says:

    Archaeological forensic science has been revealing some interesting information lately. It seems that one of the more common causes of death among ancient peoples, after infant mortality, parasitic infection and violence, was emphysema caused by breathing wood smoke, probably from the communal campfire.

    Breathing in smoke particles over long periods of time can be harmful. Can we agree on that?

    I have always agreed with Robert Heinlein on this: « Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other « sins » are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful—just stupid.) »

    So, as long as smoking only hurts the user, it is merely another example of human stupidity and should not be regulated by the government. Agreed?

    But, what if second-hand smoke is harmful to children? Over time, yes, that would appear to agree with our first assumption. The exposure to smoke would obviously be more acute in an enclosed space, such as the inside of a car.

    Heinlein also said this: « All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can, and must, be dumped in an emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a « perfect society » on any foundation other than « Women and children first! » is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly—and no doubt will keep on trying. »

    So, yes, I agree that children should not be exposed to situations where they are in a confined space breathing smoke for extended periods of time. In fact, pregnant women need to be included, as well.

    All in favor, say aye!

  9. 10
    littlepatti Says:

    When people know better, they do better.
    At least most reasonable people do.
    I still see the odd oddball smoking in the car with their children in it, as well as toddlers leaning on the dashboard not restrained.
    It defies logic.
    So my answer is Y E S ! String ’em up! (Oh, was that another topic?)

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