The Irish government, that is (but don’t tell New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg or other health-nanny-authoritarians around the world). From The Post.ie:
The Government is considering an outright ban on smoking in cars.
The Minister for Health Dr James Reilly has indicated that he would be in favour of introducing new laws which would make it illegal to smoke in a car, where children under 16 are present. […]
But it is understood the Department of Health is also considering a blanket ban on all smoking in private cars, if it was unworkable to stop people smoking in cars where children were present.
Dr Reilly said the extent of smoking in cars needed to be assessed and followed by a campaign to persuade the public a ban was necessary.
That final sentence is particularly chilling to me.
I have a modest suggestion to make the whole process more smooth and efficient. What needs to be done is to incentivize children to report on adults who smoke in their cars or otherwise in their vicinity. For every cigarette-smoking adult they rat out, they should receive a generous coupon towards the purchase of Xbox, Playstation or other gaming paraphernalia, and even more generous if they supply video proof of the crime. It seems like a no-brainer to me. After all, not only are you deputizing an army of kids to nab the adult evil-doers, but you’re helping them to save their own lives.
Of-course the government should first assess the likely expense of such a program, and then follow with a campaign to persuade the public of its necessity.
As always, with these constant incremental increases in the punishment and degradation of smokers in the name of good health, it seems like the more rational measure would simply be to ban tobacco products outright. However, it is simply impossible to keep a health-nanny-state bureaucracy going without collecting taxes on the substances they would like to ban that people are so fond of putting into their bodies. Quite a Catch 22 situation, but a lucrative one, in the end, for the bureaucrats …