This morning I saw someone in a car with a cigarette hanging from their mouth. I thought this was quite a skill in itself even if the cigarette were not lit. Then I thought of the calls from the BMA a few months ago to ban cigarette smoking in cars. At that time I thought this was a step too far as it doesn't affect the health of others and would be hard to police. I was of the opinion (and still am) that those who smoke while the car is stationary are doing no harm to others but this morning's sight made me think again.
I have never smoked so give me a cigarette and the skill of letting it hang from my mouth would be quite eventful. Multiply that by a hundred if you asked me to light it. Then ask me to drive and the risks increase again. I would have to put the ash somewhere and each time I concentrate on the cigarette I am not thinking about driving.
As for the difficulty policing, it is just as difficult to monitor the use of a mobile phone as it is smoking. There is also no difference between the two if the car is not moving. It is easy to pull over to make a call or to smoke. It is not so easy to have a 'hands-free' cigarette.
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