@JohnAskew: Tar is also very bad,.
I'm not saying parents should be monitored to ensure that they aren't smoking in front of their children, any more than the state currently monitors its citizens to make sure that their citizens aren't currently murdering someone.
I'm simply stating that the state could make it illegal to smoke in the car with your children also in the car. If you drove past a police officer who saw you doing it, he could pull them over. He can already pull you over if he sees you smoking a joint. Why not a cigarette?
State does not monitor you, they act reactively when you murder someone. This is not minority report.
Because drugs impair your ability to drive, smoking does not.
That's because there are vastly more drivers than smokers. Smokers are more likely to die from lung cancer than from car accidents. Smokers on average die 10 years younger.
That's not the point. The point is that the risk of dieing from the effects of second hand smoking in the car, in the years that you are a child, is substantial less then the risk of being hit by another car and dieing 80 years to early. You note it yourself, far more people drive then smoke in the car. So why prohibit smoking in the car and not driving children somewhere? If you really care about children that is.
That is for society to decide through reasoned debate. Clearly both extremes are unacceptable. We cannot have it legal for you to do whatever you like to your children (e.g. child slavery, child abuse, throwing your child down a well etc) and we cannot have it illegal for you to expose your children to risk - particularly since many risks that children are exposed to expand their life view and are actively good for them. Thats why we allow school trips.
Children have the same rights as parents, those allready adiquately cover the abuses you mention. No need for additional laws.
I do agree that you need to run calculated risks, but to avoid them at all costs,.. no,.. I dont agree.
But smoking massively harms children and provides no benefit to them. So I propose that we make it illegal to smoke in cars when your children are in the car. What you do in your house is up to you (because the intrusiveness of monitoring it outweighs the benefit) and what you do in your car when your children aren't in it is up to you.
What is the difference between a house and a car? Why not have the police regularly visit, to check wether you have a child proof home? Friction pads in the bathtub, because most accidents happen at home,..?
I'm not suggesting a law to make you a good parent. I'm suggesting one to stop you maliciously or negligently filling your children's lungs with smoke and reducing their life expectancy by 10 years when they are in your car in public.
Only very heavy smokers get their life expectancy reduced by 10 years. The few cigarettes you consume while you are a child hardly justify the surrendering of personal liberties you advocate.
If your parents do crystal meth and smoke in the car, the smoking is the least of your worries.
The whole point is, at what cost are you willing to minimize such a very small risk?
Let's just state for the record; that I despise smoking in the car with children in the back. But what I despise even more is the state telling me what I can and can't do.