Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Policymakers one step ahead of economists

If we ban smoking at work and in stores, and we ban smoking in outdoors, then substitution possibilities being what they are, won't smokers just smoke more in confined places like their private cars. Economists say so.

But, not so fast say New South Wales policymakers. You economists are one day late (literally) and an Australian dollar short. We've anticipated your objection:
Authorities in Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, are to consider banning smoking in cars. A parliamentary inquiry will look at the effects of passive smoking on passengers, particularly children.
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Supporters of the proposal have admitted, however, that enforcing such a ban would be difficult.

Smokers in Australia have already been squeezed out of bars and restaurants, as well as some beaches and most other public places.

Now Fred Nile from the Christian Democratic Party has drawn up a private member's bill that makes cars the next target.

His idea will be investigated by a parliamentary committee.

The plan appears to have the support of the state government.

A spokesman said that tough action should be implemented to stop the small number of irresponsible people who smoked around youngsters in their cars.
It's my blog and I get the last word (unless you comment): If you give smokers no other choice, then they will smoke at home with the windows closed. Heaven help the child with asthma.

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Blogger nzm said...

We in the Antipodes can be so laisse faire about big things and completely anal about small things.

NZ banned smoking in all public places including bars and restaurants. It wasn't enough that non-smoking and smoking areas had been designated.

It's damn ridiculous - creates groups of smokers huddled around doorways, puffing their smoke onto everyone who walks past them.

FWIW, I'm a non-smoker who is becoming more and more sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke with each passing day. But I still think that some of these laws go too far.

12:35 AM  

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