Protect the children

DUNCAN Barkes draws his fee usually for spouting views which would make Ghengis Khan seem like a wishy-washy liberal.

But this time, he even outdoes himself for a piece which exposes his selfish, self-regarding, whingeing persona.

He objects to a measure, proposed in the Lords, which would ban smoking in cars when children were present.

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He speaks of his freedom to do what he wishes with his private property. His car? Children?

From his pathetic outpouring you’d think smoking was something innocent, a right not only for himself but to impose upon others.

Look Mr Barkes, this stuff kills, it is as dangerous as any illegal drug, it is addictive (hadn’t you noticed), it ruins people’s health, I can tell you straight from all-too recent experience, it causes friends to die miserable deaths.

The evidence shouts that kids subjected to second-hand smoking are affected through their lives. If someone exposed kids to such serious harm in any other way, they’d be prosecuted.

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What you and other adults do in the confines of your homes is your affair, though responsible adults who have kids do smoke outside to protect them from exposure to a killer.

And if it became clear adult smoking in a home was harming the kids there, I think it would be a legitimate concern and case for those interfering authorities.

No matter that it’s legal, it kills, you dodo– one supposes we have to pick up the tab when smokers need the NHS (I begged my mate for two years to take that cough to his doc, and my missus and I, and my son, stuck with him to the end, I have nothing but admiration for St Richards, Macmillan Nurses and St Wilfrid’s Hospice, and we gave Steve a great funeral).

But I object when you demand the ‘right’ to impose this filthy and fatal habit on kids if they are forced into your car and you smoke while they are inside.

There is no right to smoke.

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There are rights which protect children from abuse, harm, ill-treatment and subjection to harmful practices.

On every count, second-hand smoking abuses those rights which are not wishy-washy, they are fundamental bedrocks of a decent society.

Please take your whinge and crawl up your chimney to smoke it.

Jan Cosgrove

Longford Road, Bognor Regis

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