With The Government Promoting Environmentally-Friendly Cars, Is Banning Smoking In Cars The Next Ste
With almost everyone concerned about the environment these days and the effects of pollution emitted from vehicles, the government has taken great steps to promote environmentally-friendly vehicles, such as hybrid cars; but what about smoking in cars?
While smoking, of course, does not contribute in any meaningful way towards climate change, a number of reasons for banning cigarettes in cars have been mooted by politicians and campaigners (many of them environmental). So, is it plausible to ban smoking in cars?
Hybrid vehicles have long been deemed the cars of the future. Hybrids are more environmentally-friendly than conventional petrol or desiel vehicles, given they derive their power from both battery and conventional fuel sources. Thanks to the battery power source, hybrids don’t rely on as much fossil fuels as conventional cars, which makes for better fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. Hybrids combine the benefits of petrol/diesel operated vehicles with the environmental benefits of electric cars.
There are two types of hybrids: Series Hybrids use a combustion engine to generate electricity to run the vehicle while Parallel Hybrids are either powered by the engine or from a battery-operated drive train, depending on the driving conditions. The latter type store more energy which can be used later, contributing to greater fuel economy as less fuel is needed to power them.
The government has invested heavily into projects to promote ultra-low carbon vehicles. Many of these projects focus on testing materials and improving technologies to support the industry. A consumer incentive scheme has also been put in place where buyers of electric or plug-in hybrids will be eligible for a £5,000 reduction in the vehicle price.
So, it is clear that hybrids are getting a big push from the government. So, could banning smoking in cars be the next step? One of the key reasons for the proposals to ban smoking in vehicles is the negative effects it has on other people within a car. As cars are enclosed spaces smoke can quickly build up within them, and this second hand smoke can be especially harmful to children. However, smoking not only damages people’s health, the impact that it has on the environment is more damaging than you might first think.
Producing cigarettes can be incredibly damaging to the environment, as tobacco farms are full of pesticides, which are highly toxic. Farms also take up land that could be used to produce foodstuffs to combat rising food prices. Thousands of chemicals are used in the production of cigarettes, and litter from cigarettes has become a major problem in polluting water and beaches. Cigarettes are also a leading cause of fires, both in the home and in nature.
While banning smoking in cars may seem a bit extreme and a joke to some, the actual detriment of smoking to the environment is significant not to mention how dangerous trying to light or drive with a cigarette in hand is. Weren’t mobile phones banned for similar reasons? From 2nd July in Leduc it will be illegal to smoke with a minor in the vehicle. Therefore is a proposed ban in the UK so extreme?
Second-hand smoke is a known source of carcinogen, with 60 of the 4,000 chemical compounds released proven to cause cancer. Second-hand smoke causes death from heart disease, lung cancer, breathing problems and asthma and may be linked to breast cancer. Imagine the harm being done to innocent children sitting in a car breathing in the toxic fumes.
Is then a ban on smoking in cars so preposterous? There may come a time when smoking cigarettes is banned for good. Could this be another modern-day, nanny state prohibition? Whatever the case, the government is taking steps to better the environment with its support of hybrid and battery-operated vehicles. Perhaps one day hybrids will be the only vehicles available for purchase in a more environmentally-friendly world.