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New law in Australia - let's talk it out!

Dh and I had quite a discussion on this new law this morning

It is now illegal in Australia (I think it's all of Oz, or maybe just NSW?) -other IN Aussies - can you confirm?

anyhow - it is now illegal to smoke in your car if you have any children under the age of 16  riding with you

 

I agree that that is a good thing - keeping kids away from second hand smoke... but then is this a bit of legislation gone mad - what's next - ban people from doing stuff in their own home?

WDYT?

 

Re: New law in Australia - let's talk it out!

  • They actually passed this law in Dubai as well. Second hand smoke was one of the reasons, but apparently some kids got injured when a parent flicked ash out the window and it went into the back open window where the kids were sitting.

    I am generally against the government intervening in personal choices, but I'm actually okay with this. 

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • that's interesting that Dubai has passed this law too!

    I am definitely ok with it - I don't smoke anyhow. But I just think some of the laws here are a bit goofy. Like I NEVER see cops on the road - other than to check in rush hour that people aren't driving in the commuting (3+ people) lane with less than 3 people. They just have speed cameras - but everyone knows where they are and just speed inbetween them - thus I always have people riding RIGHT on my bumper as I am GOING THE SPEED LIMIT! sigh

    I guess it all comes down to trying to keep people from getting ill later on from second hand smoke - especially innocent children - just like increasing taxes on cigarettes to encourage people to quit. I just think it seems like a difficult thing for the cops to be out enforcing....

  • This law is/has been up for debate in several States in the US as well (Oregon, California).

    As a non-smoker (and someone who is pretty emphatic about not smoking), I am not outraged about this law. ?However, I am fully aware that my lack of outrage is completely because I am not personally effected and I decidedly dislike cigarette smoke. ?I would totally be up in arms if they, say, banned breastfeeding in public.

    The reason for banning smoking in cars with children, I assume, is to shield children (who can't make a choice in the matter) from a harmful substance. ?That's all well and good, but really, if that's the goal then they should ban PARENTS from smoking and that's not at all acceptable. ?If smoke were an illegal substance, then I am for a ban. ?As it is, cigarettes are legal and parents can choose to put their kids at risk.

    I think that it is harmful for kids when their parents let them play certain video games, but I don't think the government should make a law about what video games are allowed in houses with children.?

  • It has been proven time and again that smoking kills and there are few other issues that are so black and white. 

    I think many governments are taking steps to ban smoking entirely, without actually making it illegal if you see what I mean. First came the taxes, then people couldn't smoke in bars and restaurants, then they couldn't smoke in any public places, now they can't smoke in the car if a child is present (at least in Oz and Dubai). Pretty soon, it will be such a hassle that only a tiny number of people will actually want to go to the trouble, which I think is a good thing.

     I know what you mean, that I only don't care about this crackdown because I'm not a smoker, but in the end, smoking is a choice. It's an addictive choice to be sure, but people can quit and I think the government should do whatever they can to encourage that.



    BabyFruit Ticker
  • filleviolette - I totally agree with you - and you are completely right that governments are trying to gradually infringe on people more and more so that smoking becomes too much of a pain - thereby encouraging people to quit.  I also agree with efforts such as sin taxes to encourage people to quit.

    The difference between the smoking in the car law and the smoking in public places law and sin taxes is that banning smoking in the car infringes on people's private space. 

    The government (at least a "democratic" government) should only have power over what goes on in public spaces, unless the offending behavior is illegal.  For instance, Joe-shmo next door is perfectly welcome to ban people from his home on the basis of race.  That's blatant racism, but it's his private home and he is free to do it.  If Joe-shmo kills people in his home (or takes illegal drugs, or abuses children), then we have a different story.

    I guess I'm saying that unless the government is willing to make smoking (or at a minimum, smoking anywhere around minors) illegal, then it isn't worth the infringement on private space to make the law.  We have decided as a society that smoking is a personal choice, and therefore people should get to do that in their private spaces. 

     

  • I am not sure if this is Australia wide or not, I haven't heard about it yet today, although I haven't really had the news on either.

    I am not sure how they are really going to enforce it, but if it makes some people stop and think about what they are doing while their child is in the car then I am all for it.  I get so cranky when I see mum's with babies in slings smoking, also toddlers who can't wind down their own windows for fresh air while parents are smoking in the car.

    Jakarta, Indonesia. www.livelaughpoop.blogspot.com image Pregnancy Ticker
  • In your car I can SEE what you are doing. It no longer is a "private space". I can also see if you are naked- so you can't drive nude (well, at least in my old home state of CA you can't). You also can't watch porn movies on your DVD players either.

    So if I SEE you do something that is deliberately harmful to children, don't I have an obligation to stop it (and by that I mean obviously call someone to step in)? And smoking is harmful to children. And shouldn't be done around them. Especially in such a small, enclosed space. Even a window cracked doesn't make it better.

    I don't know if the law every passed, but in my old home county they were looking at making it illegal to smoke in your own home with children under the age of 12. Smoking is a heated issue (no pun intended). And I totally agree with PP. They can't really ban it outright so they are making it increasingly more difficult to "encourage" everyone to quit.

  • I should preface this by saying that my arguments are solely based on US law, so I cannot speak to other countries.

    Being nude and playing porn in an area that other people can see is a completely different issue than smoking.  Engaging in offensive behavior (well, culturally offensive) in a place that others can see is different from smoking.  You would also get into trouble if you put your TV up to your house window and play porn.

    I appreciate that we want cars to be public spaces, and yes, people can see into them, but that doesn't mean that they are public.  Legally, cars are private spaces, and the police would need a search warrant to get into them. 

    I also appreciate that smoking around children is harmful to them, but unless and until the legislature sees fit to ban all smoking around all children, then  the car distinction is not a valid one.

  • http://www.streetcorner.com.au/news/showPost.cfm?bid=11084&mycomm=WC

    Ah ok - it is just NSW that has legislated this

    I found a website that said this:

    There's been much debate in the media about whether smoking in cars while driving should be banned - or at least when driving, or when there are children, or passengers generally, in the car. South Australia and Tasmania have put this into effect; NSW has legislated for it; and Queensland has proposed it.

  • I used to be a heavy smoker, and I occasionally light up.  But I do not have a problem with this law at all.  I was also just reading an article yesterday about how the current economic situation is affecting smokers.  I do not have a problem with taxes being raised on tobacco products either.  If it will encourage people to quit, I'm all for it.  I grew up with smokers and I absolutely hated it.  I don't know why I ever started that filthy habit myself, except that it seemed pretty natural to me. 
  • Let me preface this by saying that I am a non-smoker but that does not influence my opinion on this.

    I see this (and really all legislation regulating smoking on and in private property) as an unneeded government intrusion into property rights.  I feel the same way about the seat belt laws.  What is the next thing that the government is going to tell me I cannot do in/on my own property?  If it is unsafe for a child to be around second hand smoke in a car where all of the windows can be rolled down and the smoke dissipated, how long will it be before it is illegal to smoke in your own home if children live there?  How long until it is illegal to smoke while pregnant (granted smoking while pregnant is not a good idea, but it is not something that should be made illegal either)?

    That said, as a non-smoker this does not effect me.  As such it is hard for me to get outraged about it.  I get more upset about government forced smoke-free bars as I think it's a property owner's choice as to whether or not they will allow smoking on their own property.  I'm not sure why one upsets me more than the other though.  

  • image Katie_F:

    Let me preface this by saying that I am a non-smoker whose husband now works for a tobacco company, neither of which influence my opinion on this.

    I see this (and really all legislation regulating smoking on and in private property) as an unneeded government intrusion into property rights.  I feel the same way about the seat belt laws.  What is the next thing that the government is going to tell me I cannot do in/on my own property?  If it is unsafe for a child to be around second hand smoke in a car where all of the windows can be rolled down and the smoke dissipated, how long will it be before it is illegal to smoke in your own home if children live there?  How long until it is illegal to smoke while pregnant (granted smoking while pregnant is not a good idea, but it is not something that should be made illegal either)?

    That said, as a non-smoker this does not effect me.  As such it is hard for me to get outraged about it.  I get more upset about government forced smoke-free bars as I think it's a property owner's choice as to whether or not they will allow smoking on their own property.  I'm not sure why one upsets me more than the other though.  

    exactly Katie - that's how I feel about it!

  • image Katie_F:

    I see this (and really all legislation regulating smoking on and in private property) as an unneeded government intrusion into property rights.  I feel the same way about the seat belt laws.  What is the next thing that the government is going to tell me I cannot do in/on my own property?  If it is unsafe for a child to be around second hand smoke in a car where all of the windows can be rolled down and the smoke dissipated, how long will it be before it is illegal to smoke in your own home if children live there?  How long until it is illegal to smoke while pregnant (granted smoking while pregnant is not a good idea, but it is not something that should be made illegal either)?

    That said, as a non-smoker this does not effect me.  As such it is hard for me to get outraged about it.  I get more upset about government forced smoke-free bars as I think it's a property owner's choice as to whether or not they will allow smoking on their own property.  I'm not sure why one upsets me more than the other though.  

    Actually, this argument really irks me. LIke people who argue they have the 'right' to smoke next to me. What about my rights not to have to inhale second hand smoke? And what about the children's rights? Don't they have the right to live a healthy life - at least free of second-hand smoke?

    It saddens me that women smoke while pregnant, or their partners or family. It saddens me when moms smoke while walking with their kids - outside is slightly better, but their kids are right there. And in cars, an enclosed space, like a house but worse, is as bad as pregnancy-smoking.

    This is where I turn totally fascist. I think smoking should be illegal. It's dangerous to everyone involved and doesn't serve any purpose except money-making.

    And, for what it's worth, my dad smoked til I was 5, but I've never smoked.

    Mum to W (4) and M (nearly 2)
  • I am a smoker & agree fully with tdown and KatieF.

    Cigarettes are not illegal. They are definitely harmful and I believe people shouldn't expose children to second-hand smoke but it is their choice to do so in their own home/car/garden.

    I don't have children, plan to be a non-smoker before I do & I have always isolated myself to smoke when in the presence of children BUT on principle, people cannot expect me not to smoke in my own property because they disagree with it/it disturbs them.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is that this could be a slippery slope to the government leglislating on legal behaviours in your own house, like drinking alcohol in the presence of children.

    Now of course, if smoking was made illegal there would be not debate.

  • call me a crazy big gov't person, but I would not be opposed to banning people from smoking in their own home if they have young  kids living there. To me, the kids health trumps the invasion of privacy .
  • Seatbelt laws affect all of us. We have to pay to support those who are almost killed because of their own stupidity.
  • My problem is.. If smoking in general, and second hand smoke is SO BAD for us, then just make it illegal.  If the government is going to continue to restrict when/where/how we can smoke, then just make it all together illegal.  The logic behind restricting people's right to smoke if it's so bad for everyone is beyond me...
  • image dahl0646:
    My problem is.. If smoking in general, and second hand smoke is SO BAD for us, then just make it illegal.  If the government is going to continue to restrict when/where/how we can smoke, then just make it all together illegal.  The logic behind restricting people's right to smoke if it's so bad for everyone is beyond me...

     

    Its a compromise. They won't be able to make it illegal because the tobacco lobby is so strong. (In the US at least). So restricting it is a harde enough battle as it is.

     

    I don't know about Australia though.

     

     

     

  • image IrishBrideND:

    image dahl0646:
    My problem is.. If smoking in general, and second hand smoke is SO BAD for us, then just make it illegal.  If the government is going to continue to restrict when/where/how we can smoke, then just make it all together illegal.  The logic behind restricting people's right to smoke if it's so bad for everyone is beyond me...

     

    Its a compromise. They won't be able to make it illegal because the tobacco lobby is so strong. (In the US at least). So restricting it is a harde enough battle as it is.

     

    I don't know about Australia though.

     

     

     

     

    I don't know how much I buy the "tobacco lobby" argument considering the fact that the US is already the most restrictive country in the world regarding tobacco (I actually didn't know this until last week).  Tobacco companies don't even include figures from the US when determining world-wide sales and market share because of how litigation prone the US is and the extent of the legislative, bureaucratic, and judicial restrictions there. 

  • I agree with the law, but not because of the second hand smoke and children angle.

    If it's dangerous to use a mobile phone whilst driving, surely holding a small stick of fire is no safer.

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