This House would punish parents who smoke in the presence of their children

In many countries, laws now exist which prevent people from smoking in public places, so that non-smokers can avoid breathing in secondhand smoke.[1] Those who want a law preventing parents from smoking around their children (and punishing them if they do) see it as a natural and important next step; if we don’t let people smoke in public because they might endanger the lives of non-smokers around them, then it seems logical – say those in favour – to also have a law stopping parents from potentially harming their children through smoking in the home environment.  Research has shown that second hand smoke is very bad for children’s health, and this is now widely accepted.  Some medical experts believe it may be more dangerous than actual smoking because of the larger amount of cancer-causing chemicals in this type of smoke.  It can be especially harmful to babies and young children who are in the early stages of their physical development. It may lead to less developed lungs and a series of respiratory (breathing) illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma and even heart conditions.  Those in favour of this law see punishment (by escalating fines or maybe even imprisonment) as the best way to discourage parents from smoking around their children.

[1] BBC News. “Smoking curbs: The global picture.” 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11845158

 

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