vidence shows that "more young children are killed by parental smoking than by all unintentional injuries combined," says prominent British physician Steve Field in the Guardian. Because of this, "I believe that parents who smoke in cars carrying small children are committing a form of child abuse." The same goes for mothers who smoke "while pregnant." I know you don't want to hear this, smokers, Field writes, but "you need to face facts and take responsibility" — it could save your children's lives, and your own. Here, an excerpt:
Too many people do not face up to the hard facts, as they perceive them to be an attack aimed, in particular at the poorer members of our society. But it is impossible to argue on medical or ethical grounds that such behaviour is acceptable. [Doctors] are not spoilsports. We genuinely want people to be able to live healthy, fulfilling and productive lives. But every day we are confronted with the harm caused by smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and obesity....
Ask a parent to give up smoking and they might refuse – but demonstrate how smoking at home will damage their children's lungs, leading to bronchial illness, asthma and a lifetime of ill health and they might start to see things differently. Similarly, drinkers who are confronted with the reality of their consumption might be spurred into cutting down rather than if they were just told to do it.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- There's a number of reasons the grammar of this headline could infuriate you
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to be more satisfied with your life, according to science
- 7 ways to quickly become a master at anything
- The Warren Buffett formula: How you can get smarter
- How to flirt, according to science
- Everything you need to know about the Venezuelan protests
Subscribe to the Week