Evidence 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
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- How the West produces jihadi tourists
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Girls on Film: 5 things that need to happen before Hollywood will ever truly change
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How Ferguson made conservatives lose faith in the police
- What the 'death of the library' means for the future of books
Subscribe to the Week