Wednesday 17 January 2018

Extending smoking ban to cars would make children of us all

If he wishes to leave his mark, James Reilly may first want to acquire some perspective, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

STUCK on holiday recently with nothing to read but a dusty copy of the collected articles of GK Chesterton, I was soon glad there was nothing more appealing to pass the time, or I would never have discovered what great company the crusty old Edwardian essayist and novelist was.

They were all published before First World War, but time and again it was as if he was addressing a modern audience directly, whether it was on why optimism will always triumph over pessimism in politics, or why good jokes are more important and harder to write than Op Ed pieces for the Times -- or, most pertinently of all, why doctors should confine themselves to giving patients factual information, and then leave decisions on how they should actually live their lives up to the individuals themselves.

He was talking about drinking, as it happens, of which Chesterton was hugely fond; but it's not hard to guess what he would have thought of the contemporary obsession with hounding smokers, towards which our own Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, may soon be taking another giant leap forward with a possible proposal to ban smoking in cars as part of a "tobacco policy review" in his department.

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