Use sense - or law?

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Many smokers wouldn’t dream of lighting up in their car if a child was there.

Star readers made this clear yesterday, as Labour plans to make the practice illegal were discussed by the Government.

They described it as simply ‘common sense’ and said children were ‘not born to smoke’ in a debate still raging on our Facebook fan page.

So why then, does there need to be an intervention by legislation outlawing the practice?

There is nothing to say that making something which is bad for you illegal will actually stop people from doing it.

Indeed, we know that there are dozens of people appearing in South Yorkshire’s courts each week for using their mobile phones while driving despite both the heavy deterrent of punishment which has been in place for years and the obvious risks of such distraction on the roads.

Beside the practicalities of enforcing such a law, with fewer police in our forces to look for and stop drivers lighting up on the school run, people will wonder if it is a move too far towards a ‘nanny state’.

What next, asked one reader, a law making people eat five portions or fruit and vegetables every day?

This could be just another way of raising cash from the ever-targeted motorist.

And even The Department of Health believes educating smokers is a better way to tackle the problem.

Other countries, including Australia, Canada and certain states in America, have already outlawed the practice and there are those who believe we should follow these examples.

No doubt too, there are smokers who want to light up in the car they own, whether it is in front of the children they produced or not. After all, they might say, it’s their choice, their body.

Divided opinions are flooding in from everywhere, be it motoring companies or parenting groups.

Whatever your view, The Star wants to know as we investigate the subject further for a special feature to be published in the coming days.

Share your thoughts by joining the discussion on our Facebook or Twitter pages and by contacting the newsroom.