ARGUS COMMENT: Anti-smoking laws are welcome - but can they be policed?
Updated 10:05am Wednesday 12th March 2014 in News
THE number of anti-smoking laws and measures has increased substantially during the last decade.
The ban on smoking in public places was controversial when it was introduced, not least because of its claimed effects on the pub trade, but now appears to be an accepted part of daily life.
Since then we have seen bans on smoking in hospital grounds, MPs have voted to ban it in private cars when children are present, and an increasing number of councils have made it illegal to smoke in outdoor children's play parks - Torfaen council is doing so today to mark No Smoking Day.
In general, we welcome all these measures. Some smokers will, of course, claim their civil liberties are being infringed.
However, we believe the health rights of the majority outweigh those of the minority who smoke.
Our biggest concern, though, is how some of these anti-smoking measures can be enforced.
The Welsh Government has yet to decide whether it will impose the car ban supported by the House of Commons, although it seems likely they will do so.
But how can such a law be policed when so many drivers still flout the rules on mobile phone use?
And how on earth will play park bans be enforced?
We doubt there are enough police, PCSOs or council enforcement officers to patrol play parks looking for smokers.
The ideas are right - we just wonder whether enough thought is given to how theory is put into practice.
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