The Royal College of Physicians has called for a total ban on a range of health-impacting activities this morning, and requested draconian powers to "make it stick this time".
The headline issue for the RCP proposal is to ban smoking in all vehicles, but further initiatives include the banning of smoking in public places where children congregate, such as parks, playgrounds and outside schools. The ban would include times when children are not present, "just to be on the safe side".
Professor Sidney Carter of the RCP clarifies: "Many people agree that children should not be forced to smoke, even at second-hand. What today's report is about is making certain that no child ever has to put up with inconsiderate adults and parents exposing them to deadly fumes from their cigarette. Indeed, we now know that children who see someone smoking are three times as likely to develop smoking-related illnesses, and therefore, we will be lobbying the government for 'Smoker's Hoods' to be made compulsory for anyone who smokes."
The proposed smoking hood design
The report also deals with the impacts of fatty foods on childhood obesity. Professor Carter said: "Well, we know that many parents just don't appreciate the importance of a balanced diet, including such things as vegetables, salad, balsamic vinegar, exotic fruits and locally-sourced cheese. This is an especial issue for families who are in the lower income groups. We are therefore proposing that families in those groups have their children taken from them, so a responsible group of adults can look after them- caring people who understand the difference between a pasteurised cheese and an unpasteurised one, and know which year is a good one for a claret, and so on."
"Those people in the lower socio-economic groups who have not yet had children, either because they are too fat to breed, or simply because they are too busy smoking on their DFS sofas to concieve normally, should be chemically castrated- in a sensitive manner, naturally."
Health Secretary Andy Burnham welcomed the move, adding that the moves proposed would save an estimated £300m annually, and that the smoking hood was an idea worthy of further examination, as earlier plans to only permit smoking deep underground in abandoned mineshafts had proved "difficult in practice".