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“Smoking parent should not be penalised”

Published on 18/04/2007

18 April 2007

BRUSSELS – Flemish liberal (Open VLD) MP Guido De Padt has criticised the suggestion from Professor emeritus Roger Blanpain that smoking in the vicinity of children should be banned.

Stubborn parents should even be sentenced to parenting courses or community service, says Blanpain.

“Prohibiting things is starting to become an automatic reflex in this country. Parenting courses or community service is reminiscent of regimes that it would be better not to bring back,” De Padt said.

A smoking ban should be introduced in all restaurants, bars and clubs, and also in places where children spend time, at home and in the car, Roger Blanpain said during a hearing before the public health and welfare committee in the Flemish Parliament on Tuesday.

De Padt says penalising parents who persist in smoking around their children would infringe on individual liberties. He also has doubts whether smoke from parents has as serious an effect on children’s health as has been purported.

At the same time he added that any self-respecting parent will avoid subjecting his or her children to second-hand smoke and discourage them from taking up the habit.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news