Legal protection for child victims of adult smoking: A call for action

  • M. Whidden
Conference paper


People all over the world love young animals, especially furry ones, and a lot of people get terribly upset when seal cubs are clubbed to death, especially because they can see the blood in the snow and imagine the pain the animals suffered. Many people are also horrified enough to take radical action when they see a young calf in a crate, doomed to a short life in a tiny, uncomfortable prison. Situations like this result in a huge outcry. It is difficult, however, for people to visualize the suffering of young humans, who are the most vulnerable to the effects of other people’s smoking. For instance, a victim of sudden cot death, brought on by parental tobacco smoke, doesn’t look like a little skeleton, a starving Rwandan or Zaïrian refugee baby. A cot death victim looks quite healthy, and yet children whose health is damaged and who may even die because adults expose them to tobacco smoke are surely more urgently in need of our protests than are seals or calves, however appealing those animals may be.


Child Abuse Tobacco Smoke Environmental Tobacco Smoke Confidential Inquiry Young Calf 
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  1. Blair, P.S., Fleming, P.J., Bensley, D., Smith, I., Bacon, C., Taylor, E., Berry, J., Golding, J. & Tripp, J. (1996) Smoking and the sudden infant death syndrome: Results from 1993–5 case-control study for confidential inquiry into stillbirths and deaths in infancy. Br. Med. J., 313, 195 – 198Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Whidden
    • 1
  1. 1.The Association for Nonsmokers’ RightsBinfield, BerkshireUK

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