Reader shocked with lack of smoking law

  • Aug. 8, 2012 3:26 p.m.

On July 15th as I was driving south to Lethbridge, I stopped for a brief rest at a rest area on Hwy. 2, just north of Airdrie. A car pulled in beside me, driver by a sullen-looking individual, about 60, and a girl of about 13 or 14 years of age.

Although it was a warm July day, the car windows were closed. There appeared to be no communication between the two. The man got our and went to the concession booth where he got a tall drink. Getting into the car, he drank it down. He then lit a cigarette and, with windows still closed, started smoking.

Having arrived in Alberta from B.C. just two years ago (where smoking in a car with children in it is illegal), I assumed the man was breaking a law.

A short time later he drove out, still smoking. I noticed the license number (out of province), thinking I should perhaps report it to the authorities. At Lethbridge I happened to see a police station and reported what I had seen to the police.

I was shocked to learn that in Alberta smoking in a car with children in it is permitted, with windows open or shut, irregardless of the health hazard posed by second-hand smoke. The officer was understandably not interested in the information since nothing I have seen was illegal.

How can this be in a society where laws are supposedly formulated to require human behaviour of those of us who have to be told? This case, of course, suggests that a few casual questions needed to be asked about the circumstances as well.

Henry Hiebert

Sylvan Lake