Yes folks it's the latest piece of public health nonsense. The people who brought you "third hand smoke", "obesogenic environments" and "passive drinking" - a veritable torrent of nannying fussbucketry - now want to do the same for cars:
Private cars cause significant health harm. The impacts include physical inactivity, obesity, death and injury from crashes, cardio-respiratory disease from air pollution, noise, community severance and climate change. The car lobby resists measures that would restrict car use, using tactics similar to the tobacco industry. Decisions about location and design of neighbourhoods have created environments that reinforce and reflect car dependence.
I seem to recall that tobacco was 'unique' as a product and that no other product was so exceptionally damaging. So why is it that the judgemental little authoritarians in the public health fraternity keep finding more things they wish to ban? That they advocate:
Car dependence is a potent example of an issue that ecological public health should address. The public health community should advocate strongly for effective policies that reduce car use and increase active travel.
How long before they start banning car ads 'targeting children'? And adding health warnings to cars? Sock puppet organisations - Traffic Concern or some such wibble - will spring up and the lobby the councils and government departments that fund them?
Will we have laws restricting engine size, saying we can only own one car, rationing petrol - all in the cause of making us healthy (whether the policies work or not - it's the campaign that matter).
And just before we dismiss the article as just another bit of daft academic nonsense - the lead author works for the NHS.