I grew up in a generation where adults were always smoking inside a car with children present. Even smoke on a bus or a plane. Well, now we have one more reason to cause a baby to cry on a plane. Now, with our knowledge of second hand smoke, heck, that’s probably why Froggy, the kid on The Little Rascals, talked the way he did. An elderly man told me that he stopped smoking in his car out of guilt because he threw a lit cigarette out his car window and it came back into the back window, landed in his granddaughter’s booster seat and burned her leg. What the heck was he doing smoking in the car with a child present in the first place? What a relief it would be if every state passed a law prohibiting anyone from smoking in a vehicle with anyone under 18 present. Perhaps it would be an even better idea if people were prohibited from smoking in a car altogether. That would certainly help to eliminate distractions and grass fires. As of October 1st, England passed a law regarding this. Cheerio for them, I say!

Research shows that second hand smoke is even more dangerous to children than adults because children breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Every time a child breathes in second hand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals. This puts them at risk for serious conditions including meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia. And it can worsen asthma.

Now, at least eight states in America (Oregon, California, Utah, Vermont, Main, Arkansas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico) have banned smoking in cars when children are present. And other states are considering it. Not only is smoking in an enclosed space hazardous for children, it is also hazardous for other passengers. Plus, of course, preventing the driver from being distracted by the act of smoking decreases the danger of traffic accidents.

It is said that over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and even opening windows does not remove all of the smoke. The level of toxic air in a vehicle from one cigarette is up to 10 times greater than levels that are considered hazardous. And, again, Children with undeveloped lungs and immune systems are susceptible to serious health issues from being cooped up in a car with a smoker.

So, think twice before lighting up with children in the car.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Smoking Inside A Car – Comedy Defensive Driving