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Smokers, their cars and their passengers’ health

Smoking is pretty bad, hopefully everybody knows that by now, but in case you don’t… smoking is bad.

One other thing is that not only is smoking bad for the one who engages in it but also for those around those who smoke – hopefully this too has made it into the public awareness.

Now many things are bad for you, including too much salt and fatty foods, but these things are still out there, and it’s up to the individual’s choice whether or not these are part of one’s life.

Smoking has been singled out for being a major health hazard and as such, there are more and more countries in the West where you can’t smoke in public, except in certain areas. One area that is not public however, is the smoker’s car and this is where they can usually indulge in their vice without any problems.

But here is where things might start to get a bit tricky, because a recent study conducted by British researchers which is due to be published in the Tobacco Control journal, has found that drivers who smoke in their cars are exposing their passengers to high levels of secondhand smoke.

The study looked at more than a hundred trips made by seventeen drivers, three of which were non-smokers. Thirty-four of those trips were smoke-free and the car interior registered an average pollution of almost 7.4 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).

That number is well below the World Health Organization’s recommended safe level of 25 μg/m3.

But the trips in which the drivers smoked recorded an average of 85 μg/m3, more than three times higher than the recommended safe level, with levels peaking on one occasion to 385 μg/m3 on average, that particular trip registering a maximum level of 880 μg/m3.

Now you might think that opening a window or turning on the climate control would lessen the impact, but the levels of pollution in those circumstances as well, were still above the accepted WHO levels.

In the U.S. there are already a few states where smoking in your car either is banned or is being considered, and studies like this will make it easier.

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