2nd Hand Smoke in Cars A Hazard for Children

Although the evidence is not complete, there is sufficient data in favor of legislation to ban smoking when in cars with children, said Science Daily, citing a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

The research was concerned with the risk to children in cars with smokers and the children’s exposure to second-hand smoke. The research also sought to reveal that <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">second-hand smoke in cars can be very dangerous to children, said Science Daily.

“We hope to show that, though the relevant data are rich and complex, a simple conclusion is possible,” wrote Dr. Ray Pawson, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, United Kingdom with coauthors, quoted Science Daily. “The evidence does not show an absolute risk threshold because a range of environmental, biological, and social factors contribute to the risk equation. The evidence does, however, show conditional truths, and the careful enunciation of each contributory condition is the task of public health science.”

The authors looked at the variety and strength of chemicals in second-hand smoke in cars, also looking at “volume, speed, and ventilation,” explained Science Daily. The team also reviewed how long one would be in a vehicle; the length of smoke exposure; the difference in how second-hand smoke affects children versus adults; and health impacts, a challenge due to the array of chemicals and toxins one is exposed to over time, said Science Daily.

“Policy based on science and evidence has to exist amid uncertainty and this is managed by acknowledging the contingencies,” the authors said. “Thus, i) because of the confirmed cabin space, and ii) under the worst ventilation conditions, and iii) in terms of peak contamination, the evidence permits us to say that smoking in cars generates fine particulate concentrations that are, iv) very rarely experienced in the realm of air-quality studies, and that will thus constitute a significant health risk because, v) exposure to smoking in cars is still commonplace, and vi) children are particularly susceptible and vii) are open to further contamination if their parents are smokers,” quoted Science Daily.

The authors concluded there exists sufficient data at this point to issue legislation banning smoking in cars with children, said Science Daily.

Earlier this week we wrote that Science Daily recently reported on another new study concluding that the dangers of third-hand smoke are even worse that initially believed. Third-hand smoke refers to the residual remains of smoking on surfaces including carpeting, upholstery, clothing, walls, and draperies, for example. Although not mentioned in the second-hand smoke study, third-hand smoke implications in vehicles in which second- and first-hand smoke exists is relevant.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in America, with cigarettes linked to some 443,000 deaths and $100 billion spent in healthcare costs annually. Second-hand smoke has been linked to a variety of health issues and secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 substances, including over 50 known or suspected carcinogens, and is linked to many diseases in adults and children, such as sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, asthma, coronary heart disease, lung and sinus cancers, sinus problems, mental problems, and hearing loss. Some 126 million nonsmokers—60 percent of all U.S. non-smokers—are exposed to secondhand smoke. The implications for third-hand smoke are staggering.

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