Many Smokers Light Up with Kids in Car

Smoking Near Kids

Only one-quarter of smoking parents follow a strict tobacco-free car policy, and almost half who don’t impose such a ban smoke while driving with their kids, a new study shows.

Meeting with almost 800 smoking parents, analysts also identified that two out of three parents with strict tobacco-free home policies don’t match that stance in their automobiles.

Almost three-quarters of smoking parents accepted that someone had lighted up in their car in the last three months – indicating parents don’t realize the risks of exposing their children to smoking residue in such an enclosed space.

Dr. Emara Nabi-Burza, a senior clinical research coordinator at the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston said that for one reason, the car is not regarded as a place where kids can be exposed to cigarette smoke”. “Parents consider that putting down the windows is excellent. They don’t consider of it as an indoor exposure for children, which is where we need to step in and make people knowledgeable.”

No safe level of cigarette smoke exposure exists, as outlined by the U.S. Surgeon General, and study has demonstrated that it leads to a worsening of asthma signs in kids and greater odds of respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome and ear infections. In kids aged 18 months or younger, exposure to secondhand smoke is the reason for more than 15,000 hospitalizations in the United States annually, the study mentioned.

Nabi-Burza and her colleagues, asking parent smokers as they exited pediatricians’ offices in eight states, discovered that 48% of those without a strictly enforced smoke-free car policy smoked while driving with their kids. College-educated parents of children under 1 year were more probably to put in force such a policy, as were those who smoked 10 or fewer cigarettes per day.

Only 12% said that they had been recommended by their kid’s doctors to have a tobacco-free car.

Danny McGoldrick, vice president of research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C., mentioned that even cigarette smoke residue – so-called thirdhand smoke – in cars can be dangerous to kids, maximizing the significance of smoke-free car policies even if young children aren’t present while a parent smokes.

“Fabrics definitely absorb a lot of these harmful components. Just because no one’s in there smoking doesn’t mean all the dangerous elements disappear,” McGoldrick said. The best thing to do as a smoking parent is to give up smoking. If they’re not ready to stop yet or not able to succeed, then adopt smoke-free policies for home and car.

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