Smoking While Driving May be Harmful to Young Passengers

By Staff Writer

Smokers who have avoided seeking substance abuse help for their tobacco habit may want to consider the harm they are potentially causing to those around them. A new study has found that smoking in the confined space of an automobile can be extremely dangerous to passengers, particularly children.

The researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK said that while there have been many studies conducted to assess the risks associated with second-hand smoke, few investigations have looked at this risk specific to passengers who are riding in a car with a smoker.

For the study, they examined the build up of chemicals that can occur in the air of a car while someone is smoking. They found that levels of chemical particles can become dangerously elevated in a short period of time. This may have the greatest impact on the still-forming lung tissue of children.

While they concluded that more research is still needed, the researchers said that lawmakers and public health officials should consider implementing a ban on smoking and driving with children in the car.