A new study published this week in Scotland claimed that "Smoking in a car exposes a child passenger to dangerous levels of poisonous particles … and even opening a window doesn’t protect them".
The findings, we were told, are so stark that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), which commissioned the study, has launched a high profile campaign "to persuade the thousands of Scots motorists who continue to smoke and endanger non-smoking passengers to make their cars smoke free".
According to the NHSGGC press release:
The study involved a child sized doll being fitted in a car seat with the very latest smoke monitoring equipment attached at the doll’s mouth so that precise measurements could be taken. The particles of tobacco poison were so high that they compared with the levels you would expect after being exposed to secondhand smoke in a busy smoke filled pub before the smoking ban.
Various "health experts" were wheeled out to comment on the "shocking" results. Surprisingly, no-one, not even Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland, called for a ban on smoking in cars, although I have no doubt that is their aim. Instead we were given some 'Tips for a smokefree car':
- Try to always take smoking outside
- Try to make your car a smokefree car at all times for everyone
- Have a cigarette before and after your journey
- On long journeys, stop, have a break and smoke outside the car
- Remove car cigarette lighters
- Clear out car ash trays
- Display a window sticker 'Our Car is Smokefree' (Ugh!)
A summary of the report can be downloaded from the NHSGGC Smokefree Services website.
The Scotsman has the story, including a short quote from me, here: Don't smoke and drive - it's as toxic as a pub fug for your children, insist doctors.