Our car is smoke-free!

Smoking in a car with children exposes them to an increased risk of developing serious illnesses.

Children regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer lung damage and breathing problems, and have an increased risk of developing severe illnesses, such as asthma.  Because their bodies are still developing, children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in second-hand smoke.  They also have less developed immune systems, so they’re more vulnerable to illness. 

There are more than 4,000 dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke.  Because cars are such small spaces, a cigarette in the car exposes your children to a greater concentration of harmful chemicals than in any other environment.  In fact, levels are up to 27 times higher than in a smoker’s home, and 20 times more toxic.

Smoking in the car exposes children to a greater risk of:

  • Worsening asthma symptoms
  • Bronchitis, pneumonia and respiratory tract infections
  • Middle ear infections
  • Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or crib death
  • Behavior issues and decreased attention and comprehension
  • Slowed lung growth
  • Increased risk of cancer and heart disease in adulthood

Rolling down the windows, using air fresheners/filter, and smoking when the children are not in the car does not eliminate the harm of smoking in the car.  The only way children can be protected from the dangers of second-hand smoke in the car is by not smoking in the vehicle.  By giving your children a smoke-free ride, you are protecting their health and well-being – now and into adulthood.

Manitoba has a law that makes it illegal for anyone to smoke tobacco in a motor vehicle when anyone under the age of 16 is in the vehicle, and carries a fine of up to $1,000.

Further Resources

Exposure to second hand smoke in vehicles – Canada 2009

It’s Your Health – Second hand smoke

Make Your Home and Car Smoke-Free: A guide to protecting your family from second-hand smoke

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