The confined space in vehicles creates high levels of second-hand smoke (SHS) from a smoked cigarette, even with the windows open. A systematic review published in 2015 found fine particulate levels in vehicles with at least one window open up to 12,150 μg/m3. The authors concluded that ‘the only way to protect nonsmokers, especially children, from SHS within cars is by eliminating tobacco smoking.’1
Exposure of children to smoking in vehicles appears to lead to smoking uptake, due to the normalisation and the example of disregard to SHS dangers. After controlling for other factors associated with initiation, the analysis of New Zealand student exposure data indicates an association of such exposure with smoking uptake.2, 3 The greater exposure of Māori, Pacific and children in high socio-economic deprivation groups means that there are inequalities in immediate and long term health risks.
Smokefree Cars Toolkit
ASPIRE2025 is very happy to support our sector partners in hosting the Smokefree cars toolkit: A guide for local health promoters and community members
ASPIRE 2025 research relating to smokefree vehicles includes:
• Healey B, Hoek J, Wilson N, Thomson G, Taylor S, Edwards R. Youth exposure to in-vehicle second-hand smoke and their smoking behaviours: trends and associations in repeated national surveys (2006-2012). Tob Control. 2015 Mar;24(2):146-52. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051124.
• Gendall P, Hoek J, Maubach N, Edwards R. Public support for more action on smoking. N Z Med J. 2013 May 31;126(1375):85-94.
• Healey B, Edwards R, Wilson N, Thomson G, Hoek J, Taylor S. The important persisting problem of smoking in cars with children: new data from a multi-year national survey of young people. N Z Med J. 2013 Feb 15;126(1369):86-9
• Wilson N, Thomson G, Edwards R, Gifford H. Smokefree cars to protect children and denormalise smoking: a mini-review of New Zealand literature. N Z Med J. 2012 May 25;125(1355):81-6.
• Marsh L, McGee R, Gray A, Newcombe R, Patterson R. Youth experiences of secondhand smoke exposure in New Zealand: evidence from 5 national surveys (2000 to 2008). N Z Med J. 2012 May 25;125(1355):9-18.
• Thomson G, Hudson S, Wilson N, Edwards R. A qualitative case study of policy maker views about the protection of children from smoking in cars. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Sep;12(9):970-7
1. Raoof SA, Agaku IT, Vardavas CI. A systematic review of secondhand smoke exposure in a car: Attributable changes in atmospheric and biological markers. Chron Respir Dis 2015;12:120-31.
2. Healey B, Hoek J, Wilson N, et al. Youth exposure to in-vehicle second-hand smoke and their smoking behaviours: trends and associations in repeated national surveys (2006-2012). Tob Control 2015;24:146-52.
3. Glover M, Scragg R, Min S, et al. Driving kids to smoke? Children’s reported exposure to smoke in cars and early smoking initiation. Addict Behav 2011;36:1027-31.