Did you know?
Second-hand smoke inhaled by kids in cars can increase their chance of sudden infant death syndrome, due to its toxic particles. The toxicity of these second-hand smoke particles is up to 11-times stronger than that of a cigarette itself.
Just to give you an idea, imagine a firefighter exposed to and fighting a wildfire for 4 to 8-hours – it’s the same as being exposed to smoke in a closed car. However, opening a window doesn’t help either… It only makes the smoke invisible.
But, that’s not all!
What’s worse is that with kids having higher metabolic and respiratory rates and lower immune systems than adults, children are more susceptible to the pessimistic aftermaths of second-hand smoke. Despite the fact that the effects of second-hand smoke are well known to most people who smoke in cars, the realistic negative repercussions it may have on passengers – especially children – are not recognised.
According to Health24, many countries across the globe, including South Africa, have proceeded with a legislation to ban smoking in a car with children under the age of 12-years. However, one often still sees a driver or passenger pull out a cigarette or Vape with a child in the car.
But, the shouldn’t only apply to children. Many adult non-smokers cannot tolerate the smell of smoke, especially those en-route toward a healthy diet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show that:
- Smoke contains over 4000 chemicals.
- Out of these 4000 different chemicals, around 250 are harmful.
- More than 50 out of more than 4000 chemicals are cancer-causing.
The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) have also disclosed that smoking while pregnant results in more than 1000 infant deaths annually.
There are no risk-free levels of smoking in a car and allowing kids to inhale second-hand smoke or its lingering smell. Common impacts of second-hand smoke on children include:
- Severe asthma
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Respiratory infection, which may eventually lead to impaired lung function
- Lower respiratory illness
- Ear infection, which may result in Middle Ear Disease
For adults, severe ramifications include:
- Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
- Lung Cancer
- Low birth weight in women
- Nasal irritation
Smoking in cars and second-hand smoke can have adverse effects on the health of kids. Protect your child from second-hand smoke by smoking before or after embarking on a road trip, and ensure your child is only exposed to a smoke-free zone.
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