The Dangers of Smoking in the Car

We all know smoking is terrible for us and those around us. But not many people realise how much worse smoking in the car is for you, compared to normal.


It's a common sight to see a driver casually smoking while driving or when you were stopped at a red light. And what is really the harm if the window is open?


It turns out smoking in the car causes a lot of harm, including 2nd and 3rd hand smoke and an increased chance of crashing. It can also decimate the resale value of any car, which might not be as life changing as the other two, but can have real financial repercussions.


1. The Dangers of 2nd and 3rd Hand Smoke in Cars

The dangers of smoking in a car has been known for a while now, almost as long as we've known of 2nd hand smoke. That's why in 2006 the imaginatively named Health Act stated that smoking in a work vehicle was against the law. This was then changed in 2014 to include any car that had children in.


Under these new laws, anyone caught smoking in a vehicle with someone under 18 years of age can be fined £50 for both the driver and the person who is smoking.  Even if you are driving a convertible or have the sunroof open!


For many though the idea that you couldn't smoke in the company car or van was ridiculous. After all the windows can be opened, what's the harm (apart form it being illegal of course)?


Simply put, even in well ventilated cars, 2nd hand smoke is a killer.


To put it in perspective, a cigarette produces 11 times more 2nd hand smoke in a car than compared to a cigarette in a bar.


Even in a moving car, with all the windows down, a cigarette produces 7 times more 2nd hand smoke.


Worst of all in a motionless car with the windows up a single cigarette produces levels of harmful particles that are over 100 times what an average person gets a day normally. That is 15 times higher than the "hazardous" rating.


The study even says they downplayed the danger of smoking in cars. The rating is meant to measure for outdoor air pollution, not for inside a car.


Children especially are vulnerable to 2nd hand smoke.  Put them in a car with smoker and you have serious trouble. Just from 2nd hand smoke alone the chances of cot death, glue ear, asthma and other respiratory diseases skyrockets.


Even for adults, just being in the same car as someone who is smoking can increase the rate of Heart disease, lung cancer and strokes.


And to make it worse is that you don't even need to smoke in car while someone else is in there to harm them with your smoke. 3rd hand smoke is the smoke that is absorbed by fabric and materials, and then slowly releases it. That means that even if you smoked yesterday it can effect people the next day. Children are especially vulnerable to this.


Since becoming illegal to smoke in a work vehicles the number of heart attacks admitted to hospital fell by 2.4%.  This just proves how important it is to enforce these laws that protect non-smokers.  In just a few years thousands of people were saved!


2. Smoking as a Distraction

Most of us could have guessed that 2nd hand smoking would be the main problem with smoking in the car. But have you thought about how distracting they are?


A recent study was done in Taiwan where they followed smokers and non-smokers over an 18 year period. They found that almost one quarter (23%) of all male car fatalities were associated with smoking.


Whether it's trying to light it while moving, the hot ash that floats around or simply trying to fish one out of the packet. It is all distracting and potentially fatal for the person driving or anyone around them.


It makes even more sense then why you are not allowed to smoke in public cars or vans then, apart from the health risks there is just a much bigger chance you will crash!


3. Smoking Damages a Car's Worth

Perhaps not as important as the previous points, but did you know that if you smoke regularly in the car, the value of your investment can up to £2000 less when it's time to trade it in?


The two main problems are the smell, which can linger in fabric for years, and the burn marks. Long term smokers probably don't even notice the smell, but as any non-smoker can tell you, stale smoke stinks.


To get a car fit for re-sale sometimes the whole interior has to be stripped and replaced, the air conditioning scrubbed and even the dashboard replaced to get rid of scorch marks.


Because smoke damages the inside of the car so much, the cost of fixing it up is taken straight from the seller’s bottom line.


 In every aspect smoking while driving is dangerous for you, your passengers, others on the road and your car! Whether it is from the heightened risk of disease, a higher chance of crashing or just losing money on the trade in, driving and smoking are two activities that should never be mixed.


However there is a solution to all this, e-cigarettes. None of the current anti-smoking laws restrict the use of electronic cigarettes while driving.  They don’t produce any 2nd hand smoke, they are nowhere near as distracting as cigarettes and they don't produce any smell, so your car will be as clean when you sell it as the day you bought it!


If you are a smoker who spends a lot of time in a car, why not try one of our vape kits today?

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published