British Study Reveals Alarmingly High Levels of Interior Pollution in Smokers’ Cars

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Nobody needs to tell us that smoking is a nasty habit that threatens not only your own health but others’, too: the Surgeon General and thousands of advertising campaigns have ensured that you get the message. Whether you choose to adhere to or ignore it is your own choice.

Smokers may have an increasingly hard time finding a place where they can indulge in their vice but their own vehicle is their private space and, for the most part, they can do what they want in it.

At least for the time being: Consumer Reports says that a recent study conducted by British researchers and due to be published at the Tobacco Control journal, found that smoking drivers expose their passengers to high levels of secondhand smoke.

The study examined more than 100 trips made by 17 drivers, only three of which were non-smokers. Of those trips, 34 were smoke-free and interior car pollution averaged nearly 7.4 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).

The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) recommended safe level is 25 μg/m3.

While non-smoking trips were well below that level, interior pollution in trips with smoking drivers averaged a far higher 85 μg/m3.

Moreover, according to the study, peak levels averaged 385 μg/m3 and on one occasion, the readings were off the scales, with 880 μg/m3.

Opening the windows or turning on climate control didn’t improve the situation, as the pollution levels inside the car still exceeded the WHO levels.

In the U.S., several states, including California, Arkansas, Maryland and Louisiana, have already banned, or are considering banning, smoking in private cars.

In those states and others that may follow suit, we can delete the “private” adjective then…

By Andrew Tsaousis


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