A new study published last week in Pediatrics found that many adults are still smoking in their cars with their children present. The study was conducted by the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Research and Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston and suggests that parents may not recognize the dangers of smoking when their children are in the car.
In the study, researchers interviewed 795 smoking parents and found that while most parents did have a smoke-free policy at home, only about one in four had a smoke-free policy for their cars.
“For some reason, the car isn’t considered an environment where children can be exposed to tobacco smoke,” said study author Dr. Emara Nabi-Burza. “Parents think putting down the windows is fine. They don’t think of it as an indoor exposure for children, which is where we need to step in and make people aware.”
That’s the message of a new public education campaign focused on Richmond’s landmark smoke free multi-unit housing law. The Tobacco Prevention Coalition of Contra Costa County and the American Lung Association in California produced the campaign with a $13,500 First 5 Contra Costa health promotion grant.
Richmond’s smoke-free multi-unit housing law went into effect in January and requires all apartments and condominiums to be non-smoking. With 44% of Richmond’s population living in rental housing, the campaign is designed to inform these residents of their new protections and to increase awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke on young children. Continue reading