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Protecting my family is my reason for smoking outside the car

By smoking outside, you’re helping protect your child from:

Smoking Outside the Car
  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • decreased lung function
  • bronchitis, pneumonia and other lower respiratory infections
  • worsening of asthma
  • middle ear disease

In children, exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to:

  • childhood cancer (leukemias, lymphomas, brain tumours)
  • onset of asthma

Second-hand smoke leaves behind more than a bad smell. The poisons and toxins linger in the air and cling to fabrics inside the car.

Here are a few tips to help you make your car smoke-free:

Tips to make your car smoke-free
80% of Durham Region drivers with children 17-years old or younger don’t allow smoking inside their cars.

In adults, exposure to second-hand smoke can cause heart disease and lung cancer, and is linked to breast cancer and stroke.

There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

If somebody smokes in a car, everybody smokes.

Opening the window is not a solution.

Make it a rule not to smoke in your car.

Order a smoke-free car information package (including decal)

Your friends and family are smokers.
Put a smoke-free car sticker on your window to let people know that your car is smoke-free. Stop for cigarette breaks.

It’s cold outside or it’s raining.
Keep a warm jacket and an umbrella in the car. If possible, stop at a place with an outdoor sheltered area.

You have a lighter and ashtray in the car.
Remove the cigarette lighter from your car and fill the ashtray with gum or coins. Put your cigarettes in the trunk out of reach.

You’re going on a long trip
Plan cigarette breaks when you stop for food or gas.

You’re alone in the car with young children.
Turn off the car, step outside, and stand where you can see the children. Never leave the car running with children inside.

Your partner insists on smoking in the car.
Call Durham Region Health Department. We can give you information about second-hand smoke to share with your partner.

I haven’t quit yet, but I’m doing what I can.

  • You may have thought about the effect of cigarettes on yourself and your family, but feel that quitting right now isn’t realistic for you.
  • You still can protect your family and friends from the health hazards of second-hand smoke, by making your car smoke-free.
  • This may be your first step to a smoke-free life. It may be your only step. Either way, it is a step that you can make, and feel good about.