SMOKING IN VEHICLES WITH CHILDREN
The Southern Health Association strongly recommends the legislators in, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia work on enacting legislation to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke in cars. The legislation should ban smoking in any car where a child should be restrained by a child safety restraint system. At least six states including Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon and Utah have smoke-free car laws banning smoking in cars where children are present, protecting children ranging from less than 6 years old to less than 18 years old.
The 2006 Surgeon General’s Report states that the scientific evidence about the dangers of secondhand smoke is indisputable. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. There is overwhelming evidence of the harms associated with exposure to secondhand smoke that is specific to children and specific to enclosed environments.
American Academy of Pediatrics studies “provide evidence that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is associated with increased rates of lower respiratory illness and increased rates of middle ear effusion, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome.
A Harvard study found a “significant increase” in the levels of carbon monoxide in cars where smoking occurs, a substance known to induce lethargy and loss of alertness even in small quantities.
The Southern Health Association expresses deep concern over the rapid increase in the use of Vapor Cigarettes by both adults and teens and the inconclusive health effects for both groups. The research into the effects of vapor cigarettes lags well behind their popularity, and medical associations and regulatory bodies are concerned that vapor cigarettes are nothing more than a gateway to nicotine addiction.
The percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use vapor cigarettes, more than doubled from 2010 to 2012. Vapor cigarettes are offered in a variety of flavors that young children and teens could find appealing, like cherry, grape, and strawberry. New and very troubling data from the National Poison Data System show that reports of poisonings caused by accidental ingestion of e-liquids tripled from 2012 to 2013.
Some vapor cigarettes have been marketed as smoking cessation aids. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that vapor cigarettes promote successful long term quitting, nor has the FDA approved vapor cigarettes as a safe or effective method to help smokers quit.