There are certain times in a smoker’s day that warrants lighting up. For many people, a car ride or commute is one of those times. But recent research shows that this could be the most detrimental time of all to spark a cigarette. Most smokers probably don’t mind, but it’s still good information to know for others.
Smoking in Cars
According to Raw Story, smoking in cars is even worse than smoking in the “fresh air”, with the enclosed space increasing your exposure to concentrated fine-particle pollutants.
Researchers followed study participants for a period of three days, installing an electronic monitor in their cars. Of the 17 people, 14 were smokers. They were told to behave normally throughout the study period, smoking whenever they normally would with their windows at the level that they would normally keep them at while smoking. In other words, they were asked to behave as if the study wasn’t happening.
There were a total of 104 car trips during the three days and 63 of those trips were smoke-free. But, for the journeys that involved smoking—fine particulate levels were alarming.
During smoking journeys, levels of fine particles were 85 microgrammes per cubic metre on average, compared to guidelines of 25 mcg/cu. metre for indoor pollution set by the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO).
On average, the smoking trips registered 385 mcg/cu. meter. The highest concentration was 880 mcg./ cu. meter. The high level of particulate matter was seen whenever the driver was smoking—even if the window was open.
The problem with these pollutants is that they are so small they can essentially hide out deep within the lungs, wreaking havoc and causing respiratory distress.
“Children exposed to these levels of fine particulate are likely to suffer ill-health effects,” said the study. And the particulate matter is no better for adults either.
Smoking in cars not only leads to your health suffering, but also causes the value of car to suffer. Many people simply don’t like the odor of smoke, so the trade-in or resell value decreases. What’s more, smokers often have an increased chance of getting into a car accident, and thus this is reflected in higher car insurance premium payments.
Time to Quit
Do you need (or want) more evidence that smoking is bad for you – that it’s time to quit? Quitting any addictive substance is difficult. For more help on quitting smoking, check out these quit smoking tips, or quit smoking naturally simply by eating more fruit and vegetables. Bold statement, I know, but it can’t hurt to give it a try.
If all else fails, try to just stop smoking in cars – just until you quit for good.