Smoking in a vehicle produces dangerous levels of secondhand smoke (containing toxic chemicals) in a very short amount of time. Poisons from smoke land on upholstery (third hand smoke) and can remain for months.

Having an open window or running the air conditioner does not clear the air.

All exposure to secondhand smoke is unsafe and can cause:

  • Eye and nose irritation
  • Heart disease and heart attacks
  • Ear infections and colds
  • Lung and other cancers
  • Asthma, and more frequent and severe asthma attacks

Why is it so dangerous for children passengers?

  • Smoke, chemicals and poisons collect in the back of a vehicle
  • Babies and children’s bodies are still growing and developing
  • Breathing secondhand smoke slows a child’s lung growth and makes it more likely a child will develop ear infections, more severe and frequent asthma attacks, allergies, bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Infants exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)


The only safe way to protect children from the harmful chemicals in secondhand smoke is by smoking outside. Outside the home. Outside the car. And away from children.

Making your car a smoke-free zone protects you, your passengers and pets.

  • Make every ride a smoke-free ride
  • Remove the ashtrays and cigarette lighters from your car
  • Offer gum or mints to smokers so they don’t smoke
  • If the driver is a smoker, ask him or her not to smoke when you or your children are in the car

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