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Should smoking in the car be prohibited or not? Health and safety at stake

Should smoking in the car be prohibited or not? Health and safety at stake

27/05/2016

Many countries such as England or France have prohibited smoking in the car if children are present. Is this a measure that could be implemented in Spain? Should smoking in the car be prohibited? Smoking in the car is not only incompatible with road safety, but also with the health of the passengers in the car with you. We are addressing this issue because of World No Tobacco Day.

FOR ROAD SAFETY
As indicated in current Spanish General Traffic Regulations, “the driver of a vehicle must preserve his/her own freedom of movement, necessary field of vision, and constant attention to driving, ensuring his/her own safety as well as that of the other occupants of the vehicle and other road users”. 

According to this, it can be understood that any element that hinders the driver's ability to move correctly would put his/her safety and that of the passengers at risk and, thus, could be punishable.
Driving with a cigarette in your hand prevents you from being able to hold the steering wheel well. Remember that you need both hands, especially if you want to turn or perform movements. It is very important to have both hands free to be able to change gears correctly and to be able to react to unexpected events in time. 

It is even more dangerous to light a cigarette while driving: you take your hands off the steering wheel, your eyes off the road, your attention is not focused on driving, etc.
Furthermore, you must consider the example you are giving to your children. 

FOR HEALTH
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Women's Rights of France, particle concentration is 10 times higher in the back seat of the car, which is the safest place to put child seats, than in the seat of the smoking driver and it is 3 times higher than the average level allowed by the WHO (World Health Organization).

Meanwhile, the British Lung Foundation (BLF) points out that more than 430,000 children are passively exposed to smoke each week inside cars in England.

EXAMPLES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
In England, a law was passed last October that prohibits smoking in the car if one of the occupants is a child. In other countries like Wales, Australia or South Africa, that same law has been in force even longer.
In Spain, the medical sector encourages the prohibition of smoking in the car with children, especially due to the health problems it may cause for them.
France also been recently prohibited smoking in the car when there are children under 12 inside.


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