By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - There is a great reason why parents should not smoke cigarettes in the car with their children traveling with them.
Secondhand smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals. Many of them cause cancer. Exposure also increases children’s risk for bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome.
Puffing in cars may be especially harmful because of the lack of ventilation. Just one cigarette creates an unsafe level of toxic pollution. And opening the car window isn’t enough to reduce it. Contaminants may linger on dashboards, seats, and other surfaces long after you’ve put out your cigarette.
Pediatricians recommend strict anti-smoking policies in vehicles. Set one in yours. Then ask any adults your child rides with to do so too.