State Officials Tout Health Benefits of Car Smoking Ban
On Thursday, California public health officials highlighted the health hazards of smoking in cars in an effort to promote a new state law banning the practice when minors are present, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Under the law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) at the end of last year, violators caught smoking in vehicles containing children under age 18 will receive a fine of up to $100.
A demonstration by public health officials on Thursday indicated that smoking in a vehicle causes the air inside to become 10 to 30 times more toxic than hazardous levels of outdoor air.
Mark Horton, director of the Department of Public Health, said particulate matter found in cigarette smoke poses health risks, especially to children and the elderly.
The fine particles can cause or irritate asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections, according to Horton (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 1/4).