Smoking in cars with kids can have health effects.

Smoking in cars with kids can have health effects


There are no laws in Washington and Idaho that prohibit smoking in cars when children are present.  But, research shows smoking in a vehicle can be harmful to the child through both secondhand and thirdhand smoke.

Since secondhand smoke is something we do not voluntary agree to breathe in, many states ban smoking in most public spaces and commercial transportation to protect non-smoking passengers.

Air from secondhand smoke is many times more harmful to a child’s lungs than regular hazardous air quality like what we experienced during the fire season.  Having a window down while driving really does not improve anything either.

But what about thirdhand smoke?

Researchers now have good reason to believe that thirdhand smoke can continue to affect our health.  Thirdhand smoke is the residual nicotine and chemicals from tobacco products that seeps into the upholstery of our cars and other surfaces.  The residuals can then readmit into the air exposing kids and adults to toxins.

“When the smoke settles on the air, surfaces and upholstery, when it settles it still contains the cancer-causing chemicals,” said Pediatric Pulmonologist at Sacred Heart, Alma Chavez.

Medical professionals like Dr. Chavez see people with thirdhand smoke exposure showing signs of nicotine in their blood and urine.

Smoke exposure has been proven to have an impact.  In 2015, there was a study in the Journal of Pediatrics that looked at gross motor development at children at 18 months of age who were exposed to second hand smoke.  Those children were behind their peers in development.

This is an increased concern for children who already have respiratory problems.  Doctor Chavez said if a child already has a predisposed chance of asthma, then you add smoke exposure, you could make their illness worse than had it been without the smoke exposure.

Dr. Chavez said the proof is in her patients.  She said patients have told her their symptoms went away as soon as they moved out of their smoking parent’s house.


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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY - CDC's office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (OSTLTS) is pleased to announce a new notice of funding opportunity, CDC-RFA OT18-1804:  Technical Assistance for Response to Public Health or Healthcare Crises.  Visit the STLT Gateway to learn more about the purposes of this funding opportunity and expected awardee strategies and activities.  This funding opportunity is a novel approach to emergency response that will allow CDC to expedite funding to qualified organizations to they can provide expert technical assistance and other support to entities engaged in a public health or healthcare crises.  Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. (ET) on March 16, 2018.  CDC will collect responsive proposals from eligible applicants and retain them as "approved but unfunded" until a crises occurs.  CDC will make funding available to relevant organizations once the agency determines the need for a public health emergency response.  If you have questions about this funding opportunity, contact the OSTLTS Partnership Support Unit at

LGBT HealthLink's 2018 E-Summit - Save the Date - Join us for Bacon, Eggs, and Data as the first course to our full workshop menu!  Time and topics to be announced next month!  REGISTER HERE

EVENT -Dialogue for Action® - April 11-13, 2018; Hilton McLean Tysons Corner; McLean, VirginiaDialogue for Action® is an annual national conference that brings a diversity of stakeholders together to discuss the best ways to reinforce cancer screening, prevention, and risk reduction initiatives in their communities.  The Wednesday through Friday schedule is packed with unique opportunities for participants to immerse themselves in engaging presentations facilitated conversations, relationship building, and more.  LEARN MORE

The NW NARCH program, in collaboration with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and the OHSU Prevention Research Center, are offering a new fellowship in cancer prevention and control research.  The training will be offered in conjunction with the last two weeks of the Summer Research Training Institute at the Indian Health Board in Portland, Oregon, June 17-29, 2018.  In addition, fellows will attend a one-week session in the fall of 2018 that is focused on additional topics in cancer prevention and control research among tribal people.  Fellows will work with peer and career mentors to develop and implement cancer control projects, and will be supported to attend professional meetings to present their research findings.  Please feel free to distribute your lists.  For more information, please see the NPAIHB website at or contact Ashley Thomas by email at or by phone at 503-494-2907.

Funding Opportunity - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Policies for Action:  Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health - HERE