Prohibiting Smoking in Cars with Children Present

A simple way to drive out secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke contains thousands of harmful chemicals and has been proven to cause heart disease, stroke and an array of other adverse health effects.

Children are particularly vulnerable to secondhand smoke. Their bodies and lungs aren’t fully developed, so exposure to secondhand smoke leaves them at greater risk for serious health issues, including:

  • Respiratory illness
  • Ear infections
  • Lung infections
  • Asthma attacks
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer

When children are exposed inside a vehicle — where secondhand smoke is highly concentrated — these risks grow substantially.

In fact, a Stanford research study showed that smoking just half of one cigarette in a vehicle can produce secondhand smoke levels 10 times higher than the hazardous limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Even with the windows cracked or rolled down, toxin and carbon monoxide levels are still dangerously high.

In Oklahoma, it’s still legal to smoke inside cars when children are present. Our kids are suffering. It’s time for a change.

By prohibiting smoking in vehicles when children are present, we can help our children breathe easier and live healthier.


Taking steps to protect our children today is critical to their future. The level of secondhand smoke exposure a child experiences is directly proportional to their risk of becoming a smoker later in life.

Youth smokers are also more likely to develop severe levels of nicotine addiction compared to adults, leading to continued tobacco use – and long-term health issues – as they grow older.


Several states and numerous cities and counties across the U.S. have already passed smoking bans in vehicles when children are present, including Arkansas and Louisiana. These states are saving the lives of their most vulnerable citizens.

Oklahoma’s tobacco control policies remain out of step with our neighbors’ and with current science… and the longer we wait to catch up, the further behind we fall.

86% of Oklahomans favor a law prohibiting smoking in vehicles when children 16 or younger are present.

An overwhelming majority of Oklahomans agree: smoking should not be allowed in vehicles when children are present. Do you agree?

Want to show your support for this issue? Check out the link below — and learn other ways we can protect our youth from tobacco.


Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on November 2, 2018