Drive Children to School in Smoke-free Vehicles.

With the school year underway, Community Connections—Tobacco Free Lincoln County encourages parents to make sure their children ride in smoke-free vehicles. Children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to get sick, and to have trouble learning in school.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have increased risks of bronchitis and other respiratory infections, middle ear infections and more severe asthma. Smoke can also slow lung growth, with permanent consequences. It can make it more difficult to concentrate, too.

Smoke settles into seats, door panels and ceiling liners of vehicles. It re-enters the air for a long time afterwards. Then it is called third-hand smoke.  Breathing third-hand smoke is also dangerous.

Children are growing rapidly, their lungs and brains are developing, and they breathe more air for their body sizes than adults do. All of those things put children at a greater risk for the health problems linked to smoke.

The only good answer is to keep the vehicle smoke-free. Rolling down a window does not eliminate the problem, because much of the smoke stays in the vehicle anyway.

Help your children have a good year at school, by keeping your vehicles, and their world, smoke-free.

Tobacco Free Lincoln County is a local partnership that focuses on keeping children from starting to use tobacco, reducing access to tobacco products, and increasing awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke. It is funded by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.