Though the adverse effects on a smoker’s health are well known, the welfare of those who are in the vicinity of one who indulges in cigarettes is certainly at risk also. The smaller and more enclosed where the smoking takes place, the worse these effects are to the victim. Therefore, cars pose for a severe risk to passengers, especially children, who are trying to breathe.

The toxicity level of the second hand-hand smoke goes far beyond what you might think. Of the 7,000 chemicals that are given off, at least 70 are cancer-causing. Children, who are more susceptible to the second-hand smoke due to developing lungs and less control over the situation, run the risk, at the moderate end, of more frequent ear infections, of asthma attacks (in addition to bringing on asthma), and worse yet, of persistent pneumonia, bronchitis, and other respiratory tract infections.

The toxins from cigarettes linger in cars, even if the windows were down while you were smoking, for a lot longer than you may think. Subsequent to even half a cigarette being smoked in the car, the residual chemicals from the fumes settle into the upholstery and can make your innocent passengers sick.

As per the engineering researchers at Stanford University, smoking even two cigarettes in the car produces toxins at a level that is well above the government’s safety standards. The reality of this is staggering, as smokers will often enjoy two or more butts on a long car trip, putting passengers at extreme risk.

So remember: keep those ashtrays filled with spare dimes, keep your cell phone plugged into the car’s adapter to refrain from using it as a lighter, keep your cigarettes in the trunk, whatever it takes to keep you from smoking in the car.