207681 Policies banning smoking in vehicles in the presence of children: History, advocacy and issues

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 10:30 AM

Russell K. McIntire, MPH, BA , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Smoking in vehicles exposes occupants to the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke in a very confined space. These effects are multiplied when children are exposed to tobacco smoke in vehicles. A 2006 Harvard University study measuring the levels of particulate matter created from tobacco smoke in vehicles identified typical exposure levels exceeding those found in smoky restaurants or bars. Further, exposure levels exceeded levels established as “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” such as children and the elderly, by the EPA air quality index. Although measures identifying prevalence of smoking in vehicles in the presence of children (SVPC) have not been determined, health departments, advocacy groups, and policy-makers have identified SVPC as a behavior which poses significant risks to the respiratory health of children. Communities have responded to such risks by enacting laws banning SVPC. Some laws banning SVPC only apply to vehicles transporting foster/resource family children, but an increasing amount of localities, states, and countries around the world are enacting SVPC laws which apply to all vehicles. Despite the many benefits of SVPC laws, many challenges remain for passing and implementing such laws. This presentation will describe current local, state, and national SVPC laws; discuss the advantages and controversial issues surrounding SVPC laws; and explain the researchers experience with advocating for SVPC legislation in Monroe County, Indiana.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the history of policies banning smoking in vehicles in the presence of children (SVPC) Describe current local, state, national, and international SVPC laws Discuss the advantages and controversial issues surrounding SVPC laws Explain the researchers experience with advocating for, passing, and implementing SVPC laws in Monroe County, Indiana (The ordinance will be introduced to the Bloomington,IN City Council and Monroe County Council in early spring 2009)

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have performed the required research on the presentation content. I have worked with organizations to advocate for SVPC policies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.