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Posted on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

Mott hospital poll: Adults support bans to protect children from secondhand smoke

By Amy Biolchini


A new poll conducted by researchers at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor shows that a majority of adults support smoking bans in cars when young children are present.

Angela Cesere | file photo

A new poll conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital revealed strong support from adults for smoking bans to protect young children from secondhand smoke.

The National Poll on Children’s Health found 82 percent of adults support it being illegal to smoke in cars when there are children under the age of 13 present. Seven states have such a smoking ban: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine, Utah, Oregon and Illinois.

“Smoke is a real health hazard for kids whose lungs are still developing, and especially for kids who have illnesses like asthma where the lungs are particularly fragile and flare up when exposed to secondhand smoke,” said Dr. Matthew M. Davis in a statement.

Davis is the founding director of the poll, and was named as the Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Community Health this spring.


Dr. Matthew M. Davis

Courtesy of UMHS

About 75 percent of those surveyed said smoking bans are needed in homes where children are living with lung conditions like asthma.

Davis is advocating for public health officials and legislators to now consider such bans on smoking in homes because of the high level of public support found in the survey.

Bans on smoking in public places are in place in 40 of the 50 states.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 10:56 a.m.

Way things are going we are going to have to start making jail space for tobacco smokers in the prisions. What with the price of cigeretts now and the way they are headed, how much longer before a major black market is roaring making criminals rich. Seems like we keep doing the same things over and are surprised by getting the same dismal results.

Jon Saalberg

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 2:48 a.m.

That's great. Now if the UM hospital system would enforce its own ban on smoking on its premises. I regularly travel to the main hospital and am appalled to come across people, including employees, smoking in the main parking garage, which is clearly marked as a no smoking area. This, in addition to the UM hospital employees I see lighting up along the hospital drive. The hospital should start at home with any anti-smoking campaign.


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 4:06 a.m.

smoking on the sidewalks is OK because it is a public eavesment from the street and thus outside the jurisdiction of the "no smoking on campus" policy. most university affiliates who smoke would prefer their own favorite secluded spots on campus away from non-smokers like loading docks, by building service entrances and in various alleyways and courtyards but they have been driven out onto the sidewalk by the policy. i'd rather not smoke by you either but i gotta follow the rules...

Jim Slagenwhite

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 1:25 a.m.

How about no smoking in cars at all i'm tired of butts dumped outa car windows !


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

Amen! Most smokers throw their butts out the windows without a second thought, as if it's not littering. Disgusting slobs.

Homeland Conspiracy

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Protect me from secondhand children


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Oh I know, going to the supermarket during the summer is the pits with all the kiddies around. Can't wait till school starts


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

The study is from a WEB SURVEY. So science and American Idol now use the same methodology? Disgusting.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

I'm a smoker and I support this.I never smoke around kids and try not to smoke around non smokers.Unless they are at my place then choke you dirty bas....Just kidding.


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Yep, I go a step father and say drinking around kids isn't cool.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

won't someone think of the CHILDREN?? i don't hear anyone complaining when they catch a whiff of the diesel exhaust fumes emitted by AATA buses and the numerous poorly-tuned construction vehicles and semi trucks that ply our streets on a daily basis. that stuff is at least as carcinogenic as a little secondhand tobacco smoke. can't the moral police and all you people who enjoy telling you neighbor how to live leave us smokers alone for a little while and find someone else to harass?


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

Those school buses stink, they sure must be unhealthy for the kids but just like smoking, it takes 30 or more years for the damage to show up, so life goes on and still even today, few folks live to see 90 years old.


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

perhaps you enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine every now and again? some might argue that consuming a volatile solvent (ethanol) serves no positive purpose. maybe you like a nice cold glass of soda, or a big ole burger and fries once in a while? some will say that too serves no positive purpose. just makes you get fat. can't we all just stop judging what others put into their own bodies and live together like adults? most smokers i know, myself included, are fairly conscientious of non-smokers and will generally try hard to keep smoke away from nonsmokers. i mean, mistakes happen every now and then but everyone's human. but from the point of view of a smoker, the constant persecution and judgement from a certain vocal minority of non-smokers just starts to get tiresome. you aren't going to make me stop. you're just making me resentful.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

We rely, sadly, on vehicles to live our lives and scientists are madly trying to clean that up. Cigarettes serve no positive purpose. Put the dangers in every smokers face as often as we can as well as the faces of the teens who might be convinced to not start.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

Point taken! But it does not change the overwhelming harm of second hand cigarette smoke.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

Exhaust is just carbon dioxide and water....


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

ok let me google that for you:

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

I challenge you to support your outrageous claim that "diesel soot is at least as carcinogenic as a little secondhand tobacco smoke."

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

We need to protect pets and wild animals from the ills and cancers of second hand smoke. If you blow your cigarette at a squirrel, that should be a crime. Got a squirrel in your car while you're smoking? That's a crime. Do it twice? Then there should be a mandatory cigarette-squirrel lockout on the ignition.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

Distinguishing between obviously absurd ramifications versus logical consequences is sadly underrated here.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:09 p.m.

To be fair, driving with a squirrel probably is illegal.... :)

Amy Biolchini

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

Dr. Davis noted that in the states that have bans against smoking in vehicles when young children are present, the bans are only typically enforced when there's a traffic stop for an issue other than the smoking. Extending a smoking ban to a household in which a child has asthma or another lung condition would be a major measure. How enforceable do you think a law like that would be?

ROB 64

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

Not that this would be feasible, but the only way I can think to enforce a ban like this would be to require a high sensitivity smoke detector be installed in the child's room which would alert authorities when set off. I can't see many people getting behind this idea though, it does seem a bit invasive (though fine by me personally). Other than something like this I think we'd have to rely on reported complaints.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

Agree with Nsider. Child Protective Services?


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

I think no more difficult than when children are subjected to bad environments like using narcotics or excessive alcohol. Just like any other domestic violence, the law enforcement folks don't get involved unless/until someone makes a complaint or an obvious medical issue arises. Clearly broken bones are easier to diagnose as a form of child abuse, but with today's computing and EHR, why can't the welfare of children be tracked, to include too many winter colds, sore throats, asthma or other lung condition, etc? The path is going the right direction though, distracted driving comes in many forms and yes, I would lump "smoking while driving" right in there with texting and other distractions.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

Such a household ban would be very difficult to enforce and likely would be complaint-driven. Still, with what we now know of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke (especially in developing lungs of children), deliberate exposure of minors to such smoke is abusive.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

I'm with Tawny all the way on this one.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

Any behavior that affects other people's health, and that has no positive benefit, is not simply your own business. It's hard for Americans with the "wild west" "anything goes" mentality to grasp or accept the extent to which we can't just do whatever we want.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

Applaud any and all efforts to discourage smoking. We all pay.

ROB 64

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

While I suppose that one's health does indirectly affect the population in the form of increased health insurance costs and unnecessary pollution to name a couple of examples, the most direct impact that your smoking has on others is that we are forced to breathe in your second hand smoke. It can't be that difficult of a concept to grasp.


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

What, if I wanna smoke, how does it impact you ? Oh my health, well do you eat 100% healthy all of the time ? People in glass houses should not throw stones.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

Keep giving up freedoms. Soon you won't be able to go to the bathroom without filling out four government forms. You simply cannot regulate every thing to be perfectly safe. It's anti-freedom and anti-American.


Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

I agree this whole safe bit is way over done BUT your kids are not your property. Just cause you decide to smoke--which you should have the right to-doesn't mean you should have a right to expose other, no matter who they might be.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

Why is it that the "freedoms" that libertarians choose to emphasize usually involve their right to infringe on me?


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

I grow weary of freedoms for being a bad person and bad parent...

Angry Moderate

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

How about children's right to be free from your disgusting, toxic smoking habit?

Jake C

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 6:06 p.m.

You're quite correct that you can't regulate everything to be perfectly safe. However we can make simple, common sense laws based on solid scientific evidence, that have the support of 82% of American adults, which is a rarity in anything involving politics these days.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

I have to ask if continued reporting on whether I decided 'to light one up' over the weekend (or not) has to with your wanting more of ^my tribe called quest traffic via facebook(as does my page) or if your public health threat is just always better. Concerns ....concerns here online ....are meant to protect your'selves or authors or Doctor for an eternity. Because, whether yours or you like it or not WHAT I PUT up to my own lips is still just ONLY my OWN business....thanks again to UMs Mott for cycling around to the Precambrian in public health and awareness campaigns. Another reason for me to read the FREE Press. ..or the TIMES. Sick children die because of you. Bad timing.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

Are you serious? The absolute wealth of information on second hand smoke, and how it can affect growing bodies, doesn't sway you? The NIH isn't a good enough reference for you? And, sorry, but it's not just "WHAT (you) PUT up to my own lips". What YOU put to YOUR lips also invades public space. And, that smoke is a known carcinogen. How much more does it need to be dumbed down before you get it? Yes, you're affecting yourself. Willingly, apparently. But, you're also inflicting that deadly, carcinogenic smoke on unwilling people around you. And that is just not cool. Or safe. Or healthy. For anyone. YOUR personal rights end where they start to intersect with, and affect, the rights of another. Want to smoke? Do it at home, or in your car. Don't subject the rest of us to your noxious cancer stick fumes.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

For the record, the deleted comment wasn't me, though I strongly considered several that would have led to inevitable deletion.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

Are there programs in place for parental education on a continuous basis from birth to every pediatrician visit? If this study reflects the true beliefs of so many adults to recognize smoking as a form of child endangerment then why would we continue to allow cell phone use and the many other driver distractions that occur while driving? We should also ban cell phone use since distracted driving endangers more people than just the vehicles occupants.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

This is a no brainer and is more necessary than a ban on smoking in an establishment and people have to be 18 or older to get in. Those people can presumably make a choice to be around second hand smoke, where as a toddler buckled down in the backseat of a car cannot.


Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.