It will shortly be illegal for adults in Ireland to smoke in cars where children are passengers, with fines of around €80 to be imposed for breaking the law.
he ban is particularly timely in light of new research indicating that non-smoking people, who sit in parked cars with smokers, inhale some of the same cancer-causing substances and other toxins.
Simply by sitting in cars with smokers, passengers breathe in a host of potentially dangerous compounds from tobacco smoke that are associated with cancer, heart disease and lung disease.
The study in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention involved testing the urine of 14 people who sat in the back seat of a parked sports vehicle while a person in the driver's seat smoked three cigarettes over an hour.
The windows of the vehicle were open about four inches. Urine tests revealed that the non-smokers' bodies showed signs of higher levels of several toxic chemicals "thought to be the most important among the thousands in tobacco smoke that cause smoking-related disease".
The authors said: "This tells us that people, especially children and adults with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma or a history of heart disease, should be protected from second-hand smoke exposure in cars."
Health & Living