Israel - may initiate a bill to bar smoking in vehicles with kids.. Do it for YURI..

August 25, 2009 - A member of the Knesset (legislative branch of the Israeli government, MK) is considering initiating a bill to bar smoking in vehicles with children as passengers.

Israel Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home - a political party in Israel) MK Robert Ilatov, whose colleague MK Yuri Shtern proposed such legislation three weeks before his death from brain cancer in 2007, told The "Jerusalem Post" on Monday, August 24th after learning of the Johns Hopkins study that found vehicles are the most dangerous space for second-hand smoke levels. that such a bill would be a fitting memorial to Shtern. He asked to read the study, which was published on Tuesday, August 25th in the journal Tobacco Control.

There's an abundance of evidence that children are more susceptible to the negative effects of second-hand smoke (SHS, ETS, environmental tobacco smoke, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke, passive smoking).

Health Ministry associate director-general Dr. Boaz Lev said he personally was very much opposed to smoking in cars containing minors, but that he had not discussed the proposal with Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), who decides policy.

Meanwhile, Jerusalem tobacco control lawyer Amos Hausner, who is chairman of the Israel Council for the Prevention of Smoking, said that smoking in vehicles should not be allowed altogether, since it risks the lives of the driver and his passengers, both due to the increased chance of road accidents and the damage to health from the toxic substances released in cigarette smoking in such a small space.

Hausner noted that there is a law - too seldom enforced - barring the holding of cellular phones while driving, because this greatly increases the risk of crashes. Two years ago, he recalled, the transport authorities sponsored a month of radio public service ads calling on the public not to smoke in cars for this reason.

While laws around the world bar smoking in public indoor places, only a few countries and several [a few] American states have barred smoking in cars occupied by children. But in the US alone, involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke accounts for thousands of respiratory, cardiovascular and cancer deaths every year, the authors note. Vehicles are increasingly being shared for car pools, thus more people are being exposed to smoke. (U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke..)

Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper reported on Monday, August 24th that children - as young as five years old - in Malawi who are forced to work as tobacco pickers are exposed to nicotine poisoning equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day. They suffer from severe health problems from absorbing daily up to 54 milligrams of nicotine through their skin. (Malawi - kids working in tobacco production..

Reference: MK considers bill to bar smoking in vehicles with kids by JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH, The Jerusalem Post, 8/25/2009.