[Observed smoking in car: results of a study of the Regional Health Prevention Service of Veneto, Northern Italy]

Epidemiol Prev. 2010 Jan-Apr;34(1-2):43-7.
[Article in Italian]


Objective: to estimate the prevalence of smokers inside cars or duty vehicles and the presence of children exposed to second hand smoke on board, in the NHS districts of Veneto Region.

Design: an observational study was carried out by the technicians of the Prevention department from October 1st to October 17th 2008. The observers had to record sex of the driver and of the passengers, their presumed ages, verify if drivers or passengers were smoking, and if there were any children on board.

Setting and participants: 19 Local Health Authorities (90,5%) out of 21 in the Veneto region.

Main outcomes measures: percentage of crossings monitored out of the total scheduled.

Results: a total of 5,928 cars were examined at the crossings, males accounted for 61,4% of the drivers. Smoking overall by at least one person in the car was reported in 409 cases (6.9%, 12% among commercial vehicles), the driver alone was smoking in 87.3% of the cases, whereas only the passenger smoking represented 8.3% of the cases. Both the driver and passenger smoking were 4.4% of the observations. Children were present as passengers in 762 cars (12.9%); there were people smoking with children on board in 7 cars (0.9%).

Conclusion: in spite of the efforts to limit the dangers of second hand smoke, smoking in car is still a common behaviour, and represents a serious risk both for both, adults and children. Focusing in research projects could help the Department of Prevention of the Local Health Authorities to increase their activities and involvement in the research field.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Automobile Driving* / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution