Whether you are a smoker or not, surely these days you have heard about the reform of the General Law for Tobacco Control that has just entered into force in Mexico, which increased the list of public places where smoking is strictly prohibited, in addition to significantly reduce the visibility of cigarette brands, but what if I smoke in the car? Is that also prohibited? Here we give you the answer.
The public places in which smoking is now prohibited are basically schools, venues, hotels, workplaces, stadiums, shopping centers, terraces, parks, restaurants, bars, party rooms and any other business or common area where smoking is prohibited by the sign “Smoke-free space” (Espacio libre de humo).
Now, by only involving public places in this reform, the car clearly does not fall into that section, but there is a point that we must consider and that is that you can still get a fine.
Despite the fact that a section that says: smoking in the car is not literally written in the Mexico City Traffic Regulations, it does enter in the Article 38 of the same law, where is points out that it is prohibited the use objects that represent a distraction for the safe driving (a) carrying objects that obstruct the driver’s visibility or distract him (d), in both cases the issue of cigarettes would enter.
Drivers of motorized vehicles who violate subparagraphs a), b), f), g) and j) of this provision will be penalized with a fine equivalent to 5, 7 or 10 times the current Unit of Measurement and Update and one penalty point on the Driver’s license. In case of violating the provisions of subparagraphs c), d) and h) of this fraction, you will be penalized with a fine equivalent to 10, 15 or 20 times the current Unit of Measurement and Update, three points to the driver’s license and one point to the vehicle registration. The cost of the fine ranges from $518.7 to $2,074.8 pesos.
Although in Mexico the issue does not go beyond of a fine, there are countries where smoking is prohibited inside the car such as Austria, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Greece and some US states. The amount of the fines can reach up to 1,800 euros, that is, approximately $36,303 pesos according to the current exchange rate.
In the same way, if you are a smoker and you usually do it in your car, pay attention because beyond the risks that this implies for your health and of course -as we already mentioned- it is a distraction behind the wheel, your car is also suffering from it.
In the first instance, the smell is impregnated, and this is since the toxic particles of tobacco remain in the vehicle for approximately 10 days, since they can be lodged in the fabric, the backrests, and the mats. After that, it will be very difficult for you to get rid of the smell inside. This applies even if you are used to throwing ash out of the window.
Also, if you drop a lit cigarette butt on the seat fabric, that mark will remain forever.
Another point of why you should not smoke in the car is that when you are accompanied, you will automatically be turning your friends into passive smokers.
How much does smoking affect your driving?
You might think that lighting a cigarette and carrying it in your hand for a few minutes is not a great distraction, but according to the General Directorate of Traffic in Spain, lighting a cigarette takes about 4.1 seconds, which, if you are driving at 100 km/h means traveling 113 m without paying attention.
“Lighting up, throwing away the ash, putting out the cigarette… everything causes distractions and puts road safety at risk,” says Dr. Fernando Pérez, president of the Spanish Society of Traffic Medicine (SEMT).
Finally, the president of the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery points out that 60% of accidents and 30% of fatalities are caused by distractions, and smoking is a frequent cause of distraction. In addition to the fact that tobacco smoke alters motor and cognitive ability, you have less reflexes just when you need it most and thus it is easier to have an accident.
Source: Motor Pasion