Health district effort targets drivers who light up

By Sharon Salyer

Herald Writer

A campaign asking the public to pledge to keep their cars smoke-free kicks off this week, part of a countywide effort to reduce the exposure of youths to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Packets will be mailed on request to drivers and include pledge cards, decals with the campaign theme Auto Be Smoke Free, information on the dangers of secondhand smoke, and even plastic plugs with a nonsmoking insignia that can be installed in cigarette lighter slots.

The pledge cards are also available online at, the Snohomish Health District Web site.

"A big part of the campaign are smoke-free pledge cards that drivers can fill out saying they’ll provide smoke-free cars for themselves and their families," said Deanne Thompson, health educator for the health district, which is sponsoring the event.

Drivers who return the pledge cards will be entered into a drawing for prizes, including child car seats and a certificate for a free auto detailing.

The $5,000 campaign is being paid for by money the state receives as part of the national settlement with tobacco companies. Its aim is to increase public understanding of the dangers of cigarette smoke, not just to smokers but those around them. A child’s exposure to secondhand smoke in a car for an hour is equivalent to that child smoking three cigarettes, she said.

In addition, children exposed to secondhand smoke stay sick longer and have more coughs, colds and asthma attacks, Thompson said.

"If people aren’t ready to quit, if they know that they’re harming people in their family, maybe they will at least change their behavior," Thompson said.

"Of course, we’d love them to quit altogether," she added. "If the first step is not smoking in the car or house, it’s helping them as well as those around them."

Earlier this year, the health district worked with six area bowling centers to establish fixed times and days when smoking is banned. A dining guide listing area restaurants that are smoke-free will be produced by the end of July.

You can call Herald Writer Sharon Salyer at 425-339-3486

or send e-mail to

Talk to us

More in Local News

911 received multiple calls reporting a fire at Marie Anne Terrace apartments early Monday morning, Feb. 6, 2023 in Everett, Washington. There were no injuries or fatalities. (Everett Fire Department)
Fire damages Everett apartments, displaces 10

The fire at the Marie Anne Terrace apartments Monday night displaced four families and caused extensive property damage.

A rack with cards bettors can use to choose their own numbers to purchase lottery ticket on a counter at a market. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Been to Auburn lately? That’s where $754M Powerball ticket was sold

This is only the second time a Powerball jackpot has been won in Washington.

Granite Falls
Man shot near Granite Falls; assailants at large

Two suspects fled after shooting a 33-year-old man in a motorhome Tuesday morning, according to police.

Photo by David Welton
A federal grant will help pay for the cost of adding a charging station to the Clinton ferry terminal.
Federal money to help electrify Clinton ferry dock

The Federal Transit Administration awarded state ferries a $4.9 million grant to help electrify the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

Community Transit is leasing a 60-foot articulated BYD battery electric bus this year as an early step in the zero emission planning process. (Community Transit)
Community Transit testing 60-foot electric bus

The agency leased the BYD K11M for $132,000 this year as the first step in its zero-emission planning process.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Amid patient woes, CHC of Snohomish County staffers push for a union

Doctors and nurse practitioners are worried about providers being shut out from clinical decisions, which hurts patient care.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Public school enrollment still down, even as rural districts grow

Smaller districts in Snohomish County seem to be recovering more quickly — and gaining students — than their urban counterparts.

Exterior of Arlington high school (Arlington High School)
Marysville schools employee accused of raping Arlington High girl

Police said Christopher Carpenter sexually assaulted a teenager he was training while working at the Boys and Girls Club.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Democratic Latinos form a caucus, hospital staffing bill clears a hurdle

It’s Day 31. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Most Read