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October 16, 1987

Smoking Drivers: Standard or Optional?

Author Affiliations

Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport

Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport

JAMA. 1987;258(15):2062. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400150054017

To the Editor.—  The SPECIAL COMMUNICATION entitled "Legislative Efforts to Protect Children From Tobacco"1 is a commendable call to arms against the pervasiveness of tobacco products in our society. But it does not go far enough. I propose legislation that would limit another tacit approval society places on smoking.Eliminate cigarette/cigar lighters and ashtrays as standard equipment in cars and trucks. This could be accomplished by inducing the manufacturers to make these items extra-cost, optional equipment instead of standard items. Sadly, their primary purpose is known to every child; many teenagers use them for smoking. Why not eliminate them from automobile and truck design as standard items? The lighters and ashtrays imply acceptance or resignation on the part of vehicle owners and society in general that "everyone" smokes. Of course it is wrong, but the power of suggestion is there for the young, the impressionable (are not we all impressionable?),