Smoking Can Be Especially Dangerous for Truckers

Categories: Personal Injury


  • 51 percent of long-haul truck drivers report being cigarette smokers.
  • Smoking increases the risk of stroke, cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Smoking cigarettes is not as popular as it once was, but there are those people who choose to take on and keep the habit. While studies have shown that smoking nicotine can be dangerous to the overall health of an individual, it may be particularly dangerous for truck drivers.

As San Luis Obispo truck accident attorneys, we typically represent people who have been injured in accidents caused by distracted driving, impaired driving and manufacturer defects. But what are your rights when the extraordinary occurs?

It has been shown that some hazmat drivers disregard regulations and smoke near or in their vehicles. This increases the risk for an explosion tremendously. Read on to discover how hazardous smoking can be for truck drivers.

Why You Should Stop Smoking as a Trucker infographic

1. Explosions

It should go without saying that smoking near flammable materials is risky, if not downright dangerous. What some people don’t realize is that it isn’t liquids that burn, but vapors. This makes smoking while transporting hazmat materials a terrible idea, as is smoking while fueling up.

Federal regulations say that hazmat drivers are not permitted to smoke within 25 feet of their rigs.

2. Cancer

Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop lung cancer. Smoking can actually cause cancer in any part of the body and, not only that, but smoking makes it more difficult for the body to fight cancer.

According to the CDC, if no one smoked, one out of every three deaths related to cancer in the United States would not occur. This is because second-hand smoke has also been shown to cause cancer.

3. Type 2 Diabetes

Smoking has been shown to have a link to the development of Type 2 diabetes. Along with poor eating habits and a tendency to gain weight, some truckers may be heightening their risk of developing the condition simply because they choose to smoke.

4. Anxiety and Irritability

Nicotine can make a person feel relaxed and satiated. Miss a cigarette and you can feel jumpy and irritable — not such a good thing if you are behind the wheel of such a powerful vehicle.

Cigarette smoking can also make you more at risk for generalized anxiety or, if you already deal with anxiety, make your symptoms worse. Of course, as a truck driver, anxiety of meeting deadlines and feeling irritable in traffic is simply part of the job.

5. Heart Disease

Any person who smokes or is regularly exposed to secondhand smoke is more likely to have a heart attack. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and increases LDL (bad) cholesterol. Sitting in a truck for hours on end without much exercise doesn’t help, either.

All of these things combined make a trucker more at risk for serious health problems, should they choose to continue smoking.

Are You Ready to Quit?

Smoking is not an easy habit to kick. According to the Allen Carr website, there are steps you can take to make it easier. Here they are:

1. Set a Date

The first step to quitting is setting a date and time. Don’t try to smoke less; you will simply quit on the date you set.

2. Look to the Future

Concentrate on what happens after you quit. Your health is going to improve and you’re going to start saving money. Smoking does nothing for you that you are going to miss.

3. Final Smoke

Light a cigarette and smoke for the last time. Make a vow to yourself that you are going to make it through the next few days, few weeks and few months.

4. Physical Withdrawal

Know that you may go through a bit of physical withdrawal, but it will be slight. You may feel antsy and unsure of what to do with yourself. It will pass.

5. Socialize as Normal

You’ve made the decision to be a non-smoker, so there is no reason to not participate in a social life as you once did. Don’t avoid people in your life who smoke. You will only isolate yourself.

6. Change Your Thinking

You will think about smoking. Don’t let it worry you, but change your train of thought. Think how well you are doing not having to have a cigarette when you normally would have.

7. Don’t Smoke Again

One cigarette means you are a smoker again. You won’t be able to have “just one.” Don’t try to fool yourself.

The above is just one way to quit smoking, but a very popular way that people recommend. Some may need nicotine replacement, others turn to hypnosis. The important part is quitting, not necessarily how you do it. You will become a healthier version of you the day you quit.

Speak to a San Luis Obispo Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you are in a car and are injured by the actions or negligence of a semi truck driver, you need a San Luis Obispo truck accident lawyer you can trust. Reach out to our team today for more information about how we can assist you. You have rights as a victim of a truck accident and we are here to protect them. Your first consultation will be held at no cost to you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]