Electric cars are good for the environment, but could they also benefit the health of the people who drive them?

There's now a small amount of anecdotal evidence that buying an electric car may help you quit smoking.

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It comes from a newsletter issued by advocacy group Plug-In America, which relates the story of one Nissan Leaf salesman who found that driving a plug-in car helped customers do exactly that.

Ray Ishak--a salesman at Magic Nissan in Everett, Washington--told Plug-In America secretary Jeff Finn that 10 customers had stopped smoking after buying their Leafs.

2015 Nissan Leaf

2015 Nissan Leaf

Is it because the Leaf's serene driving experience and green image imbues owners with a healthier sensibility?

Not at all.

The reason is considerably more straightforward: The drivers no longer stop at gas stations, which is where they typically bought their cigarettes.

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Come to think of it, avoiding gas stations removes a lot of unhealthy temptations: not just cigarettes, but mega-sized sodas, salty snacks, candy, perhaps even lottery tickets.

Who knows? It may be just one more benefit of driving an electric car.

It can also be beneficial to people outside the car, who don't have to breathe in quite so many harmful exhaust emissions.

2015 Nissan Leaf

2015 Nissan Leaf

Those emissions contribute to poor air quality in countries around the world, including--despite fairly strict emissions standards--the U.S. and Europe.

While major improvements have been made over the past few decades, the Los Angeles area still experienced 94 days of smog levels above the Federal standard this year.

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Meanwhile, diesel trucks and buses in London led to higher levels of nitrous oxides than in the infamously bad air of Beijing for a period.

Whether it's the car or the driver who's doing it, smoking just isn't healthy.


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