Third-Hand Smoke Poses Health Dangers Too, Especially for Children

Jan 7, 2009 by

Third-Hand Smoke Poses Health Dangers Too, Especially for Children

We have all heard of first-hand smoke and second-hand smoke. But have you heard of third-hand smoke?

Quite honestly, I hadn’t, until now. And a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics has revealed the health dangers of third-hand smoke, which continue to linger long after a cigarette has already been put out.

Not all the particles from the smoke of a cigarette get dissipated into the atmosphere. Some remain on the surfaces of items such as clothing, furniture, etc. And these toxic substances, which include carcinogens and radioactive materials, can cause health issues for both children and adults.

A study team from Massachusetts General conducted research on the effect such third-hand smoke would have on people. And they found that it was children who were most at risk of developing health problems from such smoke.

Why is that so? Apparently, it is because it is children who are most frequently hanging around the contaminated surfaces. Children, for example, are more likely to be playing on sofas. I would also think it is possibly because children are more susceptible to pollutants, due to their smaller size and the fact that their bodies are still developing.

The revelations of this study are very significant, because it tells us that even if a smoker is alone while smoking in a room, and then airs the room, a person, especially a child, who comes into the room later can still be harmed by the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke.

This is certainly fresh food for thought, in particular for smokers who are parents of young children.

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