Third-Hand Smoke Poses Real Dangers

third-hand smokeStudies are now showing the dangers of smoking, not just that of first and second-hand smoke, but the dangers presented by third-hand smoke. It is that sticky substance that is left behind on the walls, furniture, toys and surfaces after someone smokes indoors. While the focus has been on second-hand smoke for years, with concern over people around the smoker inhaling the smoke in the air, the idea of coming in contact with third-hand smoke is a real concern and it lasts long after the smoke clears the room.

The residual nicotine, known a third-hand smoke, is dangerous in and of itself, but then it mixes with common household pollutants and becomes a toxic substance. Breathing it in or coming in contact with it poses health risks for children and adults.

The latest research, funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, was published by the American Chemical Society on March 16. It states that young children are at high risk when they put toys in their mouth that have been exposed to third-hand smoke. It actually causes DNA damage and poses a risk for developing cancer.

The researchers shared this information during a presentation at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society this week in Dallas, TX. Bo Hang, Ph.D. was the speaker and he described the idea of third-hand smoke, which had not surfaced until 2009. Hang, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said that research on third-hand smoke is a prime example of why the ban on indoor smoking is necessary.

The first indoor smoking bans appeared in 1990 and that was expanded upon greatly in recent years. However, even with a ban on smoking in public areas, people are still able to smoke inside their cars and homes, which is presenting clear dangers, not only to themselves, but to those around them. Hang found that, when conducting test tube experiments, third-hand smoke becomes a harmful carcinogenic, which in turn, can cause cancer.

In another recent study, conducted by the University of California and published in PLOS ONE, researchers found that third-hand smoke is dangerous to the lungs and liver, possibly due to inflammation. They also found that it leads to type II diabetes, even when patients are not overweight or obese. Furthermore, they discovered that, while studying mice in a controlled environment, wounds on the skin did not heal as quickly. They determined that the collagen had been damaged. The study claims that third-hand smoke is as big a danger and just as deadly as smoking itself. The study details how the third-hand smoke can be inhaled or absorbed through skin contact.

While airing out and cleaning rooms where smoking has taken place may help and the amount of brown and black substances covering surfaces may be surprising, in order to fully reduce third-hand smoke risks, it is necessary to take it a step further. Removing smoky furniture and sealing and painting walls can help. Also be sure to wash clothing and take careful measure to clean any surfaces that children come in contact with. Keep in mind that third-hand smoke lingers in the room long as the smoke clears, posing real health dangers.

By Tracy Rose

Mayo Clinic

15 Responses to "Third-Hand Smoke Poses Real Dangers"

  1. gene   April 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    For only the 4th time: what is McF’s position on the harms of smoking?

    The silence, camoflaged by some canned utterance in a “preface,” is deafening.

    It’s amusing to see McF again cast totally unfounded aspersions, and yet still, still, STILL refuse to tell us candidly his position on first-hand smoking. What’s so hard? Why doesn’t he just tell us? What is he so frightened of? That we’ll find out his opposition to secondhand smoke is actually symptomatic of a far more extensive denial of reality?

    And as far as any “last words” are concerned, does he think I didn’t see the “Notify me of new posts via email” checkbox? Who does he think he’s fooling? McF’s bizarro-world responses virtually demand he have the last word, so he can twist and skew what has come before, hoping nobody actually checks, if he is to have any effect at all.

    And as far as writing a PhD thesis on his depredations: some people, you know, do have regular work to do, lives to live, and are not devoting every minute to despoiling message boards to sell books.

  2. michaeljmcfadden   April 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Odd. Gene seems to be unable to answer questions even when they’re specifically numbered and pointed out to him (as in my last post, ten days ago when I last visited). Btw… that ten-day-gap you’ll notice in those posts: If you Google:

    GeneBB AND McFadden

    you’ll see a number of examples of him revisiting old threads where he thinks he’ll be able to “leave the last word” with some sort of “important questions” that will, of course, never be answered unless his target happens to stop back a week or a month or three later to check.

    But maybe Gene just needed more than ten days for my three (actually four if you count the one I reminded him about from earlier) questions. In any event, just to keep him happy for the moment, here’s the full Preface from the link at Antibrains:

    I am not now, nor have I ever, been a member of the Communist Party.
    I am also not now, nor have I ever, been affiliated with Big Tobacco or their stocks, nor do I have any plans to be.

    I also do not here, nor have I ever, tried to claim that smoking is generally good for you, although many find enough enjoyment in it to justify its risks. I do however argue that long-term risk from normal contact with other peoples’ smoke are virtually non-existent. Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains will show clear evidence that the risk of secondary smoke to nonsmokers has been twisted and exaggerated beyond all reason purely as a tool of social engineering.

    Even the infamous EPA Report of 1993 testified more to the safety of secondary smoke than to its danger. According to the EPA figures themselves, a nonsmoker living with a smoker for 30 to 40 years would have better than a 99.9% chance of not getting lung cancer from such long-term and constant exposure (based upon the claimed 19% increase over the base rate of .4%).

    Now that those preliminaries are out of the way…

    This book will provide insight into the forces and motivations driving the activists of what has been called The Great American Antismoking Crusade. It also examines the media-intensive techniques used to mold political opinion and action around this issue. The lessons learned from analyzing the use of these techniques in government hearings, in sophisticated television spots, and on highway billboards may help us all resist future efforts by special interest groups control over our thoughts and behaviors.

    Whether it’s a seemingly small issue like smoking, or a larger issue like government spending or international conflict, citizens of a democracy need to learn how to battle foes that have bulging war-chests and control of the popular media.

    – MJM

  3. gene   April 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Regarding the science of first-hand smoking. I must repeat:

    “So if he’s been so maligned, then what IS his position? He still won’t tell us. Why not?”

    I myself had to post the text of his position on first hand smoking so that all could see. Let’s note that his “defense”–the sentence _pointing_ to his position statement:

    “As you well know, I directly address the issue in the first few sentences of my Author’s Preface on my Antibrains site:”

    –is actually LONGER than the statement itself:

    “I also do not here, nor have I ever, tried to claim that smoking is generally good for you”

    We all can see that his claim of “directly addressing” the issue is BS. His statement is so equivocal, in fact, that without a clarification from McF, it seems to indicate that he firmly does NOT agree with medical science on the harms of first-hand smoking. And he has certainly never attempted to modify in any way his pal Harleyrider’s utter dismissal of any harm from tobacco whatsoever (we see that right here on this board). For someone who affects to be such a stickler for the slightest scientific inaccuracy, McF seems oddly oblivious to Harley’s rants.)

    So, McF is certainly free to stop playing coy and to clarify the matter himself. Why didn’t he just tell us?

    Or is he simply taking another opportunity to drive more traffic to his site and make more sales?

    I’m not sure that, no matter how smarmily McF sidles up to its webmasters, the GuardianLV appreciates its message board being hijacked to function as just one more freebie PR platform for McF to sell his book from.

    So for the 3rd time: why doesn’t he just tell us?

  4. michaeljmcfadden   April 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Liberty Voice: As noted earlier, feel free to let us know if you want this off-topic exchange to end, although it’ll serve as a nice reference for folks elsewhere in the future.

    Gene, you seem to have neglected noting my initial exchange with Tom. I’d left a short comment that wasn’t particularly informational, so I didn’t leave links or a full identifier. Tom then jumped on me as one of “America’s leading smoking advocates/trolls” saying, “You’re a tobacco advocate from America who tried to pass yourself off as an ordinary Joe in the Derbyshire Times forum. Glad I spotted you.”

    Anyone wishing to see the original discussion can simply Google the phrase and word:

    “exclusive fury” pregnant

    and read the exchange at the Times. You’ll note the book came after I offered him a link for criticism as part of my apology for the earlier lack of full identification.

    Gene, you then claim that Tom was “thoroughly trashed and smeared” by me on that board. Want to point folks to a few examples of that? (1)

    Finally, you note, “no site is safe from McF’s spam campaign” Really Gene? Then it should be a simple matter for you to point the readers here (2) to multiple examples of sites where I posted what you call my “ads” to threads not dealing with smoking and politicized science issues; “ads” where I just stopped in, dropped some links to my “trash,” and then ran off to spam someplace else. Go ahead Gene… I promise I won’t mind, and maybe the fruitless search will keep you happily fixated for a few dozen hours rather than having you disturb content-oriented news discussions on boards like this.

    btw… If I “didn’t want to tell anyone here” my thoughts on first-hand smoking, can you explain why I pointed them directly to the page where I stated those thoughts? Actually, since your opening statement warned folks, “don’t get him started on the harmlessness of _first-hand_ smoking(!)” you should have a comfortable list of examples where you’ve seen me go on about that, eh? Want to cite a few? (3) Or were just just offering an example of what you call “vile innuendo aimed back at the messenger”?

    – MJM
    P.S. Gene, You’ll note my (1), (2), and (3) : those are specific requests for you to cite examples of what you’ve claimed here. It’ll help the readers here have more faith in you Gene… go ahead, I won’t mind. OH! I’m also still waiting for you to provide some details about your grant money for your antismoking efforts… TAC (Tobacco Action Coalition) etc…. I’d be happy to provide my own, except that I’ve never applied for or had any.

  5. gene   April 1, 2014 at 11:57 am

    >> The funniest part is on that other site with TomP where I got attacked for NOT identifying myself enough! LOL!

    The aforementioned TomP actually said,

    “You don’t have to sign in and advertise your book, but shouldn’t people be aware when you post in a small newspaper in England’s comments section that you live in America and spend most of your time posting your pro-tobacco propaganda all over the world?”

    TomP, like any normal person, didn’t much care for McF touting his books and links on his small British community board (no site is safe from McF’s spam campaign), and for that, of course, he was thoroughly trashed and smeared. That’ll teach you, kids!).

    The funniest part is how McF so blatantly misrepresents the exchange with TomP–and then LOL’s about it! And he wants you to trust his take on science?


    Also, McF’s in High Dudgeon about this first-hand smoking business. So if he’s been so maligned, then what IS his position? He still won’t tell us. Why not? Instead, he says:

    >>I directly address the issue in the first few sentences of my Author’s Preface….

    Odd. Why didn’t he just state his position here, plainly, for all to see?

    I’ve found that when McF shies away from the slightest opportunity to pontificate, it usually means that readers are about to find out more than he wants them to know. So I checked out that preface; here’s what he says (one sentence, not a few):

    “I also do not here, nor have I ever, tried to claim that smoking is generally good for you”

    Now he’s got _me_ LOL’ing! That’s quite, quite different from acknowledging any harm at all from first-hand smoking.

    No wonder he didn’t want to tell anyone here.

  6. michaeljmcfadden   March 31, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    As pointed out elsewhere on the Net where you’ve attacked like this Gene, I identify my authorship in less than 20% of my posts, link to a site where further clicks eventually can link to a page selling a book less than 5% of the time, and link directly to a sales link ZERO percent of the time (at least zero out of my 1300 searched Disqus postings we discussed last week.) The funniest part is on that other site with TomP where I got attacked for NOT identifying myself enough! LOL!

    People can see your claims for what they are right here: On the 17th you say, “And don’t get him started on the harmlessness of _first-hand_ smoking(!)” I then ask you to point to where I have ever claimed such a thing, and you respond with “I did NOT say that he felt first-hand smoking is harmless. Still, he refuses to say what he _does_ think about it.” Fine. As you well know, I directly address the issue in the first few sentences of my Author’s Preface on my Antibrains site:

    I guess, since you follow me around the net claiming it all the time anyway, I probably *should* simply point people directly to my book site with a link in my signature where it’s allowed. Folks like TomP won’t be able to accuse me of “hiding” my identity, and you will do your own bit in helping point people back to the link! Thank you Gene!

    – MJM

  7. gene   March 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Once again, McF responds to his exposure as spammer/book seller/web site rule-evader with vile innuendo aimed back at the messenger. (Let that be a lesson to you, kids.)

    But don’t take my word for his Internet Book Tour–search his book titles to see how often he sears his brand into sites like the LV’s. Last I searched his first book, Google gave me 414,000 links (no typo!). (He’ll try to take you off track here; so be sure you click “show omitted results”) Too many to be humanly possible, sure; but still–an indication he’s posted thousands if not tens of thousands of ads on innocent message boards like the LV’s. And that doesn’t count all the LINKS he posts–to sites where you can find out how to buy his book(!)

    It’s called “Viral Marketing.”

    Also note that I did NOT say that he felt first-hand smoking is harmless. Still, he refuses to say what he _does_ think about it. So let him go ahead and let us know. Since he brought it up, let’s _do_ get him started.

  8. kusmeti   March 21, 2014 at 8:09 am

    What a load of absolute bull pies based on funded cooked data and no real science at all. The hysteria about smoking is now reaching Salem Witch Trials proportions. Demon smoke get thee behind me. Demon possessed smoker to the stakes with you. Get a grip. This third hand smoke propaganda is so absurd that I have a small hope it’s what nails the coffin shut on the cult of tobacco control which is fully funded by the profit motivations of J&J and Pfizer.

    Unfortunately, people seem so easily brainwashed now by media blitzes of even the most illogical propaganda and even worse than that, they seem so easily whipped into a frenzy of hate and fear that this will just cause more mindless persecution of people who use the legal product called tobacco even natural forms (proven harmless) of tobacco like cigars, pipes, roll your owns and when they have done with tobacco, do keep in mind that these fully funded control freaks will need a new target to keep their cash cow milking. Take note anti-smokers. It could very well be you. You’d all do well to think about that and to look into who profits from tobacco control and smoking bans. The true addicts seem to be those addicted to self righteousness and the satisfaction of feeling superior to others with no clue that it will be turned on them in the end.

    Ask yourself this. If tobacco is really this horrid, why did they not just make it illegal straight away like they did cocaine and pot. There is a reason for that and it’s all about the cash and future plans for social engineering. No one will be exempt from the power these evil people gain from their tobacco hate campaigns. If anyone thinks it won’t be used against them, they are living in a dream world.

  9. Jay R.   March 18, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Junk science. to justify funds for more research for, …junk science.

  10. michaeljmcfadden   March 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Oh, an extra note, referring back to the real substance of this discussion: When I made the posting below, I hadn’t realized that I was replying to one of the earlier versions of this recycled scare story from July 2013. Now in March 2014, they’ve tweaked one or two little details and simply put it all out again as yet ANOTHER “new study” to confuse people. Actually this is a very common practice for antismoking campaigners who have almost inexhaustable tax money funding for conferences, press releases, and “pseudo-news-events” to make people think there are constantly brand new and frightening discoveries being made.

    Note the sub-headline on this particular article: “The hazards of Tobacco use are making headlines once again!” The reality should read: “Our grant money is buying yet ANOTHER news story to spread fear about nonsense so we can pressure smokers to quit. Oh, and we’ll do it again in early 2014 if we get a renewed grant.”

    I called it “Nonsense.” and that’s a VERY appropriate word to use in this area!

    – MJM

  11. michaeljmcfadden   March 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Well Gene, why don’t you simply share a few of my posts (with cites) where I say “first-hand” smoking is harmless? After all, you ARE telling the truth about that, aren’t you?

    Oh… wait… sorry…. of course you weren’t. You also neglect to mention that instead of using my name-link here to point to a sales page at Amazon or somesuch, I point it to the main site where 30,000 words of the book are shared for free to help in the fight against you and the other grant-funded sockpuppets out there. Want to tell us just how much money in total you’ve gotten from TAC etc so far? Just, say, to the nearest $50,000 range?

    Also, for anyone interested, feel free to check my public profiles at Disqus or Google, and you’ll find that in the vast majority of my postings I make no reference to my books or links to them at all. Gene (or GeneB, or GeneBB or whatever variation he uses on a day) is simply quite upset at how effectively I’ve been able to fight the antismoking agenda without any funding from Big Tobacco.

    OK…. now, to examine Gene’s arguments against the substance of what I posted…. Whoops! He didn’t make any. Ahhh well, no surprise.

    – MJM

  12. Penga   March 17, 2014 at 10:39 am

    More lies and BS.. be ready to fight this into the ground smokers because THIS IS how they will take away your rights.

  13. sam   March 17, 2014 at 10:35 am

    We all know chemicals post danger to human, including the food we eat everyday.

    So the key info we need to know is how much danger, such as if first hand smoker has 100% risk, then what is the % of third hand smoker.

  14. michaeljmcfadden   March 17, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Nonsense. I devoted an entire chapter to this in my book, showing how ridiculous it is. Basically the researchers find submicroscopic amounts of chemicals that could be picked up on the skin of children (It always helps to wave children around like a flag when you want to scare people!), then ignore just how small the amounts are, while going on to talk about the deadly consequences of amounts a million, billion, or trillion times as large. . . . . .

    When a researcher named Winickoff first blew the idea of thirdhand smoke into media headlines five years ago it was by stressing “PO 210 that killed a KGB spy with just 5 millicuries!” What the Antismokers never mentioned is that even if you let your little Egbert lick a whole square foot of smokers’ floors clean every day it would take literally TWENTY THREE TRILLION YEARS for him or her to lick up 5 millicuries! That’s 230 billion centuries. Seriously: that’s the time involved. Google the following, exactly as is, WITH the misspelling of Russian and the parentheses: (“Russion KGB” mcfadden polonium) and you’ll see I’m not exaggerating. The figure there, 2.3T years was based on ten square feet of flooring a day… which would be a bit much even for the hungriest kid. . . . . .

    Michael J. McFadden,
    Author of “TobakkoNacht — The Antismoking Endgame”

    • gene   March 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

      The Liberty Voice is the latest advertising victim of McFadden’s Internet Book Tour. After all, how else would anyone ever hear about this self-published drivel if he didn’t sear its brand into the flesh of sites like the LV’s? Google him for literally tens of thousands of message boards he has befouled with his product promotions.

      He can’t post his link here on the LV’s site, so he does the next best thing: he posts detailed instructions on how you can search and FIND a plethora of links to his sites that he has posted on another message board–from which you can buy his “books.” Nice guy.

      And don’t get him started on the harmlessness of _first-hand_ smoking(!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.