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

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

  1. Cole Scarfo   March 4, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Very nice site!! Guy .. Beautiful

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. 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.


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