What’s the Deal with Thirdhand Smoke?

man smoking

man smokingYou probably know that both smoking and secondhand smoke are dangerous to your health and should be avoided. You may, however, be surprised by another danger associated with the habit, which is third-hand smoke. This refers to the residue or the toxic chemicals in the cigarette that lingers long even after smoking is over.

Third-hand smoke is the leftover nicotine and chemicals that remains or stick on surfaces and clothing after putting a cigarette or a tobacco out. Even after the smoking stops or the smoke clears, the residue from the smoke can attach to walls, fabric, toys, carpets, and other surfaces. Like smoking and secondhand smoke, a chemical from third-hand smoke can also harm you and your kid’s health.

Family medical centers in Lehi share the dangers you need to know about third-hand smoke:

Tobacco-Related Problems

Both kids and non-smoking adults may be at risk for developing health problems not just when they touch, but also swallow or inhale substances with third-hand smoke. Repeated exposure to cigarette chemicals and toxins may also put you at greater of certain cancers later in life. Short-term exposure, meanwhile, can result in infections and frequent illnesses.

Health Effects in Kids

Children and babies are considered to be the most vulnerable to the harmful effects due to the fact they’re most likely to touch affected surfaces and put things close to their mouths and noses. Kids who are exposed to this kind of smoke are likely to have asthma, pneumonia, and other recurring illnesses.

Dangers to Pregnant Women

Exposure to third-hand smoke can affect your unborn child if you’re expecting. This is because inhaling toxins or touching affected surface puts you at risk of carrying the chemical residues into your bloodstream and over to your fetus.

The best way to prevent third-hand smoking from harming you and your family’s health is to stop or avoid smoking. Cutting down on the habit won’t do any good, as the goal is to have a smoke-free home. If you are the smoker, it’s recommended that you never smoke indoors, but note that it’s best to quit. You can consult your family doctors for effective strategies for quitting.