Thirdhand Smoke

If you have ever entered an empty room or a car still smelling of cigarette smoke, you have experienced thirdhand smoke.

What is thirdhand smoke?

  • Particles in tobacco smoke settle onto clothing, carpets, furniture, walls, drapes, surfaces, bedding, hair, dust
  • Chemicals can stay on surfaces for days, weeks and in some cases, months
  • Thirdhand smoke chemicals can be found on skin, hair, car seats, toys, and bedding

Why is it dangerous?

  • Nicotine and other toxins leftover from the smoke can be breathed in or swallowed, causing the same risk for health problems as secondhand smoke
  • Babies and children are at a higher risk for harm because they spend time on the floor where they crawl and put toys in their mouths
  • Babies and children have smaller lungs and breathe faster so more chemicals are able to get into their bodies causing higher levels of toxins
  • Studies show that childhood and infant smoke exposure is linked to asthma, SIDS, respiratory and ear infections, low birth weight and behavior/cognitive development problems

How can you prevent thirdhand smoke?

  • Smoke outside and ask visitors to smoke outside
  • Make all homes, offices and buildings 100% smoke free
  • Help people understand the impact of third hand smoke, especially on children’s health
  • Kindly ask people not to smoke around children and pregnant women
  • If smoking has occurred in a room or car, clean air and surfaces with a disinfectant spray
  • Be a role model and quit smoking
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