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Second-hand smoke, the smoke from cigarettes you actually see, is a proven health problem. No arguments. No, “Should smoking in public places be banned or not?” That debate is last decade.
So what is third-hand smoke? If you have been in an environment that smells like smoke, or sat next to a colleague indoors after that colleague returned from an outdoor smoking break, you have involuntarily been subjected to third-hand smoke.
Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School authored a 2009 study on third-hand smoke. His research team coined the phrase.
In a January 6, 2009 story for Scientific American, Winickoff states: “Smokers [may] smoke in another room or turn on a fan. They don't see the smoke going into a child's nose; they think that if they cannot see it, it's not affecting [their children].” But he adds, “Smokers themselves are also contaminated…smokers actually emit toxins [from clothing and hair].”
Although there is not a currently proven link between exposure to third-hand smoke and cancer or other diseases, scientists are investigating. And current medical research already indicates that residue and toxins from cigarette smoke can linger for days, even months on clothes, carpets and walls.
Learn more for yourself. Join the new dialogue. Google or Bing “third-hand smoke.”