Extensive research has proven that exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke is detrimental to one’s health. However, now researchers are warning that being exposed to third-hand smoke also poses danger to our health! Second-hand smoke is defined as tobacco smoke emitted from a lit cigarette, cigar, pipe, or hookah. On the other hand, “third hand-smoke is the stuff that remains, after visible or second-hand smoke has dissipated from the air” (Scientific American, 2009). The worry about exposure to third-hand smoke has existed for a while however; it has only been recognized and given a name in recent times.
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Below is a portion of an article explaining third-hand smoke from Scientific American Online. The full article explains the dangers posed by third-hand smoke to adults and children.
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How exactly do you distinguish between second- and third- hand smoke?
Third-hand smoke refers to the tobacco toxins that build up over time—one cigarette will coat the surface of a certain room [a second cigarette will add another coat, and so on]. The third-hand smoke is the stuff that remains [after visible or "second-hand smoke" has dissipated from the air]…. You can't really quantify it, because it depends on the space…. In a tiny space like a car the deposition is really heavy…. 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].
-- Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-third-hand-smoke
Another article about third-hand smoke from the New York Times can be found at:
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