Recently, I was flipping through the newest issue of Women’s Health Magazine and came across an article about third-hand smoke. At first, I was taken aback because I had never heard of it before. If you know any smokers, you have smelled that stale, lingering smoke before. That is third-hand smoke!
Did you ever think just that smell could be harmful? I never gave that a thought until today. I read a little further and learned that you can breathe in third-hand smoke from almost anything exposed to smoke, such as clothing and furniture. The toxins from cigarette smoke can also build up on these items to create a bigger hazard. Research has shown that third-hand smoke is a health hazard for infants and children, and can lead to respiratory issues and ear infections.
There are 250 toxins in cigarette smoke and The Scientific American states that the “developing brain is uniquely susceptible to extremely low levels of toxins.” Parents who are smokers must really be aware of where they smoke and wash their clothes before they have contact with their children, however, a better solution would be to quit smoking. Hopefully, knowing the harms and presence of third-hand smoke can help push people to quit because it is even harder to get away from than second-hand smoke.