Behind the Science: A New Way to Measure Understanding of Thirdhand Smoke

A new study led by San Diego State University communication professor Dr. Rachael Record tested an online questionnaire to assess people’s understanding of thirdhand smoke. Watch a presentation that explains how the researchers studied the effectiveness and accuracy of this tool for studying thirdhand smoke.

Video by Jessica Pugel

August 4, 2021

Scientists know that thirdhand smoke is the toxic chemical residue that is left behind on surfaces, collects in dust, and become embedded in carpets, furniture, fabrics, and other materials after people smoke and vape tobacco or marijuana.  But how do nonscientists think and feel about thirdhand smoke residue?  Dr. Record and her team developed a self-reported online questionnaire that assesses participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors (KABs). This method had been used in secondhand smoke studies but was not yet validated for use in thirdhand smoke studies. The latest study by San Diego State University’s Dr. Rachael Record finds that these KAB self-reports, when modified appropriately and applied to thirdhand smoke, are still consistent and reliable.

Want to find out more? Check out the video below to hear co-author Jessica Pugel’s presentation of the study.


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