Collaborative Consortium on Thirdhand Smoke: Research Projects and Core Resources

This series features the Consortium’s newly funded projects, which engage in groundbreaking research about the nature and health consequences of thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke is the chemical residue that is left behind on clothes, skin, furniture, walls, and other surfaces after someone smokes. In this installment we feature the work of Dr. Hugo Destaillats and Dr. Antoine Snijders from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

New Consortium Research Projects

Thirdhand Smoke Chemistry: Exposure Assessment, Quantification Metrics, and Remediation
Hugo Destaillats, PhD
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


This project aims to better understand the harmful chemicals that remain in indoor environments after tobacco and cannabis are used. The researchers will study the chemicals that are produced when cannabis and tobacco are used together, and how the chemicals interact. They will do this by creating a small smoking room to study both substances, and then measure the chemicals in the air and on surfaces in the smoking room. This information will help researchers estimate people’s exposure to these chemicals, and their effect on health. The researchers will also develop a way to measure the relative amount of chemical contamination in indoor spaces, and investigate ways to remove the harmful chemicals from indoor materials, such as fabrics, drywall, and carpets.

When asked how his study would contribute to the Tobacco Endgame, Dr. Destaillats explained that this study will help estimate people’s exposure to the chemicals produced when tobacco and cannabis are used together, and better understand the health effects of exposure. In addition, the development of a new way of measuring the relative amount of chemical contamination in indoor spaces will help us create a tool that will promote the tobacco endgame by supporting smoke- and tobacco-free policies.

Read full abstract here.
Image: ©2010 The Regents of the University of California, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

New Consortium Research Projects

Genetic Susceptibility to Thirdhand Smoke Effects in Collaborative Cross Mice
Antoine Snijders, PhD
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


This study will investigate how exposure to thirdhand smoke from tobacco and cannabis affects an individual’s risk of getting cancer over their lifetime. The researchers will use animal models to study the toxic and inflammatory effects of exposure to thirdhand smoke. They hope to identify biomarkers and mechanisms associated with thirdhand smoke health effects and develop a risk prediction model to help protect the most vulnerable people from developing thirdhand smoke-induced cancer.

When asked how his study would contribute to the Tobacco Endgame, Dr. Snijders emphasized that these studies will increase our understanding of tobacco-related disease susceptibility associated with thirdhand smoke exposure. By improving understanding of exposures to tobacco and cannabis residues and their impact on disease, researchers will help advance policies that will limit negative health impacts of tobacco and cannabis and support tobacco prevention and reduction strategies. 

Read full abstract here.
Image: ©2010 The Regents of the University of California, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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