What does thirdhand smoke do?

Thirdhand smoke is a toxic residue that sticks to surfaces and objects. People come into contact with thirdhand smoke when their skin touches a surface where thirdhand smoke has collected, when they breathe in thirdhand smoke chemicals that are in the air, and when they swallow residue that are on objects that they put in their mouths. Indoor environments where tobacco has been smoked can contain thirdhand smoke that will linger indoors for a long time – months to years.

On this page, you will find scientific information and first-hand accounts about preventing or avoiding exposure to thirdhand smoke pollution in houses, apartments/condos, hotels, and more. You can find communication strategies for interacting with realtors, apartment managers, and hotel staff. You can also read about your right to avoid places with thirdhand smoke pollution.

Download our new Resource Guidelines: Multiunit Housing and Thirdhand Smoke

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image of the reproductive system and text on effects of THS

What Does Thirdhand Smoke Exposure Do to Our Bodies?

The chemicals in thirdhand smoke can affect the normal function of many parts of our body. Researchers at Nantong University’s Institute of Reproductive Medicine reviewed existing thirdhand smoke research to summarize the effects of thirdhand smoke chemicals on our livers, lungs, brains, and our immune and reproductive systems. By Leta...

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