Thirdhand Smoke Harms Health Around the World

By Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center
July 20, 2023

Thirdhand smoke has increasingly become a global concern. Recently, three independent research studies conducted in Turkey surveyed participants about the topic of thirdhand smoke. Each of these studies adds to the mounting body of evidence that thirdhand smoke is a prevalent issue around the world and requires widespread policy and educational action to address.

In two of these studies, researchers examined how thirdhand smoke awareness varied by different groups. First, researchers at Başkent University in Ankara, Turkey examined awareness among college students, finding that 85% of students did not know about thirdhand smoke and were unaware of the risks of exposure. Similarly, a team of researchers from the University of Health Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey examined awareness among hospital patients. The researchers found thirdhand smoke awareness to be lowest among men, smokers, and those with less than a high school diploma. Together, these studies demonstrate the need for efforts to increase awareness of thirdhand smoke among these specified groups, including the risks of toxic thirdhand smoke exposure.

Awareness is an important part of preventing thirdhand smoke exposure. Another important part is believing that prevention is important. The third research study focused on this key aspect.

A pair of researchers from Mehmet Akif Ersoy Universityand Adnan Menderes University surveyed parents living in the Turkish province of Burdur about their opinions around thirdhand smoke, with a focus on children with disabilities. Such children may spend more time indoors, either within the home or in school, making them particularly vulnerable to thirdhand smoke exposure. The infographics below present some of the study findings, including the importance of parental thirdhand smoke awareness.

Exposure to tobacco is a public health challenge around the world. Research studies such as these provide insight into where tobacco prevention efforts have been successful and what areas still need additional attention from public health educators. Experiences with tobacco exposure vary, but the right to live a life free of second- and thirdhand smoke exposure is the same everywhere.

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