Thirdhand smoke is a toxic residue that sticks to surfaces and objects. People and pets 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. Exposure is most dangerous for babies, children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
On this page, you will find scientific information and first-hand accounts about preventing human exposure to thirdhand smoke. We also provide communication strategies for talking with others about thirdhand smoke dangers.
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E-cigarettes make toxic thirdhand smoke residue, too.
A recent University Technology Sydney study found e-cigarette residue has similar harms as traditional cigarettes.
As Germany plans to ban smoking in cars with children or pregnant women, the German newspaper, Die Zeit, asked experts to weigh in.
Esther Schiller served on the Thirdhand Smoke Policy Advisory for over three years, helping to guide and shape the work we do here at the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center.
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Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory investigated the impact of thirdhand tobacco smoke (THS) exposure on the development of tumors in mice. To reflect the genetic diversity of humans, they used Collaborative Cross (CC) mice. The researchers exposed the CC mice to thirdhand smoke and observed them for tumor development.
This study used machine learning techniques to classify children into three different groups of reported tobacco exposure: no tobacco smoke exposure, thirdhand smoke exposure, and second- and thirdhand smoke exposure.