November 30, 2016
By Peyton Jacob, Neal L. Benowitz, Hugo Destaillats, Lara Gundel, Bo Hang, Manuela Martins-Green, Georg E. Matt, Penelope J. E. Quintana, Jonathan M. Samet, Suzaynn F. Schick, Prue Talbot, Noel J. Aquilina, Melbourne F. Hovell, Jian-Hua Mao, & Todd P. Whitehead.
Thirdhand smoke (THS) is the contamination that persists after secondhand tobacco smoke has been emitted into air. It refers to the tobacco-related gases and particles that become embedded in materials, such as the carpet, walls, furniture, blankets, and toys. Thirdhand smoke is not strictly smoke, but chemicals that adhere to surfaces from which they can be released back into the air, undergo chemical transformations and/or accumulate. Currently, the hazards of thirdhand smoke are not as well documented as the hazards of secondhand smoke (SHS). In this Perspective, we describe the distribution and chemical changes that occur as secondhand smoke is transformed into thirdhand smoke, studies of environmental contamination by thirdhand smoke, human exposure studies, toxicology studies using animal models and in vitro systems, possible approaches for avoiding exposure, remediation of thirdhand smoke contamination, and priorities for further research.
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