Thirdhand Smoke Researcher Awarded Funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse

New funding from National Institute on Drug Abuse will support Dr. Ashley Merianos from the University of Cincinnati and her Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center team as they expand their research into the potential sources of thirdhand smoke exposure in children’s home environments.  

By Lydia Greiner
September 4, 2019

“Our team’s research indicates that pediatric emergency department patients are a priority population for tobacco smoke exposure reduction efforts. We know that these children are exposed to alarmingly high levels of secondhand and thirdhand smoke, but we do not know how much their home environments contribute to their overall tobacco smoke exposure,” said Dr. Merianos.  
The overall objective of this study is to determine the overall tobacco smoke exposure, including thirdhand smoke pollution, of pediatric emergency department patients. Participants in the study are children who have been treated in the Emergency Department of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Surface wipe samples were collected from their homes and will be analyzed to determine levels of nicotine and the tobacco-specific nitrosamine NNK, two thirdhand smoke pollutants, in their home environments. Samples of urine were collected and will be measured for levels of cotinine as a measure of the children’s exposure to tobacco smoke. The evaluation of these levels will help  researchers  gain a better understanding of how  thirdhand smoke pollutants in the environment contribute to children’s overall tobacco smoke exposure.  
Dr. Merianos’ team includes Dr. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Drs. Eunha Hoh, Penelope Quintana, and Georg Matt, all from San Diego State University.  

Source: Personal communication with Dr. Merianos.
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.       

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