If you’ve ever been around others who are smoking and later noticed the smell of smoke in your hair or on your clothes, you’ve experienced the effects of thirdhand smoke. That’s the term used to describe the residue created when smoke from tobacco products settles on indoor surfaces or clings to hair, skin, clothes, furniture, vehicles and more. Experts think that thirdhand smoke, which remains long after smoking stops and secondhand smoke has cleared, may react with common indoor pollutants to form a toxic mix that contains cancer-causing substances.
Thirdhand smoke residue builds over time and is resistant to normal cleaning. Children and nonsmoking adults may be at risk for tobaccorelated health problems when they inhale, ingest or touch substances containing thirdhand smoke.
What you can do
While researchers are still studying the health dangers of thirdhand smoke, you can protect yourself by creating a smokefree environment in your home and vehicle, and avoiding tobacco smoke whenever possible.
If you suffer from a lung condition such as asbestosis, asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or lung cancer, you may benefit from Baptist Beaumont Hospitals’ Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. Call (409) 212-5870 or visit www.bhset.net/pulmonaryrehab to learn more.