“Third-hand smoke is the tobacco smoke that remains after the cigarette is extinguished. It’s the toxic layer that is deposited on every surface indoors where a smoker lights up: in cars, on smokers’ clothing and hair. Everyone knows that second-hand smoke is bad, but they don’t know about this”
Professor Jonathan P. Winickoff, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.
You can smell third-hand tobacco smoke on someone after they’ve been smoking or in a room where people have smoked. Your nose isn’t lying. Trust your nose, it is telling you to get out of there. The stuff is so acidic and toxic that your brain wants you to move as far from the poison as you can. Third-hand smoke from tobacco products leaves a residue that exposes you to carcinogens, heavy metals and radioactive material. It is the toxins that build up over time; one cigarette will coat the surface of a certain room, and a second cigarette will add another coat and so on.
“Just inhaling someone else’s smoke is enough to block your arteries and trigger a heart attack. I advise people to avoid being around smoking any way that you can”
Regina Benjamin, US Surgeon General, USA, 2010.
Third-hand smoke exposure kills children
The dirty, sick fact that nobody talks about is that cigarette smoke becomes progressively more toxic as it goes from first hand to second hand to third hand smoke. Sadly, children ingest far more third-hand smoke than adults do. A baby or infant ingests twice the dust (due to faster respiration and being closer to the ground) so given how small they are, they effectively get 20x the toxic third-hand smoke exposure. Even more tragic is that stillbirths occur at 10x the rate of cot deaths. Both are related to third-hand smoke.
“The best argument for instituting a ban on smoking is third-hand smoke”
Dr Bo Hang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, March 2014.
Third-hand smoke directly causes DNA damage and cancer
Third-hand smoke reacts with indoor pollutants to create a toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing) substance called ‘Noxious Residue’ (NNA). NNA sticks to low-down items in the home and remains on virtually all surfaces, including toys and other items toddlers may put in their mouths. When ingested or breathed in, NNA sticks to human DNA and can cause uncontrolled cell growth and the formation of cancerous tumours. It is particularly dangerous for children as they are far more vulnerable to this toxic damage being at a growth and developmental stage.
“There is no safe level and our concern is the cumulative effect of third-hand smoke on the health of children and adults”
Donna Pasiechnik, Canadian Cancer Society, Saskatchewan, Canada, December 2009.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.