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What’s With Third Hand Smoking?


What’s With Third Hand Smoking?


No, I’m not going to preach you the ‘smoking-is-hazardous’ thing. Its obvious. Everybody knows the one who smokes is reducing his life to a significant minimum. Although, a new product called davinci vaporizer let’s you experience a clean and reliable vaping but the insult smokers’ are offering to their life by smoking is inversely proportional to the deterioration of it.

Smoking can never be a good idea to relieve stress, to feel good, to keep tensions at bay. Which is apparently reasoned by many smokers. How can anything that kills you do that anyways.

So you all (including smokers) know that its ill to end a fag to ashes. So I skip that part. But all this wouldn’t have been intricate in surfeit if the detrimental effects of smoking were only limited to smokers. The people usually flanked by them, objects (table, chair, floor, clothes) surrounding them etc. also get affected by the chains of smoke exhaled by the smoker. And this is a concept called Third hand smoking.

The most obvious questions that pop up your mind now would be….


What Is Third Hand Smoking?

To talk technical, third hand smoke is the residue of smoke, tobacco, gasses etc. that accumulates on the chair, table, floor, couch, clothes etc. after the cigarette is succumbed. Even in hair for that matter.

How Is Third Hand Smoking Dangerous To Health?

To quip, third hand smoking is referred to paying for the sins you haven’t done. A person whose a non smoker but has to bear the consequences because someone who he practically spends the entire day with, smokes like an addict. Due to obvious reasons anybody can unknowingly touch the surface covered by cigarette leftovers. Your hands are most likely to come in contact with these residues. You may eat with those hands, place those same hands on your clothes. So ultimately you get affected and may have to bore the ill effects, just by living/spending many hours of the day with a smoker.

There are three modes in which third hand smoking can harm you

  1. The main particles that can be left behind after smoking is are carcinogensnicotine, cyanide, radioactive polonium-210, lead, arsenic, butane and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. You may click on each of these to know the terrifying effects they can bestow you with.
  2. Another way third smoking can harm you is by the off-gassing process. Off-gassing is the phenomenon where gases are exposed to the air from the particles left over on the surroundings after smoking. Tobacco releases toxins to the atmosphere long after smoking is over.
  3. The third and almost passive yet dangerous way in which third hand smoking can cause you harm is by chemically reacting with the particles of the atmosphere. The products could be as deadly as carcinogens and as injurious as formaldehyde.

How Are Children Affected By Third Hand Smoke?

Is there anything softer and fragile than a child! I can’t agree less. And there isn’t anything as harmful as a single-stick of cigarette. Clearly there isn’t any connection and there shouldn’t be any either. Do you know

  • 4,000 different chemical compounds are present in cigarette smoke
  • including 200 poisonous gases
  • 60 carcinogens and
  • several heavy and toxic metals

Its basic conscience. I need not say anything but next time you approach your child after satisfying your crave for a cigarette, recall the toxins you’re covered with. If you chose not to smoke in front of your children and that you decide to smoke outside the house, even that won’t solve the purpose. One; the smoke gets on you and your clothes, hair etc. Two; you have been smoking in your house for such a long time, therefore everything in your home is well acquainted with the smoke. The walls, the curtains, the cracks in the walls, pillow covers, bed sheets, tables, chairs, couches, floors, every inch of your home is a habitat to toxins. Your child is a dependency of you, lead them to betterment and not unhealthiness. They will get affected no matter how hard you try not to smoke at home.

How To Avoid Third Hand Smoking?

The only way to avoid THS is to stop being around people who smoke. Even better, have a self-realization and quit smoking. If not for yourself then for the wellness of the people around you or connected to you. Third hand smoking is such a thing which will last even for a decade after the place has been banned for smoking. The effects stay there. They only get worse by releasing of toxins and gases from walls and surroundings coated by particles of cigarette smoke.

Humidity can be beneficial here. A lesser humid place is more likely to expose gasses to the atmosphere. Also the amount of ozone in the air also plays its notoriety. Particles of THS react strongly in an airplane than on a vehicle on ground (Read Study) [1].

How To Get Rid of Third Hand Smoking?

THS is the alteration you can not retrograde. The smoking place becomes more of like a haunted house. It is not advisable to go there even if the house is no more possessed by the deadly spirits.  Third hand smoking lingers for ages. Adopt a zero tolerance policy to keep smoking at bay. But it is not completely beyond our efforts. There are ways of getting rid of it.

  • You happen to be at a stag party for example. so here you are exposed to third hand smoking only for a short period. Also, you will not have to face it again anytime sooner. So here you can follow few tips. You can take a shower, wash your hair and stuff your washing machine with the attire your wore.
  • If some of your family members happen to smoke day in and day out, try to clean the surroundings with vinegar. However vinegar being acidic may de-colorize your fabric and may reflect even harsh results.
  • Do not under any circumstances allow smoking in a room orated with carpets. It is almost impossible to eliminate THS from carpets and shrugs. So albeit a pricey option, get your carpets removed if you can’t get your smoking habits removed.
  • If you think you can wash the surroundings with a soap, you’re religiously wrong. THS can be removed using an acidic material and soap is just the opposite. Its Alkaline. Trying an acidic vinegar may as well pose its own problems.
  • Go out and smoke and try to wash your clothes as soon as you reach home.

Third hand smoking is like an economical way of smoking. You smoke alone and your family members imitate the trend without having to reach out for a cigarette. Not once, but for a lifetime of smokiness. Your partner and specially elderly people and kids at home may keep themselves from smoking, but they can practically not stop themselves from using the household furniture enveloped with smoke all over. Third hand smoke is bad. It makes you sick and you should probably follow the path aforementioned to get rid of it.

Express your experiences about third hand smoke and share the post to educate others 🙂

Also Read:

1. Why Do Smokers Look Older???

2. Why Do Smokers Snore???

3. Why do I feel like a hangover after a smoky party???


[1] Petrick LM, Svidovsky A, Dubowski Y. Thirdhand smoke: heterogeneous oxidation of nicotine and secondary aerosol formation in the indoor environment. PubMed PMID: 21141815.

Photo credit: Artiii / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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