In a January 12 release, scientists report that residue from nicotine deposits in carpeting, clothing, furniture, and even food can interact with a chemical in the air to cause carcinogens.
A new study published in the health journal Environmental Science & Technology raises another red flag on the hazards of smoking, and supports a similar study published in February 2010. Third-hand smoke can cling to fabric, skin, furniture, carpet, and other surfaces including car dashboards. The exposure to children is most concerning because they crawl around on carpeted floors, for example, and are susceptible to ingest/inhale higher quantities of smoke dust.
It is impossible to control all the environments that your children are exposed to, but here are some basic tips to minimize third-hand smoke.
As a smoker, it is difficult to protect children as the dust is transferred via skin and clothes; quitting is the best and healthiest option. However, here are some simple tips to limit the exposure and spreading of third-hand smoke: shower after smoking, wash clothes immediately, do not smoke indoors as ventilation machines are thought to be ineffective.
If your home is exposed to smoke, the dust can remain for months - consider having everything professionally cleaned with non-toxic products.
Similarly, it is best to frequent non-smoking establishments, not just sections in restaurants, and always opt for non-smoking hotels, not just rooms.
Access the full study here: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/es102060v
Further reading: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thirdhand-smoke/MY00591
Watch a video on third-hand smoke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UtBD082It0