Second and Third Hand Smoke

Blog Post created by dr_hays on Jan 10, 2018

Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause many of the same diseases as active smoking. It increases the risks of contracting lung cancer by 30% and heart disease by 25%. Heart disease, lower respiratory tract infections, asthma, and lung cancer are the most common causes of deaths related to secondhand smoke. People can be exposed to secondhand smoke in homes, indoor work and public places, cars, outdoor places, and in multi-unit buildings even if nobody smokes in one’s own apartment-but people smoke elsewhere in the building.


Nicotine and other tobacco compounds accumulate on various surfaces (clothes, furniture, walls, and vehicles) and can stay there several months after smoking has stopped, even after the surfaces have been washed. These residues or third hand smoke contain several toxic compounds and have shown harmful effects on human cells and animals in laboratory studies. The nature and magnitude of and health effects are currently being studied. The health effects of exposure to vapor from e-cigarettes are unknown but are being researched as well. The inclusion of e-cigarettes in smoke free regulations is the only way to prevent any potential harm from exposure to e-cigarette vapor.