Have you ever walked into a room that smells like smoke but there’s no one inside smoking? Or have you ever tried to smell your hair or shirt after you came from the bar? Isn’t it that there’s a pungent smell from cigarette smokes that resides with it?
What you are smelling on your clothes and in your hair is the smoke residues from the cigarettes that others smoked – also called the third hand smoke.
Third hand smoke is the residual tobacco smoke contamination which accumulates on the different parts of the body of the smoker, such as the skin, hands, hairs and face, his personal effects like the bag, shirt, hanky, tie, and other clothing, and the living spaces where the cigarettes have been smoked such as the living room, dining area, at the bar or even in public places. In short, in almost every place there are residues of third hand smoke.
“And so what if there are residual smokes on the living area, I’ll just clean them” this has been a common reaction of those who don’t have any knowledge on third hand smoke. To make it clear, third hand smoke(s) also contains toxic substances just like the second hand smoke. Thus, its effects on the human body, especially to children will be detrimental as well.
Since the concept that relates to third hand smoke is new to the ears of many, proper information dissemination is needed. This will be a good way to correct the misconception of many adults that it is alright to smoke when their children are not around. Why? Because in reality, the smoke residue of the cigarettes will just reside on the wall, carpet, furniture and other things.
These substances are very small and are not visible to the naked eye. Continuously smoking will just increase the smoke residues. The children will suffer the most and they will be of great risk since they are not aware that they have already touched and even inhaled the third hand smoke.
In fact, the children are the ones mostly affected by third hand smoke because children ingest twice the amount of dust particles as compared to adults. Let’s take the example of a baby.
The baby usually crawls on the floor, playing and eating anything he wants. Unknowingly, he will have ingested many dust particles from objects or even from his own body – because babies often put their hands or even their feet in their mouth.
On the other hand, an adult has the capability to think and decide on what he should ingest and whether the item is clean or not. In addition to that, as compared to the body mass of a baby, an adult has a bigger body mass, thus if and only if both of them have ingested the same amount of dust particles, the percentage of dust particle in the baby is greater as compare to the adult.
For that reason, adults must be advised that smoking indoors is never safe for a baby or small child – even if he/she is not home at the time. It’s better to just quit smoking to avoid its effects on the human health as well as avoid the effects caused by second hand smoke and third hand smoke.
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