Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

New thirdhand smoke study underscores need for smokefree areas

That funky smell that stays in a room where someone has been smoking earlier isn’t just a bad odor. It likely indicates the presence of carcinogens.

A new report about thirdhand smoke – the lingering residue of tobacco smoke – underscores the need for indoor areas to be 100 percent smokefree.

The study, done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, shows that residual nicotine from tobacco smoke adheres to surfaces and reacts with a chemical in the air to form cancer-causing chemicals.

The authors note that nonsmokers, particularly infants, are at risk through contact with surfaces and dust that has been contaminated with residual smoke gases and particles.

If you aren’t a scientist, you can check out a Science Daily news story about the study for an easier read about the study’s findings. Note that one of the study authors is quoted about how this research raises questions about the safety of electronic cigarettes, devices that contain a battery-powered vaporizer that turns nicotine into a mist.

Bottom line: This is yet another reason for comprehensive indoor smokefree policies.



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