Cigarette Smoking Exposure to third-smoke appears more harmful than previously thought. According to a recent research, nicotine in third-hand smoke reacts with the indoor air and surfaces like clothing as well as furniture to form other pollutants. This toxicity can probably give rise to a number of health risks.

Third-hand smoke refers to the invisible remains of cigarette smoke accumulating on carpeting, clothing, furniture and other surfaces. Those not smoking yet encountering the smoke exhaled by smokers or released by smoldering cigarette butts may face severe health risks of tobacco. Third-hand smoke is predicted to be a major contributor to the health risks of tobacco and indoor air pollution. Third-smoke is possibly endured by babies crawling on the carpet, people napping on the sofa, or those consuming food tainted by third-hand smoke.

At the time of the investigation, Yael Dubowski and colleagues analyzed interactions taking place between nicotine and indoor air on a variety of different materials. Some of these materials include cellulose, a component of wood furniture, cotton, and paper to simulate typical indoor surfaces. It was observed that nicotine combines with ozone, in indoor air, to form potentially toxic pollutants on these surfaces. Toxicity of some of the identified products and small particles possibly adds to the adverse health risks.

The research is published in ACS’ journal, Environmental Science and Technology.