What is second hand smoke & third hand smoke?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,038
    Tobacco Treatment Specialist Eletta Hansen discusses second hand smoke and third hand smoke.

    Eletta Hansen: Hello, I am Eletta Hansen. I am a registered nurse and a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist at Medicorp Health System in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Today, we are talking about how to quit smoking and now I would like to answer questions about second hand smoke and third hand smoke.

    Host: What is second hand smoke and third hand smoke?

    Eletta Hansen: Second hand smoke is the combination of the smoke coming from the end of the lit cigarette and the smoke that is being exhaled by the smoker, because this second hand smoke is not filtered, the tar and nicotine concentrations maybe even greater than they are to the primary smoker. The research has documented that second hand smoke does cause cancer in humans. To illustrate three smoldering cigarettes on an ashtray emit more toxins in the air than a 2 liter diesel engine idling for the same period of time. Think about that, we lose at least 15,000 to 20,000 people a year to second hand smoke.

    Third hand smoke is also becoming a great concern. Third hand smoke represents the toxins, the particles that are left on things in the environment in which you smoked, your clothes, your draperies, your carpet, your furniture, your car. A lot of research is currently underway but there is certainly speculation that third hand smoke may be as hazardous as second hand smoke. There will be more to come on that later.