Friday, January 9, 2009

Third-Hand Smoke, New Cigarette Hazard

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We've known the damage of first-hand smokefor years. And then there was the great second-hand smoke scare of the 90s. Now, in 2009 doctors and scientists are here to bring to your attention the dangers of third-hand smoke. It looks as though we are running out of hands.

Third-hand smoke is not actually smoke at all, but the 
residue that cigarette smoke leaves behind; on your clothes, hair, furniture and carpets. Cigarette smoke contains numerous chemicals that don't just float happily towards the heavens when you open the window or close the door. These chemicals eventually settle into the fibers that surround us, including our own clothes, hair and skin. A child crawling, for example, is at risk for coming in contact with these cancer causing chemicals as they explore their environment.

"When you come into contact with your baby, even if you're not smoking at the time, she comes in contact with those toxins. And if you breastfeed, the toxins will transfer to your baby in your breastmilk." Winickoff notes that nursing a baby if you're a smoker is still preferable to bottle-feeding, however.
It also will be important to incorporate knowledge about third-hand smoke contamination into current tobacco control campaigns, programs, and routine clinical practice.


“Your nose isn’t lying,” [ Dr. Jonathan P. Winickoff] said. “The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: ’Get away.’”
Among the substances in third-hand smoke are hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons; butane, which is used in lighter fluid; toluene, found in paint thinners; arsenic; lead; carbon monoxide; and even polonium-210, the highly radioactive carcinogen that was used to murder former Russian spy Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006. Eleven of the compounds are highly carcinogenic.

The point doctors are making is this : cigarette smoking is bad for you, for the people around you, and for those people that will occupy the space where you were. Maybe 2009 is the year to finally quit?

1 comments:

john said...

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