Consumer Health: What are the dangers of thirdhand smoke?

a burning cigarette, with smoke curling upward into the air

You may know about the health dangers of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke. What about thirdhand smoke?

The residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoking is called thirdhand smoke. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix, including cancer-causing compounds. Children and nonsmoking adults might be at risk of tobacco-related health problems when they come in contact with this thirdhand smoke residue.

Learn more about the dangers of thirdhand smoke from Dr. J. Taylor Hays, a Mayo Clinic internal medicine and nicotine dependence specialist.

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