First hand smoke is the smoker and second hand smoke is those around the smoker, but what exactly is third hand smoke? Third hand smoke is a relatively new term that refers to the residence. Homes are also affected by the smoke and may have more of a long term effect than the first and second hand smoking. As people smoke in homes, tobacco residue builds up around the home and furnishing. Smoke from tobacco contains over 4000 chemicals, of which 200 are toxic and about 70 cause cancer and other diseases. Nicotine, substance most often found in cigarette smoke, has a sticky characteristics that allows it to stick to the surfaces around the house and reemit back into the air with other harmful compounds over and over again even after smoking has stopped.
Due to its nature of long-effect, third hand smoke is often worse for the children at home, who are especially vulnerable to the diseases caused by smoking. However, many people are not aware of third hand smoking, and/or do not understand the dangers of it. Although many studies and researches have been published, it has very small exposure to the public. Therefore, it has to be publicized to the whole country and especially to those who smoke at home. For the common residences outside of the third-world countries, third hand smoking might be the most common and dangerous source of indoor air pollution.
For publications of studies and researches:
For some statistics: