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HEALTH GUIDE: Is thirdhand smoke an unspoken killer?

Is thirdhand smoke an unspoken killer?

Len’s Drug staff

Published on February 9, 2018 1:40PM


We have entered 2018! Can you believe it?

The new year is when we take the time to evaluate the things we want to change. The time we think about the things we want to do differently. There are times we think about how we can improve our lives and in the process improve our children’s lives. Most parents and grandparents, and I am sure you are one of them, want to pass on or ensure their children or grandchildren have better lives than they had. We are always looking for something to improve our lives and the lives of our children or grandchildren.

The pharmacists and staff at Len’s Drug want to give some advice or thoughts about what little changes could help improve your life and by proxy, improve your kids’ lives forever in regards to quitting smoking and tobacco use.

Smoking can impact your children even if you don’t smoke around them.

Secondhand smoke and the effects of it have been known for years. However, what is not talked about much is the impact of thirdhand smoke. Thirdhand smoke can impact your children even if you do not smoke around them.

Thirdhand smoke is the residual or leftover nicotine and other chemicals that remain on clothing and surfaces after someone smokes in an area.

Five dangers of thirdhand smoke (from the Cleveland Clinic):

1. May be a culprit in more cancer cases

• Specifically lung cancer

2. May damage DNA

• This increases the risk of diseases

3. May react with airborne chemicals to form carcinogens

• A study published in 2010 found that nicotine reacting with airborne chemicals can form the carcinogens.

• It only suggests a connection and does not prove it.

• The dangers of thirdhand smoke to largely be unknown at this time.

4. Children are most at risk.

• This is due to their exposure on their clothes and other surfaces in the house.

• For very young children the danger is even greater due to the fact they commonly touch objects and then put their hands in their mouth.

5. Removing the residue is very difficult.

• Regular cleaning does not remove thirdhand smoke.

• Airing out a room does not remove thirdhand smoke.

• Once it is on a surface, it can last for years.

• The only way to get rid of it is to paint and replace carpet.

• Thus, the only way to reduce exposure risk is to stop smoking.

We here at Len’s Drug want to help you along on your journey. You may have heard about the program “Kick Buts.” It was started in 2015, and it was designed by Len’s Drug to help you explore all those “buts” that keep you from diving headlong into stopping all tobacco. “I would quit ‘but’ I might gain weight”; “I would quit, ‘but’ I can’t handle the stress”; “I would quit, ‘but’ I don’t have any support”; and the list goes on and on.

Currently, Len’s Drug offers smoking cessation counseling one-on-one by appointment and in group settings once a quarter. The most effective way to quit smoking is to have support and use a smoking cessation medication. Your pharmacist at Len’s Drug is more than happy to help you find the medication that would work best for you.

The curriculum we use for your group and single sessions is the Freedom From Smoking created by the American Lung Association.

Come by Len’s Drug for more information or call us at 541-575-0629.



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