Should There Be Smoking Bans in All Homes Because of Third Hand Smoke?


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How strange that the media is just now spouting the term “Third Hand Smoke” when it’s been quite clear for a while that smoke can linger on surfaces and clothing. Apparently we just didn’t know what to call it other than “you know, you smell like a burning cigarette.” But it also appears that many people had no clue that those sometimes annoying smoky scents on clothes and other surfaces could be ingested and cause as much damage to the lungs and mind as second-hand smoke does. As we all know, never is that more of a tragedy than when a young child ingests this into their body where it can inhibit their future health and brain function down the road.

For smokers with kids, this might pose a big problem, especially now when every business in America is snowballing a no smoking policy. Here in Oregon, smokers feel the walls closing in on them as most restaurants of late don’t allow smoking, something unheard of just ten years ago. This leaves home as the only sanctuary for smokers. Of course, many adults with kids go outside to smoke anyway thinking they won’t harm their children with second-hand smoke. What those parents don’t know is that remnants of the smoke they emanate in the outside world can still get on their person and be brought inside. Instead of purchasing one pack, the buying of electronic cigarette starter kits can be done. The effects on the health of the person will be reduced and effective results will be provided. For the beginners, the selection of the starter pack will be advantageous. All the essential information will be in the notice of the person. 

We all know tobacco companies are going to go after this idea as some kind of urban myth that toxins from tobacco on clothes, your hair or any surface inside a house can harm someone. Considering studies have been done to prove the negative effects from third-hand smoke, it really can’t be denied, unless a smoker is in denial about having no place left to drag on a cigarette.

The reasons children are more vulnerable to the toxins of third-hand smoke is because they’re more apt to crawl over things while playing in the house. Adults, theoretically, wouldn’t be quite as susceptible unless they’re known for crawling all over their furniture or cupboards. (Sure, there may be some out there who do that, even though let’s hope we don’t know them.) Children are more attuned to their environment and are typically as curious as a cat is in exploring every nook and cranny of your home. Since third-hand smoke can get on virtually anything, everything in your house is vulnerable.

When you think of how bad this scenario is–news is that third-hand smoke can even get into a woman’s breast milk and affect a newborn dramatically later in life. Equally as frustrating for smokers is–even if you stop smoking–third-hand smoke can linger in a home for a long time before finally going away. In time, a child breathing the very dangerous toxins stuck on surfaces could deteriorate their cognitive abilities when they need to use their brain the most, namely during their school years. Yes, that gives a whole new concerning dimension to why one kid is a little smarter than another in public schools.

If this doesn’t create enough incentive for people to stop smoking, there won’t be anything else. Of course, some smokers without children in the house won’t even think about it. For those who do, you have to wonder if a snowballing of smoking bans in homes across America may soon become a voluntary law of the land.

With the understanding that what happens in the home shouldn’t be taken away by law, Congress or state legislatures obviously won’t incite laws prohibiting smoking in everybody’s homes. What will likely happen is more of a self-ruled law, perhaps (dare I say) a form of vigilantism in making sure people don’t smoke if they have children in the house. Most of that would take place between friends and family, with actions taken akin to when someone is an alcoholic or drug addict. Sometimes that means forceful treatment, which, for smokers, might come as a major wake-up call.

The only other more peaceful solution is taking a more self-disciplined approach and at least set up rooms in a house where absolutely no smoke or potential third-hand smoke could get in. That might mean changing clothes before entering a room or other inopportune situations to cut third-hand smoke down as much as possible.

But for those cigarette addicts (and cigar/pipe aficionados), stopping completely is the only way to completely eliminate any chance of third-smoke harming people. If that means a family member dragging you kicking and screaming to a clinic to stop the habit, at least you know there’s every good reason for it now if you thought there were ways out before. Third-hand smoke may be a godsend gift in putting the final squash on every cigarette butt.

Then again, it may not stop there and it’ll eventually lead to the declaration of fourth-hand smoke where toxins emanated into the air from nearby factories in every city and town are finally shown to be killing us. Only then will our governments be able to incite laws, despite those being inevitably overturned and leading to willful individuals having to take up the matter.