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Researchers warn about the dangers of third-hand smoke

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Moving into an apartment or home of a former smoker? Researchers say you should be concerned about the dangers of third-hand smoke.

Third-hand smoke is the dust that settles after someone smokes indoors. It contains nicotine and other cancer causing agents that last two months or longer, even after a thorough cleaning and repainting.

“They are detectible levels of nicotine and other chemicals in the hands and urine of non-smoking families that have moved into this space. We know it lasts two months. There’s evidence it lasts even longer, and we don’t know how to get rid of it,” said Dr. Deborah Ossip, director of smoking research at URMC.

Third-hand smoke is especially dangerous to children and infants who play on the floor or lay on the furniture. They can develop respiratory and liver problems.

For smoking parents, the best advice is to quit. Next best is to never smoke in the house or car.

For help to stop smoking, call 1-866-NYQUITS.

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