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"Third-hand smoke" exposure coined by researchers

Hello and happy new year folks! Around this time, many people are setting resolutions and the two most vocalized goals are quitting smoking and losing weight. I've heard a number of people tell me that they want to quit smoking, not only for their own health, but for the health of those around them. We've all heard about the toxic effects of second-hand smoke, but what about third-hand smoke. Researchers in the January edition of the journal Pediatrics have coined this term, referring to the toxic substances that linger on furniture and smokers themselves well after they've finished their cigarettes/cigars. I have always groups this into the category of second-hand smoke, but third-hand smoke it is from now on.

Third-hand smoke contains heavy metals and chemicals found in paint thinners and chemical weapons such as hydrogen cyanide, butane, toluene, arsenic, lead, carbon monoxide and even radioactive polonium-210. These residual toxins are especially harmful to children because first off, they are smaller and still growing. Secondly, children tend to play, crawl, touch, lick and breathe near surfaces contaminated by third-hand smoke. Cigarette smoke and toxins affect more than just the lungs. People associate smoking with lung cancer, but it affects many other facets of health including increasing the risks of other types of cancers, nerve damage and much more.

So please smoke outdoors if you have little ones and loved ones in your home. Of course, you can always make this the year you kick the habit. The benefits, better health and more money in your pocket. There are certainly tricks or techniques your naturopathic doctor can use to help you through this difficult process so don't be afraid to ask and to get support.

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"

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