BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — The Berrien County Health Department (BCHD) is highlighting the dangers of thirdhand smoking.
We’re told the campaign is meant to deter young people from smoking and vaping by noting the adverse effects thirdhand smoking can have.
BCHD explains thirdhand smoking occurs when exhaled particles land on nearby surfaces, which can then be transferred, consumed or breathed in by others.
Health officials say thirdhand smoke is especially dangerous to children, as it can enhance the risk of contracting respiratory and infectious diseases such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis.
Thirdhand smoke is also genotoxic, meaning DNA residing in cells of exposed tissue can become damaged, BCHD explains.
The county says at least 95% of young people in smoke-free homes have perceptible amounts of nicotine on their hands.
BCHD offers these tips to help families stay safe from thirdhand cigarette smoke:
- Keep the home and vehicle clear of smoke.
- Vacuum often and wipe all surfaces to remove dust.
- Replace aging carpets.
- Press for smoking bans in apartment complexes.
- Inquire of the home’s smoking history when considering moving into a home.
- Don’t buy used furniture that have spent time in homes that are not smoke-free.
Visit thirdhandsmoke.org for more information.