Child Warrior Jimmy
Silencing Autism

Third Hand Smoke: Dangerous!

Smoking babyBy Kim Stagliano

 I don't condone smoking. I don't smoke. I wouldn't let you smoke near my kids. But this kind of article makes smoke come out of my ears. 

First it was organic baby formula (demon sugar!) and now the mere touch of your nicotine stained hands on the davenport (that's a really outdated word for a couch, by the way) threatens your child's health. Yes, third hand smoke is dangerous, according to the AAP.  Why don't they just publish a study that concludes, "We're doomed. But don't worry. Soon we'll have a shot for that."?

Every surface a child touches today has been treated with stain resistant formulas, coated in lead paint from China, covered with flame retardants or has an "antibacterial surface" made from God only knows what chemicals.  But now we have to scream at Uncle Bob who puffed a Marlboro in the driveway, blew the smoke over to the neighbor's yard, tamped out the cig and deposited the butt into his car and then came into the house and sat down for endangering our children?  Smokers are an easy scapegoat, aren't they? 

Reported in Science Daily:

...Small children are especially susceptible to third-hand smoke exposure because they can inhale near, crawl and play on, or touch and mouth contaminated surfaces. Third-hand smoke can remain indoors even long after the smoking has stopped. Similar to low-level lead exposure, low levels of tobacco particulates have been associated with cognitive deficits among children, and the higher the exposure level, the lower the reading score. These findings underscore the possibility that even extremely low levels of these compounds may be neurotoxic and, according to the researchers, justify restricting all smoking in indoor areas inhabited by children.

"The dangers of third-hand smoke are very real," says Winickoff, who is a professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Richmond Center. "Our goal was to find out if people who were aware of these harmful effects were less likely to smoke inside of their home."

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.


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Seems to be a lot of defensive smokers here, hahaha.

Be quite and stop trying to rationalize your bad habit.

Even if "third hand smoke" doesn't cause cancer or autism, it can at least cause temporary respiratory problems, which isn't good for anyone.

Being a person who's lips and cheeks tingle, throat tighetns, eyes water, and the next day I'm throwing up my food because there is too much phlegm in the stomach after being exposed to anywhere from a little to a lot knows there's something going on.

So wah, wah wah. Smoking causes other serious problems for children like SIDS it may very well aggravate autism.

You may have to work on your cessation program after all.


Jarad, we suggest you ask your pediatrician.


Hello, I live in a house where neither of my parents, nor my sisters and I smoke. The only problem is, my cleaning lady goes out to her car to smoke a few cigarettes a day. When she comes back into the house, she cleans the house, touches the couches, everything. Am I at risk? She never smokes in our house but sometime I can smell the disgusting smoke on her and get scared.


More than 50 studies show that human papillomaviruses cause over ten times more lung cancers than they pretend are caused by secondhand smoke. Passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus, so the anti-smokers' studies, because they are all based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, have been cynically DESIGNED to falsely blame passive smoking for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV.

The anti-smokers have committed the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on smoking and passive smoking, as well as ignoring other types of evidence that proves they are lying, such as the fact that the death rates from asthma have more than doubled since their movement began.

And it's a lie that passive smoking causes heart disease. AMI deaths in Pueblo actually ROSE the year after the smoking ban.


Way back when you were kids, there were not as many pollutants in our environment and food and we did not take as many vaccines, so getting a load of cigarette smoke might have done no discernible harm. With the toxic load that we are all carrying nowadays, every little bit adds up. If your toxic tipping point is low, then you'll feel the effects before others do.


How about...
"Where black is white and white is black and AAP is still WAYYYYYYYYYY off track."


I was born in 1958 and I am the oldest of 4 kids. My mother smoked about 15 cigarettes a day while she was pregnant with ALL OF US. She also took aspirin, and drank beer or wine (the doctor recommended a glass a day to enhance relaxation) both while she was pregnant and NURSING ALL OF US! (The Dr also having a beer in the afternoon would help with milk production)

She smoked, in the HOUSE, the whole time we were growing up. My Dad even puffed on a pipe occasionally.

All of us were minimally vaccinated (Me the least, as I was the oldest) none of us ever had any health problems and weathered the Mumps, Measles, german measles, chicken pox, etc… just fine.

I'm not saying smoking is good for your health but according to the AAP we should all be cognitively or physically challenged but all the “horrible things” my Mom did

Interestingly the only one in the family of 4 children and 6 grandchildren with any severe disorder is my son who developed Autism shortly after receiving his MMR vaccine while he was still recovering from an ear infection and a nasty cold. HMMMMMMMMMMM


When I fart I will call it Fourth Hand Smoke!

Kelli Ann Davis More AAP Twylite Zone Slogans

Hey Lin: Here’s a few more -- just in case the tee shirt contest is running ;-)

"Where black is white and white is black and AAP don’t know jack!”

"Where black is white and white is black and AAP is talking smack”

And “Oh…my” to O. Marie:

“The visitor downstairs *gassed* me out for a full week this holiday... He left, littering the grounds outside with his yucky *butts*.”

*That* definitely falls into the a** bomb category – literally.


You guys and Gals really crack me up!! Such wit! And all so unfortunately true!!

Pethetic, really!! The mismanagement of our money.

Thanks Kim and AoA for continuing to enlighten us!!!

Alex's Dad

Hmmm...I would never attempt to say that smoking was healthy, but this is ridiculous.

I read at 4th grade level in 1st grade. My parents smoked, but not in the house around me. I suppose I would have read War and Peace in kindergarten without this toxic exposure.


O. Marie

I am 50 years old, and have lived with seizures since I was 8. I can clearly say we all take a lot of junk in through our skin, including third-hand cigarette smoke. The visitor downstairs gassed me out for a full week this holiday... And we're living in a no-smoking building. I could tell wherever he was standing downstairs by th smell. He left, littering the grounds outside with his yucky butts.

In order to be well, I have to isolate myself from a lot of things most people take for granted. But ya know, we should be doing things like recycling, using less plastics, filtering and boiling our drinking water, washing our veggies (both due to ecoli), buying organic, eating less meat... Most of which contains traces of herpes and ecoli, yeah! Generating diseases like arthritis, fiber myalgia. Also? frogs are becoming extinct, due to our pollution. Their skins are very much like ours... Put a little frog in a glass case, blow smoke on it constantly, see how long it will live. (It won't.)

What I'm saying is, we are all subject to our third-hand poisons, especially those we consume and create. It's so ironic! Start simplifying and you will live longer... Think green, every day. Be proactive about encouraging others to do the same, and find more alternative healers who don't prescribe pills. It's all possible!

stinky smokers are not the point

"I guess I am more worried about the Doctors not washing their hands after touching all the money they get from big pharma...."

Ha! I think *that's* the point of the article, guys. Now there are a gazillion posts about smokers smelling and houses being brown. No one is saying smoking is great, sheesh....

My grandmother told me once that her DOCTOR actually told her to smoke 1-2 ciggies a day while pregnant to "relax". That's our medical establishment people.

Craig Willoughby

Gatagorra said:
"I think the nosological term for the contagious slime passed on from blood money is "pecunia cruenta pestilentia"."

I have to disagree with you for once. I believe the official term is "Offitius Lutum."

The literal translation is Offit Slime :P


To Tanner's Dad--

I think the nosological term for the contagious slime passed on from blood money is "pecunia cruenta pestilentia".

Hey, freshman Latin made me a vacca superba.


I was born right in the middle of the 1960's, when the majority of Americans smoked cigarette's. My parents didn't smoke when I was little, but most of the world did. Teachers smoked like crazy in the Teachers lounge with the door wide open letting the smoke drift down the halls. Even housewives smoked in the supermarkets!
Smoke was everywhere. And all good doctor offices had ash trays in the waiting rooms.

What WASN'T there was an autism epidemic. All the adults were smoking and drinking martini's, but no one I ever knew in the 60's, 70's, and 80's had a child with autism in their family.

That didn't happen untill the government steped in to make us all "healthy" by the most aggressive vaccine program in the history of mankind.

But 3rd hand smoke is a nice destraction from the real hazards our kids face. Smokers are unpopular, and they sure don't pay like BigPharm does. So let's fund some more studies, hold some conferences, and set up task forces on this scurge. The whole vaccine danger issue can wait untill we get a handle on this pressing 3rd hand smoke issue.

Kathy Blanco

Actually, I am somewhat blown away everytime I walk by someone who smokes (their clothing especially), they reek. My opinion poll goes down pretty fast, if I was an employer, or someone that had to be with them in an office 8 hours of the day..even standing in line with them is a challenge....but that's just me and my very hyper immune response to such things. But more than that, did you know that cigees carry a lot of cadmium? Which is accused as one of the heavy metals causing autism. I am sure the levels have never been appropriately measured in smokers. My guess is that they are extremely toxic. Cadmium also allows lung cells to proliferate into cancer, very easily.

I have often wondered why smokers seemed to be a little psychologically unwell, could it be they have huge amounts of cadmium poisoning which has messed with their neurotransmitters? Not one I have met so far, is not depressed, sick, or definately fits in some psychobabble diagnosis manual, or are on their way to having major cancer, wrinkles, and any other file and rank disease of our day. I often wondered what was the appeal in the first place, to be cool? To fit in? That's not a very good reason to do least in my book?

But I can say the same thing of people who eat too much? Each of those people are also toxic. Did you know that obesity rates are higher in higher polluted areas? hmmmm?

Point being, it's hard to know where to point the finger of blame, society, the way things are, the advertisements, the actual products themselves?

I would advocate everyone to seek a different view or bent on this thrid hand smoking. I knew a lady in our office who reeked everyday, and I would literraly get horrid headaches after a days work. We all tried to get her to quit...alas, it took her life. Even one of her children had asthma. It is so patheic, and yet understandable...that such a substance can do so much damage to society...

I think the same of vaccines...probalby on a larger scale than cigees...imagine how much autoimmune diseases, cancers, and deaths, as opposed to the actual diseases that are so innocuous have caused?

Thank goodness I'm Not an MD

To JGinger and Teresa -
I would bet that the study (cited by Teresa) in Pediatrics is not considered worthless by those who funded it. Perhaps the intent is to have sample SSRI's or outright SSRI Rx's handed to the parents of children with autism at their kid's pediatric well visits. Can't wait to see the new DSM version.


Hi JGinger,

Your comment re the gov't funding the study rather than aap is true --thanks-- but what it really shows is how incestuous and rampant this issue really is.


This is in response to Theresa's comment about the "autism and parental stress" study. That one appears to have been funded by the government, not the AAP. I, too, am dismayed by such "duh" studies and wish that money would be used to research something more useful.

Kelli Ann Davis -- Time to Light Up a Doobie

"Welcome to....(doo..Doo..Doo..DOO) [Hint to Twyla: It doesn't have to do with "fins" but it does has part of your name in it]

....the Twilight Zooonee"

"Where black is white and white is black and AAP is smokin' crack" [Hey, that the tee-shirt contest still rolling??]


Ugh. Both my parents smoked when I was growing up. Our house was just brown. Nice.

Oh well, nothing I can do about that now.


Hi meg,

I just want to comment on your post. First, the NYT has been notorious for pointing out the many dangers of toxins to children --fish/mercury, air, cough medicines,psychotropic medicines, lead, and we'll add cigarettes now, yet they ignore the vaccine issue. The bigger piece to Kim's post is that the denial of vaccine injuries by the AAP (and I'm adding NYT), the continual denial in the face of continual evidence of harm is absolutely ridiculous and dangerous in its lack of reality.

The exchange of money from certain organizations, research people, and companies to continue bogus studies and ignore avenues of real research is harmful and dishonest. This cigarette study is another example of a different avenue--and who in the year 2009, does not know the dangers of cigarettes? It ranks right up there with this groundbreaking study by AAP

The Relationship Between Autism and Parenting Stress

which was a waste of money and I'll add a round about way to say that there is now "evidence based research" to show that these parents are "desperate". These quaint avenues to nowhere that AAP funds reflect the policy of denial and fuel this epidemic of autism. I, for one, will not applaud them or the NYT until they do their jobs -- fund and report on the true nature of what is happening to these children, and work with us to help heal them.


"Smokers are an easy scapegoat, aren't they?"

They sure are and they conveniently take the focus off the toxins that are being injected into fetuses, babies, and children by these same AAP policy makers.


I rarely disagree with you, Kim, but Uncle Bob puffing out in the driveway is not what this article is talking about.

I'm happy to see any mention in the mainstream media alerting readers to the dangers of heavy metal exposure. The NY Times article on this referred to the mix of contaminants in third-hand smoke, specifically including heavy metals, as a "toxic brew".

At some point, the intellectual dishonesty of heavy metals being simultaneously toxic in cigarette smoke (or sushi) and safe in vaccines will become self-evident.

BTW, why no mention in AOA of the NY Times article on Friday about the NJ flu vaccine deadline? The article mentioned the vaccine choice rally in Trenton and included a quote by Louise Habakus.

Not an MD

It's a shame about the 3rd hand smoke, but the good news is that pregnant women and kids can again eat till they are stuffed to their "gills" with halibut, tuna, swordfish and Chilean sea bass!

Craig Willoughby

Oh, good grief!

And the Vaccine Gestapo accuses us of moving the goalposts when they come out with crap like this? Give me a freakin' break!!

Tanners Dad

I guess I am more worried about the Doctors not washing their hands after touching all the money they get from big pharma. What's is the name for that sort of transmission. Third hand Slime? Another good article. Thanks Kim.

Maurine Meleck

Fourth-hand smoke occurs when you allow your child to breathe in front of a tv set or movie when someone on screen is smoking. Ban tv and movies.
BTW-we had a davenport when i was growing up-a nice aqua one.
worst movie for kids to watch-Puff the Magic Dragon.

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