The University of Cincinnati and San Diego State University conducted a study that found that children could have tobacco traces on their hands. It is not unusual for children to have traces of dirt and other things in their hands. Unfortunately, tobacco could also be one of those things.
How researchers conducted the study
The researchers gathered 504 children less than 11 years old and stabbed their hands. They were surprised to discover that 97% of them had nicotine traces on their hands. This number even included 95% of those in non-smoking homes. These findings showed that smoking wasn’t only a problem for parents who smoked but also for those who didn’t.
While several people have heard of secondhand smoking, few are familiar with thirdhand smoking. Thirdhand smoke refers to residue that tobacco smoke leaves on surfaces and dust. Experts say that thirdhand smoke could be in any room where a vaper or smoker has been.
While many scientists urge parents to keep their children away from thirdhand smoke by separating them from places or people that smoke, the study shows that the problem is even bigger than we initially thought.
This study is the first clinical study on thirdhand smoke
According to a lead study author, the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center’s director, and a San Diego State University professor, Georg Matt, the study helped them find important information. Researchers have looked into thirdhand smoke in cars, homes, hotels, and other areas. However, until now, they haven’t examined children for chemical residue.
While the results might not seem optimistic, the researchers note that they have been working hard to protect children in vulnerable communities from exposure to tobacco smoke. So far, their efforts are working.
The researchers also advise parents who smoke not to do it in the homes or cars they share with their children. While this might not completely solve the problem, it could go a long way to keeping children healthy.
The team also found that the amount of nicotine on the children’s hands was determined by their race and income level. For instance, those from poorer households had more traces of tobacco. Moreover, children from African American families also had higher traces of nicotine in their hands.