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Doctors Warn of Third-Hand Smoke Dangers

(CNN) — We know smoking can harm us. And if we live with a smoker, that second hand smoke we inhale can affect us as well.

“Second-hand smoke is when somebody smokes in the presence of other people and they inhale that smoke. That causes all kinds of problems such as lung cancer, such as COPD, such as asthma and respiratory infections in children,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, American Lung Assn. Sr. Med. Advisor.

Now scientists are finding that third-hand smoke, which is the fumes that come off somebody who has smoked elsewhere can have a negative impact on our health, as well as our children’s.

“There’s evidence now that third-hand smoke is a risk factor in children, like chronic ear infections and chronic respiratory infections. And if your clothes reek of smoke, your hair reeks of smoke, your little child who has asthma is going to get an asthma attack, more than likely,” Dr. Edelman said.

How to avoid passing on your smoke to others? The American Lung Association says try to quit. If that’s not possible, take the smoking outside where the air is less concentrated and the smoke fumes are not as heavy and won’t be left on clothing.

“Smokers should know that they’re not only doing damage to their own hearts and lungs and other organs, but they’re doing damage to the people around them,” Dr. Edelman said.

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