No. The whole “thirdhand smoke” thing is basically a nonsensical propaganda effort that surfaced seriously about ten years ago when two researchers, Georg Matt and Jonathan Winickoff produced studies that used the concept to create concerns about the submicroscopic contact people would normally have with smoke deposited on surfaces in rooms where people smoked. (; )
To give you an idea of how crazy the research was, the Winickoff study just cited did not even carry out any research on such smoke or its effects! All it did was cite the effects of an opinion survey of a random group of people off the street or at their phones as to whether they thought there could be a problem taking babies into rooms where people had previously been smoking! Most people probably never even thought about something as silly as worries about thirdhand smoke and interpreted the question as meaning there was still smoke hanging around in a room after a bunch of smokers had just left it.
The sin was then compounded when the New York Times went on to note that the children would be exposed to a particular element in such “leftover smoke” — a scary sounding radioactive element called Po210 — an element that had been used in a microscopic dose to assassinate a KGB spy a few years previously.
What Winickoff and the Times failed to ever mention was that for a toddler to get that dose, it would have to not only be in that room, it would have to actually lick ten entire square feet of flooring absolutely clean, every single day, for 2.7 TRILLION YEARS.
No, I’m not kidding. The NY Times itself sent this crazy fear out to America without ever explaining how utterly crazy it was. (See:) and refused at several different levels to publish any sort of reassuring corrective for their readers afterward (See pages 192 – 199 of TobakkoNacht — The Antismoking Endgame, McFadden MJ, Aethna Press 2013 for details if you wish.)
This fear grew to such proportions that we’re now seeing Questions like this one and even seeing people doing things like getting biopsies of suspicious “lumps” (in their breasts!) after using a telephone that they know was previously used by a smoker! (See:Comment #79)
Sooo… to end as I began, the simple answer is “No.”
- MJM, who generally doesn’t share a lot of bottles with people, but hey, to each his (or her) own as they say!
About the Author
Author: “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains” & “TobakkoNacht… Antismoking Endgame”
Worked at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Studied at Manhattan College
Lives in Philadelphia, PA
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