Youngsters most vulnerable to 'third-hand smoke' exposure

February 10, 2010 4:35:28 AM PST
We've all heard about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke. But what about third hand smoke?

Walk into a room full of smokers, and even after they've left, the room still smells. Well, now, it turns out, the smell may not be the worst effect, but smokers can leave their cancer causing toxins behind.

Authors in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found cancer causing agents called "tobacco specific nitrosamines" stick to a variety of surfaces. They can get into dust or be picked up on the fingers. Scientists say children and infants are the most likely to pick them up.

They add their findings raise concerns about exposures to the tobacco smoke residue that has been recently dubbed "third hand smoke".