A study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center shows that children, especially young ones, can be harmed by “third-hand smoke,” even if their parents and caregivers are careful not to smoke in their presence.
The study showed that second-hand smoke settles on surfaces, leaving a nicotine residue. Children touch those surfaces, then put their hands in their mouths, transferring the nicotine to their bodies. The result? “… respiratory and ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, and other ailments.”
Kentucky has the highest rate of smoking in the nation, along with some of the highest rates of cancer. We also have higher rates of asthma than the nation as a whole. As we consider a state-wide smoking ban in public spaces, it would be wise to think about the impact of third-hand smoke on our children.