If you’re a smoker, chances are you’ve had problems with lingering cigarette smells. Although you’ve probably gotten all too familiar with the pungent odour by now, your family, friends or co-workers might not be. Thirdhand smoking has been linked to problems like cancer, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
We don’t need to educate you about the harmful effects to physical health when it comes to smoking, but we can tell you all about how it might be damaging your environmental health. We talked about the dangers of formaldehyde and links to third-hand smoking; this time we deep dive into the dangers of lingering cigarette smoke in your home or environment.
What is third-hand smoking?
‘Third-hand smoking’ refers to the smoke residue left on surfaces, such as arsenic, formaldehyde and tar, all of which are toxic to the health of children and expectant mothers. Whilst second-hand smoking reveals more serious risks of indirect smoke inhalation, the possibility of suffering from third-hand smoking issues can be more long-term and hard to get rid of.
Cigarette smoke tends to stick onto surfaces like clothes, flooring, furniture, vehicles and walls. Not only does 70-90% of tobacco smoke end up staying indoors, the residue left from nicotine and other harmful carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) can embed itself onto virtually any surface. Although some surfaces like our hair, pillowcases and curtains can be washed, the toxic residue left on our furniture and carpeting are much harder to eliminate. It is said that if tobacco was regularly smoked in an indoor environment, we can assume that this residue has been built up on every open surface. Even after years or decades, this residue may still be detected after the last cigarette smoked.
Additionally, studies have also found that cigarette odour can linger for longer than 12 hours, where it initiates contact with those nearby when inhaled as an indoor pollutant. Perhaps you’ve just bought a car from someone that was a smoker, or your new home came with an unattractive smell you just can’t get rid of -- the trace of cigarette smoke is problematic in the feeling that sometimes it just won’t seem to go away.
My family’s health is compromised by cigarette smoke. What can I do?
Virtually unavoidable, this invisible pathogen can pose serious health effects to anyone with a smoker amongst their social circle. Nicotine, when reacted with other indoor pollutants, are carcinogenic, harming all ages of people. Particularly affecting children and infants, the build up of third-hand smoke have been correlated with health issues like asthma, ear infections and weak immune systems.
Third-hand smoke is a prevalent issue because it doesn’t disappear once the smoker does. It is a build-up of surface residue that can’t simply be washed off or aired out. The harmful gases released from cigarette smoke also age and change in chemical structure over time, making it even harder to problem-solve. This process is known as off-gassing, where we briefly mentioned when we discussed the topic of formaldehyde.
If you live with children, there can be serious risks
Raze is here to help.
Since cigarette smoke is deeply absorbed into materials like carpeting and wall paint, efforts to diffuse or ventilate a space can often go to waste. Measures can be taken to reduce any obvious smells like washing your curtains and getting a HEPA filter for your home, but these methods can only tackle the problem to an extent. Typically, the smell of cigarettes can be masked, but the risks of human absorption are still very much present. Worse, residue can spread from one surface to another, inducing a level of contamination out of your own reach.
To efficiently decompose build-up of chemicals like formaldehyde and tar, Raze offers a round-the-clock solution that deals with the problem from the root. The odour from smoke is a mix of organic compounds that photocatalysts can degrade through a redox reaction. It means that our photocatalyst coating breaks them down and converts these harmful compounds to harmless hydrogen and oxygen particles -- aka, fresh and purified air. For your own use, our photocatalyst sprays can do this for up to 3 months long. Specialised for surfaces like Ceramic, Wood and Leather, our specialised sprays keep cigarette odours at bay without compromising quality or leaving overwhelming traces of fragrance. Of course, our Raze Original works with a variety of other surfaces, encompassing an all-in-one cleaning solution that, by the way, also decomposes SARS-CoV-2.
If you find that the problem of cigarette smoke in your home, car or workplace is more serious or out of your own reach, fear not: our professional coating service team can help. Using our industry-standard nanogun, we ensure that every corner of your walls, flooring and hard-to-reach areas are thoroughly coated with photocatalyst for maximum protection. For preventative purposes, our Raze+ Paint is integrated with photocatalyst technology in itself, where businesses can inquire for built-in indoor pollutant purification.
Besides, what better solution is there than one that can prevent it from the first place? Cigarette smoke is an unfortunate problem that in many cases, is also unavoidable. Take on a preventative approach so you never have to wait until it’s too late again.