Eureka Alert

VIDEO: Research out of Drexel University shows that the lingering chemicals from smoking can make their way into buildings where people haven’t been smoking and spread via the HVAC system. view more 

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Despite decades of indoor smoking bans and restrictions, new research from Drexel University suggests the toxins we’ve been trying to keep out are still finding their way into the air inside. Findings by a group of environmental engineers show that third-hand smoke, the chemical residue from cigarette smoke that attaches to anything and anyone in the vicinity of a smoke cloud, can make its way into the air and circulate through buildings where no one is smoking.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Science Advances, further clarifies our understanding of just how pervasive the toxic chemicals of cigarette smoke can be – even in a “smoke-free” indoor environment. Its central finding – that third-hand smoke chemicals can be reemitted inside and attach themselves to aerosol particles – means that people are likely exposed to more of these harmful chemicals that previously thought.

“While many public areas have restriction on smoking, including distance from doorways, non-smoking buildings and even full smoking bans on campus for some


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