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Studying the effects of thirdhand smoke

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Most people know about the effects of secondhand cigarette smoke, but thirdhand smoke is not as well documented. The University of California's Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program is currently studying how the lingering effects of tobacco in the air impact our health. Lara Gundel, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is one of the researchers studying thirdhand smoke.

Gundel:          Thirdhand smoke is what you smell when you go into a hotel room where people have been smoking or what rubs off on your skin if you touch a wall or if you visit somebody's house and they've been smoking.

Narrator:       Gundel and her colleagues have found that long after the smoke clears, toxic pollutants from cigarette smoke stick to bedspreads, carpets, clothing — even furniture and walls.

Gundel:         One of the things that we're going to do at Berkeley Lab is to try to understand how thirdhand smoke moves around in an actual room and the composition of thirdhand smoke residues in more detail.

Narrator:     For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.