Researchers Pin Wang and Antoine Snijders at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that third hand smoke can negatively biologically effect a person's weight and cell development. Mice exposed to smoke laced clothes had changes in blood cell count and a compromised immune system. Newborn mice significantly weighed less. However, after cutting the exposure, the newborn mice recovered in weight. Lab tests revealed nicotine can react with ozone and nitrous acid creating ultrafine organic aerosols and cancer-causing compounds.
Additional studies at Berkeley Lab found that third hand smoke can lead to genetic instability in human and mouse cell lines.
Plenty of evidence is there on the effects of direct and second hand smoking, however this new study gives insight on how even exposed to a nicotine smoke laced environment causes health problems. I always hated the smell of smoke. Even if I was in a smoker's house or just passing by areas where people would smoke, there was always a unpleasant smell in the air even though nobody was smoking. Call it instinct, but I would always make sure to distance myself, because the smell just didn't sit right and now this study confirms what I always intuitively felt.
I find this very eye opening as just like biohazards and radioactive materials leave harmful residues, nicotine smoke can contaminate areas and leave unhealthy aftereffects as well. It's also amazing to find that previous studies also concur as seen in the Journal of Pediatrics.
I think because there was so much profit involved initially in the industry, it took a while for these findings to surface.