Immune system

The immune system protects us from harmful pathogens in our environment. When our immune system is compromised, we are more vulnerable to infection and illness. Thirdhand smoke exposure reduces our defensive cell count, making us more vulnerable to infection and illness. Research suggests that exposure lowers levels of white blood cells that are associated with inflammation and allergic reactions. “Children living with 1 to 2 adults who smoke in the home, where SHS and its residues (THS) are abundant, were absent 40% more days from school due to illness than children who did not live with smokers.”

Hang, B., Snijders, A. M., Huang, Y., Schick, S. F., Wang, P., Xia, Y., Havel, C., Jacob, P., Benowitz, N., Destaillats, H., Gundel, L. A., & Mao, J.-H. (2017). Early exposure to thirdhand cigarette smoke affects body mass and the development of immunity in mice. Scientific Reports, 7(1).

Snijders, A. M., Zhou, M., Whitehead, T. P., Fitch, B., Pandey, P., Hechmer, A., Huang, A., Schick, S. F., de Smith, A. J., Olshen, A. B., Metayer, C., Mao, J.-H., Wiemels, J. L., & Kogan, S. C. (2021). in utero and early-life exposure to thirdhand smoke causes profound changes to the immune system. Clinical Science, 135(8), 1053–1063.

Martins-Green, M., Adhami, N., Frankos, M., Valdez, M., Goodwin, B., Lyubovitsky, J., Dhall, S., Garcia, M., Egiebor, I., Martinez, B., Green, H. W., Havel, C., Yu, L., Liles, S., Matt, G., Destaillats, H., Sleiman, M., Gundel, L. A., Benowitz, N., ... Curras-Collazo, M. (2014). Cigarette smoke toxins deposited on surfaces: Implications for human health. PLoS ONE, 9(1).