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Ask SAM: What is third hand smoke?
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Ask SAM: What is third hand smoke?

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Q: My house is almost 100 years old. Recently, someone ask me if anyone had ever smoked in it, because if they had it might have thirdhand smoke. I know no one has smoked in it for the 10 years I’ve lived here. But obviously, I don’t know about the previous 90 years. What is thirdhand smoke, anyway?


Answer: Thirdhand smoke is the residue that is left by nicotine and other chemicals when the cigarette is smoked.

“Thirdhand smoke clings to clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces long after smoking has stopped. The residue from thirdhand smoke builds up on surfaces over time.

When you touch surfaces that have been exposed to it, you can pick up the contaminants.

“To remove the residue, hard surfaces, fabrics and upholstery need to be regularly cleaned or laundered” according to

“Children and nonsmoking adults might be at risk of tobacco-related health problems when they inhale, swallow or touch substances containing thirdhand smoke.”

Because small children put things in their mouths, they are very susceptible to exposure to thirdhand smoke, according to

It also permeates such building material as sheetrock, and insolation.

Humberto Choi, M.D., a pulmonologist wrote on, “It resists normal cleaning methods and you can’t air it out of rooms or cars with fans or vacuums.

“For this reason, sometimes the only solution is replacing carpets, repainting walls and cleaning ventilation systems. So it’s expensive to completely rid a room of thirdhand smoke and eliminate the risk of exposure to future tenants or owners.”

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Research on thirdhand smoke is ongoing, but both sites agree that the best way to prevent it is not to smoke.

Leaf collection to beginCrews from the city of Winston-Salem will begin collecting leaves Monday. Collection will begin in the western quadrant, north of U.S. 421/Salem Parkway and west and south of Reynolda and Yadkinville roads.

Collection will proceed clockwise by quadrant and continue until the leaf trucks have made three passes through each neighborhood.

To find out when leaf collection will come to your neighborhood, go to and enter your address for an estimate of when the leaf trucks will be coming. The times may change depending on conditions.

Residents who do not have access to a computer can call CityLink at 311 and someone will look up the estimated collection date.

Here are the leaf collection guidelines:

Rake leaves to the edge of the yard, behind the curb, and not in the street.

Sticks, rocks and other debris may damage the equipment, so only leaves.

Do not park vehicles on, in front of, or near the leaves.

Do not put leaves on a tarp or over a storm drain.

Leaf collection is provided to single-family houses only.

Residents are not allowed to burn leaves inside the city limits.

Thank you“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the customer at Little Richards Barbecue on Stratford Road on Friday night. They found my credit card in the parking lot and turned it in to the cashier staff. Also the staff was able to contact me and let me know it had been found and would be upfront for me to pick up. It reminded me that there are some amazing folks out there.” A.C.



Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101


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