Many people are aware of the immediate risks associated with smoking, but the long-term effects and the impact on indoor air quality are often overlooked. In this blog post, we'll delve into what each type of smoke entails and how it can affect your health and well-being.

What does tobacco smoke contain?

Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes consists of a minimum of 70 chemicals that can cause cancer. Tobacco smoke contains particulate matter and toxic gaseous compounds like hydrogen cyanide, acetaldehyde, carbon monoxide, nicotine etc. These are called VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

When you breathe in that smoke, those chemicals enter your bloodstream, which carries the chemicals to all parts of your body. Many of these chemicals can damage your DNA, which controls how your body makes new cells and directs their functioning. Damaged DNA can make cells grow differently from how they are supposed to. These unusual cells can turn into cancer.

Different types of Tobacco Smoke

First-Hand Smoke

First-hand smoke refers to the smoke that is directly inhaled by the person smoking a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. When inhaled, these substances can damage the lungs, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system. First-hand smoke is the primary cause of lung cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart conditions among smokers.

Second-Hand Smoke

Second-hand smoke, also known as passive smoke or environmental tobacco smoke, Second-hand smoke exposure is particularly dangerous for children, pregnant women, and non-smoking adults with pre-existing health conditions. It has been linked to respiratory infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and even lung cancer in non-smokers.

Third-Hand Smoke

Third-hand smoke is a lesser-known but equally concerning aspect of tobacco smoke exposure. It refers to the residue that remains on surfaces and in the air after a cigarette, cigar, or pipe has been extinguished. This residue contains toxic chemicals that can react with indoor air pollutants to form new harmful compounds. Additionally, third-hand smoke can persist for days, weeks, or even months on surfaces such as walls, furniture, clothing, and carpets. When people come into contact with these contaminated surfaces or inhale the lingering particles in the air, they may experience adverse health effects, including respiratory problems, allergies, and an increased risk of cancer.

Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones

To reduce the risks associated with first, second, and third-hand smoke, it's essential to take proactive measures to improve indoor air quality.

Studies have found that tobacco smoke particles can range anywhere from .01 to 1 micron, with the average-sized smoke particle being around .3 microns. That said, a HEPA filter is designed to remove most particles from cigarette smoke.  

However, as we mentioned before, tobacco smoke is actually made up of more than just dangerous particles. Cigarette smoke also is comprised of hundreds of different toxic gases. And a HEPA filter is only designed to trap and remove particles from the air, not gases.

That’s why it is important to find an air purifier that also has an activated carbon filter, which helps remove those toxic gases from the air. 

Studies have shown that using an air purifier as an intervention is effective to remove tobacco smoke at homes and protect the passive smokers

Investing in high-quality air purifiers, such as Airpura T700DLX, can help remove airborne pollutants, including smoke particles and chemical residues. Additionally, creating smoke-free environments in homes, workplaces, and public spaces can significantly reduce exposure to harmful smoke.

At Airpura, we're dedicated to providing effective solutions for clean, healthy indoor air. Our advanced air purifiers are designed to capture and eliminate smoke particles, odors, and contaminants, helping you breathe easier and live better.

Learn more about our products and how they can improve the air quality in your home or business by visiting our website

Stay informed, stay safe, and prioritize your health by minimizing exposure to first, second, and third-hand smoke. Together, we can create a smoke-free environment for everyone


Particle size distribution of mainstream tobacco and marijuana smoke. Analysis using the electrical aerosol analyzer - PubMed (