If smoke falls in a closet, does anybody hear it? Mice do, apparently.

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140002752Let the scientists and academicians of ACSH firstly assert, We hate smoke. We especially hate first-hand smoke the kind that smokers inhale, and that eventually kills over half of them. We also hate second-hand smoke (SHS), which has been reliably linked to acute flare-ups of asthma and other upper respiratory and allergic ailments, mainly in children, although some say that it can lead to chronic diseases in adults (although the link to lung cancer has been pretty well quashed by recent studies supporting older ones). IF there is such a thing as third-hand smoke, I m certain we hate that too.

The best solution to all these hand-types of smoke is simple: Don t smoke! Don t start, quit if you do, by any means necessary.

But none of that justifiable hatred warrants anyone paying any attention to the new study on the effect of third-hand smoke on mice who are forced to be exposed to the chemicals involved. The authors putative rationale for this nonsense follows:

Direct comparison between biomarkers in our mice and in humans is difficult because population studies concerning THS-exposure in humans are just beginning. Moreover, these comparisons are difficult to make because humans do not always comply with the needed experimental constraints. Some of the components of SHS undergo chemical reaction with the indoor air to produce additional toxicants, at least some of which can be highly carcinogenic ¦

Ah, so that s the ticket: trace levels of chemicals allegedly from SHS react with other chemicals present in people s homes to form carcinogens, and voila! Carcinogenic THS although there was no cancer involved in the outcomes among the poor rodents, who did not give informed consent to participate. Unfortunately, neither have any humans, which is why there are no THS exposure data in our species. And that also explains why the research was done on mice, who unlike humans will comply with the needed experimental constraints.

The authors go off into a smoky cloud of fantasy-extrapolation from their test-tube studies, prognosticating on the relevance to human liver, lung, skin, wound and neurological disorders based upon some chemicals they have discerned in their toxic soup.

Nothing they actually did, or said, compares to this beauty in a local news release:

Study: Third-Hand Smoke Exposure As Deadly As Smoking.

That s what can happen when you have

A: a fertile imagination; and B: grant money to do such a study.