The overarching goals of this project are to determine exposure to thirdhand smoke (THS) in real-world environments like multiunit housing (MUH), develop best practices for thirdhand smoke remediation in these environments, and to translate these findings to stakeholders.

Project funded by: California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) & California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Principal investigators: Penelope Quintana, PhD & Eunha Hoh, PhD

Co-investigators: Georg Matt, PhD, Christopher Harrison, PhD, & Nathan Dodder, PhD

The first aim of this project is to quantify residents’ exposure to thirdhand smoke through personal and biological samples to inform exposure and risk assessments and measure thirdhand smoke contamination to determine the most reliable sample types, locations, and compounds to inform best practices for thirdhand smoke sampling in real-world environments.

The second aim is to remediate homes from Aim 1 and re-sample exposure and contamination using the same metrics as Aim 1.

The last aim of this project is to develop and deploy simple diagnostic tools usable by the general public for detecting thirdhand smoke contamination and remediation effectiveness in real-world settings.

We will screen homes in around 200 multiunit homes to determine the level of thirdhand smoke contamination and invite participants in excessively contaminated homes to join the extensive measurement activities*, as well as recruit participants from low-polluted homes to serve as a comparison group. This will inform the public regarding general contamination levels in multiunit homes.

*COVID-19 note: Participants in this study will be collecting their own environmental and biological samples. In order to reduce any potential exposure to the coronavirus and to protect participants, we will deliver all of the sampling materials outside of the participant’s apartment. The samples and supplies are picked up from participant’s home after completion. A constant communication with participant is maintained via phone. In the past few months, we have been able to successfully sample 5 multiunit homes using this new self-collection methodology.