Comedy: Fourth-hand smoke

The World Fourth-hand smoke…


Third-hand smoke?? Beware the dangers of fourth-hand smoke

January 12, 2009

Attention Health Editors:

The Dangers of Fourth-hand Smoke

Toronto Jan. 12 / TMS Group on behalf of The Institute for Health, Safety, General Well-Being and Overall Contentment (the “IHSGWOC”) is recognizing the deleterious, pernicious, inimical, pestiferous and just downright bad ‘third-hand smoke’, the contamination that ‘lingers’ (much like an autograph hound outside the undersized dressing room of a midwest casino magician) after a cigarette is extinguished.

A recent study was the first to document such dangers, which should not, in the view of those currently tapping their feet restlessly under the editorial boardroom table at the IHSGWOC, overshadow the very real and current and very sinister and entirely corrupting force that is fourth-hand smoke.

What is fourth-hand smoke?

A document which failed to address this query would fail entirely as a press release, or at least one which promises a thorough annotation of such a term, especially given that it’s present in the very title of this document—so here it is.

Well, fourth-hand smoke is the presence in the family home, domicile or dwelling place (this includes motor vehicles some of which retain mobility) of unopened, un-smoked cigarettes contained in a pack, or individual cigarettes bought from less than reputable corner stores that are contained in re-sealable Ziploc bags.

These ‘fourth-hand’ or un-smoked, packaged or un-packaged cigarettes are clearly visible to each and every person living in, or visiting, such a household as described above (and when they aren’t clearly visible, cartons can be tripped over). In the case of human infants, their eyes can focus, albeit briefly, on objects at about 3-4 months of age, and especially objects with an end meant to be lit (often times dangerously off a gas range stove) while the other end is sucked.

Clearly then, and this will become clearer once the smoke has cleared, literally and figuratively, the dangers posed by un-smoked, packaged, or un-packaged, bagged cigarettes are numerous to kids, adults, quasi-adults, man-children and the less than gifted, insofar as they represent a strong temptation to smoke.

There’s more though, as indicated by the lack of a sigil preceding this paragraph which, like all other paragraphs before it, preceded this one: The dangers of ‘fourth-hand smoke’ on family pets, who may at any point, say, if they aren’t properly fed, decide to gnaw on an un-smoked cigarette which is left lying about (what we like to call, ‘future fire starters).

The IHSGWOC is therefore united in three basic principles other than the desire for a more acronym-friendly name:

1. Fourth Hand Smoke is, like that mediocre Harrison Ford vehicle, a ‘clear and present danger’.

2. Fourth Hand Smoke invariably leads to first-hand smoke, second-hand smoke, and then, not surprisingly, third-hand smoke, which is frankly, confusing.

3. Fourth Hand Smoke is just plain bad.


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