Health & Medical Mental Health

How to Check for Cigarette Smoke Exposure

    • 1). Hug the person you're checking and smell his or her hair. Cigarette smoke clings to hair and leaves a distinct, stale odor.

    • 2). Smell the clothes the person was wearing when he or she was potentially exposed. Close encounters with cigarettes leave a scent on the clothing.

    • 3). Monitor minor illnesses. People exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to cough, have lung infections and have middle ear problems. (REF 1)

    • 4). Keep an eye on the company the person is keeping. If he or she spends time around people who smoke or people who have the signs of smoking such as nicotine-stained fingers or lighters around, chances are he or she has been exposed to cigarette smoke.

    • 5). Consider the locations the person visits. Someone who spends time at malls, schools and parks has a significantly lower chance of being exposed to cigarette smoke than a person who frequently attends private parties or bars in states that allow smoking indoors.

    • 6). See a doctor and request tests for lung capacity. Ask the doctor to listen to the breathing of the person you're checking. Regular exposure to cigarettes can damage respiratory systems and a doctor will be able to tell whether the person has been exposed. There are no specific treatments to check for a person's exposure to tobacco smoke -- though, according to CBS News, researchers in Massachusetts were working on a test as of April 2011 -- but other signs and symptoms can help you know whether someone has been exposed regularly with damaging effects. (REF 2)

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