Ugh, there’s nothing like walking into a room and getting a whiffing of the smell of cigarettes.
Smoke odors make houses, cars, or RVs smell dirty. And even many smokers don’t like the reminder of their habits. Or of their past discretions if they finally kicked the addiction.
Join us as we discover some tricks to eliminate cigarette smells in living spaces.
Let’s check it out!
What Causes Cigarette Smell?
The scent of cigarettes has a way of lingering in places. It’s not pleasant in your living room, truck cab, or anywhere you spend time.
Cigarettes contain hundreds of toxins, not just the addictive nicotine in tobacco. When someone smokes, they’re essentially releasing pollutants into the air. The toxins combine with the smoke, creating a “coating” effect.
The process isn’t unlike fog in the air. You know moisture is present, but you can’t always see it. Slowly, over time, everything becomes damp from the water. Similarly, the residue of smoking sticks to everything, including you.
And opening a window or setting up a fan won’t get rid of the smell of cigarettes.
Is Thirdhand Smoke Harmful?
You’re likely aware of the concept of secondhand smoke. What you may not be familiar with is the lesser-known thirdhand smoke. It’s the unfortunate gift that keeps on giving.
Firsthand smoke is what the cigarette user inhales while smoking. What everyone else around the smoker breathes in is secondhand smoke. Yuck.
Thirdhand smoke consists of the pollutants from the burning cigarette that ends up sticking to everything. Those residual chemicals build up over time. Some settle like dust, while others embed into materials. Airing out a space and regular cleaning won’t help much, if at all.
Thirdhand smoke is a potential health hazard, especially for young children and babies. People encounter it when they touch contaminated surfaces. Anything that disturbs the smoke-infused surface can release the chemicals.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is well-documented. It causes many health problems, including respiratory issues, heart disease, and cancer.
However, contact with thirdhand smoke isn’t as well-studied. But research does indicate that indoor smoking raises the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.
The best way to avoid thirdhand smoke is not to allow smoking anywhere indoors or in enclosed areas like a car.
Why Do You Smell Cigarette Smoke in Your Living Area if Nobody Smokes?
Sometimes just walking through a designated smoking area will leave your clothes smelling like cigarettes. But what if you still sense the unpleasant aroma without anyone around actually smoking?
Phantosmia could be the reason you think you smell cigarette odors. The condition is like your nose having a hallucination. You might smell something that isn’t actually there.
Some people sense different aromas, though not all the time. Cigarette smells and chemicals are common olfactory malfunctions. It’s not always unwelcome scents people think they’re smelling. Sometimes it could be sweet odors too.
Generally, the condition has something to do with your nose or sinuses rather than your brain. Common problems like allergies and infections could be the problem. You could also suffer from poor air quality or previous exposure to smoke.
If you’re concerned you are smelling things you shouldn’t, consulting a doctor may ease your mind. Cleaning an area may also help to eliminate exposure to adverse smells.
How To Prevent Cigarette Smell in Your Living Area
We could suggest you not smoke cigarettes indoors if you want to prevent the smell. But we’ll refrain, sort of. However, we do recommend not allowing the nasty odor to permeate your home.
One way to not have cigarettes stink up your living space is to create a designated smoking area outside. Ideally, this location isn’t near doors or windows leading into your home. And properly disposing of the butts in a trash can helps as well.
Another suggestion is to replace your home’s air filters regularly. Using an air purifier can also help keep your space free of unwanted odors.
Washing your hands and face immediately after smoking or exposure to it can help prevent you from carrying the scent elsewhere. Showering will help even more, especially since the cigarette smell sticks to hair too.
Ways To Get Rid of Lingering Cigarette Smell
Getting rid of lasting cigarette smells inside requires a little elbow grease. Wipe down all hard surfaces. This includes your kitchen cabinets, walls, floors, doors, and even the ceilings if you can.
Make sure you use the right product for the surface. This not only prevents damage but also increases the effectiveness of your work.
As best as you can, wash all soft surfaces. Cushions, curtains, and furniture need a thorough cleaning. Steam cleaning can be a great option for items you can’t put in a washing machine.
And don’t forget your carpets. Vacuuming isn’t enough; they need to be thoroughly cleaned. If you have a small area rug, a vinegar and baking soda mixture can effectively absorb the cigarette smell. This same solution can help in cleaning window shades and fixtures.
If you feel you’re not up to the job or that it’s just too big, hire a professional. At a minimum, a cleaning service can shampoo your carpets and furniture. It may be a drastic move, but throwing away old items or even ripping up the carpet, might be the solution.
What Not To Do To Get Rid of Cigarette Smell
We all want a go-to method to get rid of nasty odors. For cigarette smell, air fresheners don’t work. And while burning scented candles may be lovely, they won’t eliminate the odor either. These temporary measures only mask the nasty aroma. They won’t remove them permanently.
Some people open doors to blow their smoke outside. Others crack the windows in their vehicles, thinking the offending scent will simply leave the car. These actions may dilute an odor, but it doesn’t remove it.
We’d all love a quick fix to eliminate those pesky cigarette smells. While these seem easy enough, they don’t really do the trick.
The #1 Tip To Eliminate the Cigarette Smell for Good
To truly get rid of cigarette smells completely, you must remove the actual source of the odor. The best way to do this is to stop smoking. We know, easier said than done.
If you’re ready to kick the nicotine habit, setting yourself up for success is a big step toward accomplishing your goal.
Motivation isn’t constant. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t motivated 100% of the time. For every little success you have, let that build your confidence. Focus on the positive rather than the negative
Many smokers turn to cigarettes when they’re stressed out. What else can you do to manage these emotions so as not to sabotage yourself? Quit with a buddy or find a support group so you aren’t going it alone.
Consult your physician. There are medically safe ways to cut your cigarette cravings. Your doctor can also reflect on the different ways other people experienced success in breaking their habit.
We understand quitting smoking isn’t easy. But in the long run, it’ll get rid of those nasty odors and is better for everyone’s overall health, especially your own.
Deep Cleaning Can Remove Persistent Odors
Lingering cigarette smells in your home, vehicle, or RV are unpleasant. Now we know they may be unhealthy as well.
However, you can eliminate those awful odors with simple yet aggressive techniques. In the long run, the best way to keep things smelling fresh is not to smoke indoors or at all.
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