House Smells Like Cigarette Smoke But We Don’t Smoke: Causes and Cures!

House smells like cigarette smoke but we don't smoke

How many times have you come home after a long day of work only to find out that your house smelled like cigarette smoke? It happens more often than not, we know. One of the most common queries among concerned parents and spouses is why does our house smells like cigarette smoke but we don’t smoke?

Cigarette smoke can be quite frustrating, and cause you great discomfort. Irrespective of whether you quit smoking years ago, or whether you’re just someone who cannot tolerate the smoke, it is important to get rid of the smell from your homes. 

And to do that, you need to identify why your house smells like cigarette smoke but we don’t smoke! 

Why Does My House Smell Like Cigarette Smoke But We Don’t Smoke? 

There are so many explanations behind the cigarette smoke you smell in your house. Of course, some are more obvious than others. But we need to get to the root cause of these issues to figure out to get rid of that smell! 

It could be that someone in your house is secretly smoking, or used to smoke. But it could also be that the cigarette smell has nothing to do with actual cigarettes at all! Sometimes, this smell could be a result of old furniture or old water heaters. It could also be a few chemicals in the air that might be reacting to cause that smell! 

Before we look for a solution, let’s look at the possible causes for it first. 

Possible Causes for Why House Smells Like Cigarette Smoke but We Don’t Smoke:

  • Someone Secretly Smokes In Your House

One of the major reasons why the house smells like cigarette smoke but we don’t smoke is pretty obvious. It may be possible that someone in your house is secretly smoking while you’re out. This could explain the residual smell since cigarette smell does not go away so easily. 

And it’s not just someone from your family, it could be anyone! Perhaps your maid or cook is secretly smoking or could be your babysitter. It is also possible that your kids have picked up the habit. It is important to identify who that person is and talk to them about what bothers you. 

  • You Have A Neighbour Who Smokes

Another possible reason behind that persistent cigarette smoke smell could be that you’re around someone who smokes a lot. Keep in mind that cigarette smoke can quickly dilute in the air and then spread across neighboring territories. 

While you may not actively see any smoke in your home, the chemicals that cause the smell may still be in the air. It could also be the case that someone is frequently smoking outside your window or balcony, or near them. The smoke would then settle on your furniture and carpets and cause that smell. 

  • You Used To Be A Smoker

Often, when we would open the filing cabinet, there would be a very strong cigarette smoke smell that would linger inside. And it has been years since anyone in the house had smoked at all! 

If you used to be a regular smoker and quit a few years ago, that explains everything! And even if that was many many years ago, it is very much possible that the smell will linger for a long time. This would answer why your room smells like smoke, or your house smells like cigarettes! 

  • Old Occupants Of Your House Were Smokers

That brings us to our next point. Since cigarette smoke can linger in the air for a long time, it often settles on things surrounding the air. This could mean furniture, walls, carpets, and hard surfaces like doors and tiles.

If that’s the case, you will need to thoroughly deep cleanse your home to get rid of the smell. 

  • Old Air Filters

When it comes to dusty old air filters, they can lead to a funky smell that is very similar to that of cigarettes. It is also possible that your air ducts have been in use for many years and require dire cleaning. 

Remember that if you were previously a smoker, or live in an apartment with previous smokers, there’s a strong chance that the air filters in your home still hold residual nicotine and tobacco. When you run your ac and air purifiers, these residues cause the smell! 

  • Damages Water Heater Or Furnace System 

Another possible explanation for the cigarette-like smell in your house could be old or leaking furnace systems. If you use a gas-operated water heater, you know that it needs regular maintenance. 

But did you know that if your water heaters and furnace systems are not maintained regularly, it could lead to potentially harmful results? Improper care could cause insufficient functioning and burning of fuels, which would then leak dangerous vapors into the air. These vapors are very likely to smell exactly like cigarette smoke, especially since they will contain some of the same pyrolytic chemicals as a burning cigarette (yikes!). 

  • There Are Some Much-Needed House Repairs 

Did you know that most times if your house smells like cigarettes, it may be because your house has mold? Well, not the scary black mold per se. But even the smallest traces of mold or fungus originating from water damage can cause a very strong odor!

In that case, check to see that your walls do not have any mold. You can even call in your contractor for a thorough sweep of the house. 

  • Health Conditions And Reasons

Finally, it is possible that the reason your house smells like cigarette smoke but we don’t smoke could be due to a number of health reasons. Firstly, it could be a sinus infection that could be tricking your brain into perceiving certain smells.

More importantly, if this persists, it could also be a chance of a brain tumor that might be causing delusions and a false sense of smell. But remember that this is a very case and there is no immediate need to worry! It could also be a condition called Phantosmia (an olfactory illusion), which could lead you to smell odors that aren’t even present. 

In any case, if you notice your room smells like smoke despite having no apparent reason, you should probably consult a doctor. 

How to Remove Cigarette Smoke Frome Your House?

Now, you have probably identified one or more reasons behind why your house smells like cigarette smoke. It’s time we got rid of that smell! 

  1. Identify The Cause

This goes without saying. Identify the real reason your house smells like cigarettes! 

If it’s a family member, speak to them. Tell them that the smell bothers you. If they’re trying to quit and relapsing, assure them that you’re there to help them overcome it.

If it’s a babysitter, inform them that you do not like someone smoking in their house. 

  1. Start By Throwing Things Away That Smell Of Smoke

If you feel that the smell might be coming from previous smokers or old fumes, start by cleaning your furniture. In most cases, your old chairs or wooden drawers will reek the most of cigarette smoke. 

Using a solution of hot water and vinegar, scrub all the surfaces using a sponge. Go over everything twice, or until the smell has faded. If you have furniture like fabric sofas, chairs, bean bags, or beds that reek of odor, get them dry-cleaned. 

Clean Ceilings
  1. Clean Your Ceilings, Carpets, And Walls

Next, let’s move to our major surfaces in the house. If your walls had wallpaper, or if your floors had carpet when you used to smoke, that may be where the smell is coming from. 

Paper and fabrics often hold on to any residue from the air around them. And it can be hard to clean these properly. If the smell is faint, simple cleaning solutions might do the trick. But if it’s unbearable, you may want to consider changing your wallpaper and dry cleaning your carpet. 

  1. Clean All The Hard Surfaces

By hard surfaces, we mean your tabletop counters, tiles, doors, windows, and any other furniture surfaces. These are often neglected but may catch on to smoke fumes over the years. 

Using a cleaning solution or a homemade DIY solution will get rid of most of the smell. If not, consider deep-cleansing the room. 

  1. Inspect And Clean All Air Ducts

Air ducts play an essential part in supplying clean air throughout the house. But we often neglect them a lot! 

Air ducts can hold on to years of debris and residue. It is therefore important to clean them yourselves or ask for professional help. Cleaned-out air ducts may not only eliminate cigarette smell, but they will also be kind to your sinuses and allergies. 

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  1. Invest In New Air Filters and Humidifiers

Considering new air filters can make such a difference to the overall quality of the air in and around your house! Not only will they minimize any cigarette smoke smell you may be experiencing, but they will also ensure an overall healthy environment. 

Humidifiers work on the humidity levels and air purity and ensure that the air quality is sufficiently improved in general. This may help with the sinus infections caused by the foul odor of cigarettes. 

  1. Consider Seeking Professional Help

Finally, if you’re unable to identify the cause of the cigarette smell, or cannot get rid of that smell, you can always consider seeking professional help. Contractors and professional cleaning services are a better fit to help you identify and get rid of the cigarette stink. Your home will also feel a lot better once you’ve properly cleaned and rid it of years of chemical residue!

Things to Keep In Mind:

Keep in mind that it is important to deal with the cigarette smoke smell in your house, especially if you’re a non-smoker! Third-hand smoke residue can be extremely detrimental to your health over time. And the more you let the pyrolytic chemical residue hang around, the more intense it gets. 

According to George Matt, the director, and researcher at Third-Hand Smoke Research Center, third-hand smoke from a burned cigarette can be extremely harmful to you and your family. He believes that cigarette smoke residue can intensify over time. While we do not pay any attention to our couches or sofas, years of smoking can make the residue on them to be 50 times higher than sofas around people who are active smokers! 

If you ever feel like the cigarette-like odor in your house can be very intense or uncomfortable, trust your gut and look for solutions. Clean your rooms, strip your wallpapers, change your furniture. Whatever it takes to ensure the safety of your family! 

But also remember to first identify what is causing the smell before you panic and go around replacing your furniture!

Final Thoughts

Remember, irrespective of what the cause may be as to why your house smells like cigarette smoke but we don’t smoke, it’s important to deal with it. Sometimes, a simple wash may help while other times you may need to properly deep cleanse your room.

While most people like to cover up the odor using room fresheners and incense sticks, we feel like that’s just a temporary solution. A better approach would be to get to the root of the cigarette smoke smell and properly get rid of it!