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Why Do I Smell Smoke?

I smell cigarette smoke all the time. I am not a smoker, nor is anyone in my family. I smell the smoke at home, in my car, and in my classrooms. This has been going on for about 5 months. I am 54 years old, my meds have not changed, nor has anything else that I can think of. Does anyone know why this may be happening?

Brownbriar Brownbriar 51-55, F 15 Responses Sep 18, 2009

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Where there's Smoke (Smells) there is fire...Is MTHFR your prob?

The phantom smells are a canary in a coal mine. That's all well and good if you know what it means when that canary buys the farm.

You might want to get tested for the MTHFR (methylene tetra-hydrofolate reductase) gene mutation. If you have one or more copies, it is easily correctable with the active form of folic acid called methyl-folate and the active form of cobalamin called methyl-cobalamin. Be sure to AVOID the inactive forms called simply folic acid and cobalamin or you will make your condition worse...even if it's just in processed foods. They can cause serious problems and even behavioral problems like irritability/anxiety, etc, and serious digestive issues when you eat too much of them and you have these mutations.

There is a whole list of associated conditions including stroke/heart attacks/Deep Vein Thrombosis, IBS, Crohn's & other digestive disorders, hormone dysregulation/miscarriages, MS, cancer, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, CFS, FM, etc. These conditions are completely avoidable with a simple methylated B vitamin and a change in diet (avoid supplemented folic acid in food like the plague).

You can read about the mutation in a really well written blog post by googling "Holy MTHFR". The blog is not all about MTHFR mutations but the blogger takes a complicated condition and puts it into simple terms. Then you can read more convoluted, technical stuff online (mthfr.net and dramyyasko.com and heartfixer.com). There is also an mthfr support account on Facebook too, where doctors familiar with it will answer your questions. I see a doctor in Texas City, Texas, an MD who happens to be schooled in nutrition related disease. (most doctors are not, sadly. Dr. Ben Lynch has a Find a Doctor feature on his website though, if your doctor is not educated on this mutation and how to treat it: mthfr.net)

I've used Cerefolin NAC for a year now (methyl-folate, methyl-cobalamin and NAC combo) and the smoke smell only comes back if I stop using it for more than a couple of weeks. I am homozygous so it's a critical thing for me to take it life long. [I learned recently that the preservatives/additives in this form are a trial for my body so I am moving to Dr. Lynch's additive free methyl Bs.)

Oh and the migraines have stopped since I started taking 500 mg of magnesium citrate (has to be citrate or a chelated form of Mag) combined with 500 mg calcium citrate and a combo of vitamin D3/K2 5000 IUs/1100 mcgs before bed. Be sure to use the citrate form since the oxide form is not nearly as bioavailable...i.e. a waste of money. (**NOTE: This combo is important NOT only because they have to have each other to work properly but because taking calcium without mag and vit K can contribute to plaque development in your arteries. So if you lower the amt of Mag because your bowels loosen too much in this combo, be SURE to lower Calc to the same level to avoid plaque buildup. This is hyper-critical since those with these mutations already are MUCH more susceptible to heart attacks/strokes/DVT whether you are currently showing signs or not.)

In addition to the night Mag combo, I added 500 mg mag citrate alone to my morning routine which also seems to be helping reduce the number of migraines/headaches too. In any event, there seems to be some kind of connection with an increased demand for Mag for those of us with this mutation. [A couple of times I have used about 8 oz of pomegranate juice too, a vasodilator, when the magnesium combo just wasn’t enough and had headaches ease off altogether.]

**You can buy these active B vitamins without a prescription at Vitamin Shoppe for about the same as what you spend for a 3 month mail order supply through an online pharmacy like Brand Direct for one of the 'medical foods' that combine them into one pill, but you need a prescription for them. (i.e. Deplin, Metanx, Cerefolin NAC---each of these varies in type and amt of active B vitamins and are listed here in increasing amts of methyl-folate/methyl-cobalamin formulations) You may have to try one and move to another if it isn't enough to address your condition. Just google the contents of each to see the amount of each methylated vitamin in them if you are going to try to match them at Vitamin Shoppe separately. (again, if you are homozygous, consider using forms that have NO additives like Dr. Lynch's or Yasko's)

Heterzygous---or a person with 1 gene mutation copy--- needs less methylated B vitamins usually than those who are homozygous---or have 2 gene mutation copies. You don't have to be tested to try them but doing so will make it much easier to treat and to know exactly how much you need so you don't waste money.

1 mutation means you are about 70% efficient at activating your Bs while 2 mutations means your about 10% or less efficient. That is a serious difference and means you are MUCH more susceptible at an earlier age to the disease states associated with this mutation if you are homozygous. However, they are beginning to understand that heterozygous has its own signficant challenges so don’t discount your need for methylated Bs if heterozygous.

Just a thought...the longer you wait, the more likely you are to develop the related and completely avoidable diseases with simple active (methylated) vitamins. Be proactive...don't wait until you come down with one of these serious diseases because treating it at that point is much harder.

Has anyone actually advised you to see your doctor? I have the same problem and it was determined that sinus sufferers smell smoke all the time when there is no smoke around or anybody smoking within a reasonable distance. There are a lot of links on the internet that attempt to explain the reasons behind the smelling of phantom smoke. Forget the blabber and go do some research. Good Luck

I have NEVER smoked a single puff, did not grow up in a smoking household, no smoker friends...and I began smelling smoke about 6 months ago. Noticed it after citrus fruits and chocolate the smell started...gave up both and no more smoke.

Giving up citrus fruits and chocolate have eliminated the smoke smell.

I experience the same cigarette smoke smell. When I began really paying attention, I noted that I had indigestion from eating just a few certain foods. All citrus fruits and chocolate cause the smell almost immediately. Try giving these up even for a day and see if it helps.

The same thing is happening to me. It started not long after my husband and a bunch of friends died within a short period of time, so I thought is was some kind of memory kick back or something but now it's two years later and it is still happening. It comes and goes. Maybe a sinus issue or something? Maybe it's part of our aging process..lol.

I also have notice the smell of smoke all the time. I thought it was my husbands clothes, or maybe the people at work who go outside to smoke and return with it in their clothes. I later cleaned the fire place to make sure no ashes were floating in the air. Statement #1 was found during my research regarding this matter.<br />
Statement #2 also makes a lot of sense.<br />
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Statement #1:<br />
Without examination it is very difficult to confirm a diagnosis, but the symptoms are suggestive of allergies to smoke or air borne allergies.Other possibilities may be recent sinusitis,nasopharyngeal problems, olfactory hallucination {(phantosmia) you detect smells that are not really present in your environment} and disorders in the smell perception centres. In my opinion,a consultation of an ENT specialist or an allergist will be the best.People who are allergic to smoke can smell it even if a little smoke is present in their surroundings..<br />
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Statement #1: Computers and laptops.<br />
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I don't know what the reason, it could be something big brother (factory related) is more aware of than common people.<br />
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Far too many people are suffering with this issue, therefore, I suspect there is a bigger picture or perhaps a combinations of all of the above.

FOR 3 YEARS. After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES! I smelled smoke for 3 years. At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman. So I discounted it. Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires. Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear? Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again. So off to specialists I go. In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything! I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec). I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same". Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke. After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back. In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes. After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell. After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away. I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day. DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff. Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet. However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting! I hope this info helps someone. I would try each med until I found the one that worked. I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic. Give it a shot! I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!

Since October, 2013 I've been smelling cigarette smoke and it's been driving me CRAZY! My doctor gave me a prescription for amoxicillin it didn't work. Then he gave me a prescription for Z PAC and still smelling smoke. I took the Allegra as you stated and the first day the smoke smell started to fade. I'm so excited and hopeful the this is a cure! I'll be taking my second pill in the a.m. Will post my results.
Hopeful

Let me know how it turns out. I received some further info regarding the reason why the Allegra worked for me. Allergy or fungus? My ENT said that some bacteria are resistent to antibiotics. The this bacteria may be more like a fungus and needs a moist place to hide (our sinuses). The Allegra has a side effect that changes the environment of the sinuses and therefore prevent the bacteria/fungus to thrive. He also said that this could be a seasonal problem for me. The Allegra is still working for me. The smells did start to return during the changing of the seasons. Once the slight smokey smells start, I take a tablet. Dr. says that it may eventually go away, but that depends on whether the Allegra is keeping the problem at bay or slowly killing it off. I don't want to be on Allegra all year long or even longer than needed in fear of what prolonged use may cause. For now, I find my situation - manageable. Good luck! - I went all the way with my problem, even thinking it was a brain tumor, hence the MRI's. Hopefully this solves your problem as it has mine.

After second dose of Allegra smoke smell gone! YAY!! Thank you so much for the suggestion!! But just like you, don't want to have to take it forever. Caught Allegra on sale at CVS pharmacy 5 tablets for $1.74 regular price $6.99 but limited time offer. I also experience the burning eye sensation. I will keep you posted. Thanks again, have a great day!

I hear this can be caused from a tumor in our heads. Worth checking out guys. I've about HAD IT with this smell!

I too stopped smoking and I smell smoke too. At least I think it is smoke but it doesn't exactly smell like cigarette smoke though. That smell is different. Anyway, it cleared up after about a month and then I was standing in Big Lots the other day and it just started again. It was so weird. Then today I had a Cinnamon Dulce Creme Frapacino from Starbucks and I also tried putting Vick's under my nose. Now I smell the cinnamon dulce and smoke combined. Very weird. All of my clothes have been washed and I wasn't even standing next to anyone in the isle when this smelling smoke thing hit. It is very frustrating and annoying. I have even tried using a Vick's inhaler but that doesn't help. I'm wondering if it is a side effect from Chantix because that is what I used to stop smoking. But no one else I know has complained of this that used Chantix to quit smoking.

OMG!! I understand what you mean I stopped smoking for more than 4 years and now I smell cigarettes smoke all over me, I just hate it, why is this happennig < well I would love to knoe can someone explain.

I believe I have found the cause of this smoke. I too had this annoying smell like someone poured an ashtray up my sinus. I don't smoke and I'm not around smokers. I tried the Sinus rinse you buy in the Pharmacy. This helped somewhat. I work around a desktop and then my notebook when I come home. I noticied the smell becoming noticable when near my computer. Particulary my notebook as I smell it as I'm typing this. <br />
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If you are around computers get away from them for a day (if you can) and see if this doesn't help you. EVERYONE uses computers. I have read about this problem on many forums and blogs. There are MANY who suffer from this. If this helps you, please pass it on other forums.

I have read that some people believe computers cause it. I think indigestion is worse when we are seated/reclined. We are physically still and more aware when we are seated at a computer. I went weeks without smelling it and then I ate a clementine and some chocolate. Noticed it a lot during Christmas time; I ate a couple dozen clementines and of course, chocolate. Stopped eating citrus fruits and chocolate...no smoke.

I believe I have found the cause of this smoke. I too had this annoying smell like someone poured an ashtray up my sinus. I don't smoke and I'm not around smokers. I tried the Sinus rinse you buy in the Pharmacy. This helped somewhat. I work around a desktop and then my notebook when I come home. I noticied the smell becoming noticable when near my computer. Particulary my notebook as I smell it as I'm typing this. <br />
<br />
If you are around computers get away from them for a day (if you can) and see if this doesn't help you. EVERYONE uses computers. I have read about this problem on many forums and blogs. There are MANY who suffer from this. If this helps you, please pass it on other forums.

I believe I have found the cause of this smoke. I too had this annoying smell like someone poured an ashtray up my sinus. I don't smoke and I'm not around smokers. I tried the Sinus rinse you buy in the Pharmacy. This helped somewhat. I work around a desktop and then my notebook when I come home. I noticied the smell becoming noticable when near my computer. Particulary my notebook as I smell it as I'm typing this. <br />
<br />
If you are around computers get away from them for a day (if you can) and see if this doesn't help you. EVERYONE uses computers. I have read about this problem on many forums and blogs. There are MANY who suffer from this. If this helps you, please pass it on other forums.

My mom and I do as well, Its weird she has been smelling cigarette smoke for a long time, I have quit smoking a few montha ago she thoght that i was smoking in her house. Now that I quit I smell it twoo it drives me nuts