Cigarette Smell In One Room Of My House

I am so sad, mad, and annoyed right now.  I remember the day it started, exactly 3 months ago to yesterday.  I began smelling cigarette smoke in my room only. No one in my home smokes.  We do live in a 4 unit condo.  But every person has been here for the same 2.5 years since the units were built and no one smokes.  Over the past month I have asked EVERYONE if they started smoking.  The lady in the unit below me smells it too, but only in her livingroom. 

In any case, it is in the room all day, but it is strongest through the night.  My husband doesn't smell it, but my mother walks in our room and she does.  I had an HVAC company come out.  One guy smelled like he just had a cigarette so I see why he couldn't smell it.  But a second guy and an employee of our builder couldn't smell it either.  I admit it was faint at the time because it really pops at night all the way through the morning.  Once we start coming in and out of the room through the day it fades.

I believe it is specifically coming through the one vent in our room because I can't smell it in our closet or bathroom which are in the room.  But of course because the HVAC people couldn't smell it, I don't believe they were thorough. I am going to call another company because it worries me that I am sleeping in this smell and scares me that it may never go away.  It is a real source of anxiety for me.

laylamasi laylamasi
6 Responses Dec 10, 2009

We are dealing with the same problem. As I sit here typing I feel as if Im sitting next to someone smoking a cigarette. We live in a house and my initial concern was that it could be something smoking inside the wall.

We think we figured it out. Our neighbors are chain smokers, opposite as well as 2 doors down. Either we have a hole/gap in the house which is letting outside smells in or our air conditioner is sucking in the outside air (which it shouldn't be doing) and blasting it into the house.

I know it's not the neighbors' fault but it makes me mad that their smoking is infecting my house and not only causing furniture etc to reek of it but also potentially our health. And I wondered why I had been coughing like crazy lately! I guess the advantage is that without the smoke we would not know there's a problem with either the air conditioner or house not completely sealed.

We have a professional coming over to do an energy audit. It costs $99 but worth it as they will tell you the source and any other problems in your house.

I am having the same problem just as you said. It is faint sometimes but stronger at night. My wife cant smell it, but I can. No one in my house smokes and the house is only nine years old. We are the only ones who has lived in it right after it was built. I hope what ever this is, that it is not poisonous. I have been thinking it might be the drywall or mildew problem, but I don't know.

I have a similar problem in my highrise apartment which is located between 2 corner apartments. My neighbours to the left do not smoke and the ones on the other apartment I'm not so sure about because most of the cigarette smell is in a small storage closet next to the bathroom and that backs on to their apartmentWhen i asked the maintenance dept. to check the ventilation system I was told that there is nothing wrong with it and then a maintenance person came to check on the smell. Guess what? He couldn't smell anything because he smokes!! Some service in a place that calls itself high-class. Luckily, another maintenance man was nearby and he checked the smelly closet and yes, he agreed with me. I guess I'm lucky inasmuch as the linen closet is only 3 feet away from the storage closet and there is no smell. Today I put duct tape along the floor boards of the storage closet and hope that will be of some help.<br />
However, the smell is also in my living room (also starting always in the late afternoon when the neighbors come home) and it's so bad that I suffer from an almost constant sore throat and itchy eyes. Aside from having an air cleaner plugged in (not very efficient and costly on the hydro bill) and perhaps using an air freshener numerous times a day, what is one supposed to do? Call the local health department?

I noticed on another forum that one person said it happens when he is near a computer. Having just recently started smelling smoke again, every day, when there is definitely none around, I began to think about the computer link. Guess what?!!! I have narrowed the episodes down to the times that I am using a computer! My lap top at home, the desk top at work... any computer. No smelling of smoke when I am not using computers. No idea what this means, but it sure is interesting!!!!!!!!!

i am a smoker but that is kinda strange that you only smell it in the one room , like was sead above i would definitly look up the floor plans and find out where it is going.

Thanks Brimi and mrmeauggie for your comments. A good suggestion to take a look at my connecting duct and adjoining vents. I will look though my things because I didn't realize I may have that.<br />
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I definitely could be wrong but I do feel relatively confident that no one is smoking because I know my neighbors pretty well. Aside from the fact that I talk to them regularly and can pick up on smoke like I am a detector. The lady beneath me smells it and is bothered. The two tenants to the left are rarely here. One has a primary home elsewhere and one runs a business that keeps him away. But I did ask if they smoke or smell anything and they both said no. They could be lying but I find it curious that this smell would persist every single day for 3 months and in only one room. But never in the 2 years before. But the duct plans may show me connections to them that I can pursue more.<br />
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Well my first thought was HVAC because I am fairly certain it is coming from the vent. Is there another professional that works on that? After they left I realized that they didn't even look up the vent in the room. As well they said they would follow up in a day or so to use a meter to read the air for strange gases and/or use some type of deodorizer that could clean the system. Nice guy but I didn't hear back, which is why I am a bit disappointed. I did contact him and he didn't seem very motivated and I think it is simply because he doesn't believe I am smelling cigarette smoke that none of them could smell. But that is just me guessing.<br />
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Growing up I had asthma in the worse way. Cigarette smoke among many things was my enemy. I am determined because smelling cigarette smoke regularly is one of my worse nightmares.<br />
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Thanks for even reading.

Did you ever find cause? I've recently started smelling cigarette smoke in my home. I live alone, neighbor's house not close. Happens any time... 3 in morning or noon. Strong enough to make eyes burn & lungs hurt. Almost like I'm in a casino. Have lived here 50 years. Started few weeks ago.

Oh my, I never found the cause. Tore into the walls and spent a lot of money trying though. I got pregnant and didn't feel safe so we sold our home and moved. Not happy that we had to do that but my situation went on for 2 years. I was feeling bad and although my husband couldn't smell it he had a hard time breathing. He got better when we moved and I felt better as well. Sorry i don't have an answer for you.

Very happy you were able to move! Thanks for response. Take care.