Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tobacco smoke in apartment buildings

I live in a small apartment building. When I come home after work, I smell cigarette smoke in my apartment, which I think comes from my downstairs neighbor. How can I get rid of the smell?

Cigarette smoke can come into your apartment from other apartments in many ways. The amount coming in usually depends on the ventilation in your apartment and the building, the weather, and cracks in walls and floors. Once in your apartment, the smell of tobacco smoke can linger, as it can can be absorbed into clothing and furniture.

Other than getting your neighbor to stop smoking inside the building either through persuasion or legal remedies, it will be difficult to prevent the smoke odor from entering your apartment. If you have a forced air ventilation system in your apartment, the odor may be entering your apartment through the vents. If so, the maintenance person for your building may be able to reconfigure your air handling system, which may help reduce or eliminate the odor. Otherwise, you could put an air cleaner (or two) in your apartment. Depending on the type or brand that you use, the air cleaners will remove the small particles from cigarette smoke, but they are not likely to do much (if anything) about the smell. You could also hide the cigarette smell with air fresheners. [For me, this remedy would be less than satisfying, since you would have an additional smell to deal with and since the cigarette smoke would still be getting into your apartment.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I too have a neighbor who smokes and the smoke does come up into my apartment.

Recently I read that one of the by-products of tobacco smoke is carbon monoxide.

So, would it not be "illegal"
for my downstairs neighbor to
poison my apartment with carbon monoxide??????

It would certainly not be legal if one were to pipe CO from one's car into an apartment building.

Hoping for more of your comments.

Thank you. E.H.