Cigarette Smoke Odors From Neighbors

May 6, 2007

CigarettesIs there any "green" way to get rid of cigarette smoke coming out of an air conditioner vent? I live in an upstairs apt. and person below smokes and it comes thru my AC vents and I have serious sensitivity to it. I've sprayed with vinegar, used lemons, but nothing seems to help.


Rhonda from River Ridge, LA


By teresa (Guest Post)
May 7, 20070 found this helpful

try putting a dryer fabric softener sheet in the vent.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 174 Feedbacks
May 7, 20070 found this helpful

First, let's get our terminology clear. Smoke can be seen. An aroma can't be seen. So what your are getting is cigarette aroma, not smoke. If there is an aroma, then all aromas from below will come through, such as cooking aromas and such. Why the lower apartment's out-take vents would connect to your AC vents is a problem with the building's venting system, and can be correcting.

Otherwise, I suggest using Renuzit Super Odor Neutralizer. It works very well. You can find it at Target and many supermarkets. Alternatively, try Zero Odor at . It's pricier, but it leaves no aroma.


Putting anything in the AC may decrease its efficiency and use more electricity, thus higher rent.

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Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 87 Requests
May 8, 20070 found this helpful

I use electric air cleaners that I bought in the grocery store. They cost about $20 but really clean my air. The other thing would be to try to get a filter, like hepa filters and tape it onto your vents. i guess you live in a house apartment and your thermostat is all in one. i am sure they could put another air conditioner unit in for your apartment too.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
May 10, 20070 found this helpful

I lived over a 90 year old chain smoker last year and had to get a room air cleaner to deal with the smoke/smell.

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June 18, 20080 found this helpful

hi, i bought some wonder wafers on ebay, they smell pretty good, they must be new out. give um a try.!!!

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By Lani (Guest Post)
August 9, 20081 found this helpful

I've been having the same problem, with smoke from a downstairs apt. coming thru the A/C vent and into my apt.
The only thing I could figure out to do was to get a portable room A/C and vent it out a sliding glass door in my living room, and not use the building's A/C or you could get a window A/C.


I'm still left with clothing, bedding, carpets and walls that smell. Will try some of the suggestions I've read here.
This has made me incredibly ill and more chemically sensitive to other odors. I pray for people who smoke as I know that part of my own problem is that I used to be a smoker, and now have some COPD (emphysema).

Smoke affects children (as well as adults) in drastic ways: Upper respiratory emergencies (like "croup"), hyperactivity and attention (focusing) problems, irritability and even rage attacks, anxiety, depression, etc., are among but a few of the possible problems.

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By Joan (Guest Post)
August 26, 20080 found this helpful

I live in an apartment upstairs too! It's the worst ever! On a hot day when you close all the windows and turn the air conditioner my whole apartment smells like Ive been chain smoking! It's horrible~ I've been complaining everyday. Management just cocked the inside of the vents to close extra cracks.


And I use a hepa air filter at the same time my air is on. I'm going to try the renuzit, and keep complaining. Maybe they'll lower my rent. I shouldn't have to put up with this!

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October 22, 20172 found this helpful

Im experiencing similar problems and am going to call an outside HVAC rep to look and give suggestions.
Worst comes to worst, if my breathing air is going to be polluted, I can also pollute the polluters air.

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October 22, 20170 found this helpful

Yes. I live at Village at the Lake apartments in Spring Lake, NC. The management SUCKS. I am severely allergic to such things as cigarette smoke. They wont help in this matter regarding a couple of downstairs neighbors smoking too close to the building, causing smoke fumes to get sucked in the outside AC units.


It has affected my breathing in such a bad way. Im getting an outside HVAC rep to take a look and suggest any helpful tips. The management certainly wont even answer an email or phone call. I dont expect any useful help from them.

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January 12, 20183 found this helpful

It is not merely an "aroma." Cigarette stank is DEADLY! Your "suggestions" of trying air freshener is beyond ludicrous!!! Nothing will remove nicotine from any part of a home, inside or outside. Once it's in your home (curtains, walls, furniture, belongings, etc.), it is there to stay. Now, there may be things a person can do to lessen the smell, but... if you are highly sensitive or allergic to the stuff, there is NOTHING you can do to make living in your current home healthier or more enjoyable.


It's: either get the offending smokers to stop smoking & stop having smokers come to their home, or move! That is just the truth. Too many people do not educate themselves about serious illness/disease, but are too quick to come online & give all sorts of troublesome and ineffective (if not harmful) advice. People will do what they do, but... for those of us who deal with this deadly nuisance, it would be nice if others would get the facts before they post!

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June 14, 20182 found this helpful

It needs to be stopped in apartments because it is shared living we need to take it to the MPS to stop this happening. Imagine I have a neighbour who hardly ever opens windows.

Can a solicitor do anything to help

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September 4, 20180 found this helpful

Put a box fan in front of the vent. Its air stream is stronger than drifting smoke and will blow it right back.

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June 29, 20190 found this helpful

Not helpful and the vent sucks the dryer sheet down into the duct system!

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September 5, 20190 found this helpful

It's not nicotine, it's the other 4999 chemicals that are the problem...Nearly 5000 chemicals are longer than most medical names...Highly toxic...And nicotine just happens to be one of those that aren't toxic...

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November 3, 20191 found this helpful

Best idea ever, I keep a box fan on constantly and everything just blows back to wench it came lol cigarette smoke and their pot smoke. Thanks breathing freely now.

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November 8, 20190 found this helpful

THANK-YOU!!!!! What you said is very true I live in a duplex situation next door to three chain smokers who could really give a rats tail about my asthma issues.They also have two small kids living there, and I have to say I feel really bad for them. I've tried to discuss this with one of them and mentioned that they're lungs are still developing, this could become a real problem not to mention it's driving me and my roommate nuts. As far as this bullies concerned I can go you know what's his place he'll do what he wants. My option? Move or deal with it.

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January 10, 20200 found this helpful

I duct taped up both my ceiling vents
Because the smoke above has gotten out of control

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August 17, 20201 found this helpful

Hi. I moved to my current apartment due to smoking issues/very sensitive to it. New neighbors and Pandemic and the smoking, vaping, pot, etc. is really bad in my apartment. I live in a non-smoking complex in a city that has a non-smoking compliance. Been fighting this for a year and a half. Moving doesn't seem to be the answer. I have tried everything but the box fan idea. How close does the box fan have to be to my bathroom fan/vent to blow it back?

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September 20, 20210 found this helpful

I have COPD I was told before I moved in my apartment they were supposed to smoke in them. My next door neighbor started smoking very heavily the winter started coming in my apartment I complain to management. I went to the hospital over it. It's just not the smell of smoke that you're getting it closes off my throat hurts my lungs makes my heart race my sinuses. It's just not an aroma. Physically it's hurting you. I was told I could move. I'm on oxygen 24/7 she knew before I knew that I have problems.

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2 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 6, 2013

I just moved in and it turns out my firebox is cracked and the guy that lives next door is a heavy smoker! He uses his fireplace as a ashtray. I have used candles and sprays and I can't seam to get the smell out. I have called the apt office and they have "fixed" the box. But the smell still is coming through. What do I do?

By Mickey g


April 2, 20220 found this helpful

It is actually called 3rd hand smoking. You might had someone previously living there who smoked. And people cleand or killed over it, but eventually it will bleed through again.
I had not had a HVAC system for 14 years, just got one in February. The naibor next over smoke outside, sometimes skunk. I have to turn air off and open doors to air out. I must the air with plain water
Then I vacum and mop up.

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August 14, 2017

One of the downsides to apartment dwelling, in addition to noise, is that odors from adjoining apartments can find their way into yours. This is a page about smoke odors in my apartment from neighbors.

cigarette smoke

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