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Living with a smoker... is there anything that can be done about the smell?

(17 Posts)
GrumpyOldWomanToo Wed 26-Sep-12 04:10:09

Mr. Grumpy and I have been together for 36 years, and he has always smoked. Lately, I have become very conscious of the smell in the house. At one time, almost all men smoked, Mr. G. smoked when we met, and telling him "choose fags or me" is not a realistic option.

My sister, who is bloody rude blunt to a fault only visits us once a year, despite living in the same town. She says that the house smells of tobacco so badly she has to get all her clothes cleaned/washed after spending a couple of hours with us. We almost never have any other visitors... to be honest, I am reluctant to invite anyone. It's embarassing.

Yesterday, after being away for a couple of days, I almost choked on the smell of smoke when I opened the door. Is there anything that can be done about the smell of smoke on clothes, curtains, carpets, furniture? Anything??

ArthurShappey Wed 26-Sep-12 07:34:27

I'm not a smoker and have never lived with anyone, therefore when I have to sit near a smoker or enter a smoker's house it's all I can smell and like your sister I hate it.

All I can recommend is insisting your DH smokes outside. You give all soft furnishings a thorough wash and maybe even replace the worst offenders (sofa, rugs, carpets) or get them professionally cleaned.

Then a full deep clean (wash your walls and ceilings).

Air the house (but obviously not when your DH is outside smoking) as often as possible.

sad HTH... But until your DH starts smoking outside it's not going to go away.

WaitingForMe Wed 26-Sep-12 07:39:27

My former inlaws smoked and their house smelt pretty grim. What helped a bit was:
- leather instead of fabric sofas
- blinds instead of curtains
- MIL using shake 'n' vac every time she hoovered (daily)

But we had to wash everything after staying the night. Even stuff that never left our suitcase in a room that was never smoked in.

DoIDare Wed 26-Sep-12 07:40:53

Such a shame when one persons hobby/addiction dominates so much.

The health implications, the cost, the smell grim.

I say this as someone married to a smoker. My husband tried to give up, using champix and it caused such major mental health issues he is still smoking and I don't want him to stop until fully recovered from those. I know not related. But this drug is so awful I feel the need to warn people.

However, he does only smoke outside. Would your grump compromise?

tryingtocookacurry Wed 26-Sep-12 07:47:18

DoIdare - I tried to give up smoking last year with Champix and have never experienced such awful depression and anxiety related issues in my life. I put it down to the stress of giving up smoking and my partner going through a redundancy scare but now you have made me really think that it might have been related to the Champix.

QuickLookBusy Wed 26-Sep-12 07:56:10

My dh used to smoke. I thanked my MIL everyday that she insisted he smoked outside when he still lived at home. He didn't actually like smoking inside.

I would ask your dh to smoke outside. It's only fair I think that he doesn't affect your health. Passive smoking is not good.

My dh gave up about 8 years ago. He collapsed with pneumonia and everyone thought he'd had a heart attack. The shock of that meant he never touched another cigarette. He did start to eat a lot of ice cream thoughhmm

Shodan Wed 26-Sep-12 08:00:12

I think the only thing that clears the smell is all windows wide open and all fabrics washed, tbh.

I don't suppose he'd consider using an e-cig indoors? My brother has one and has 'no angst' (his words) going from 60-70 fags a day to just this e-cig. In fact I am in the process of giing it a go myself and they are really very good. The ones DB uses have 'flavours' as well- B & H; Golden Virginia etc. You get the 'hit' of a pull on a ciggie and also 'smoke' to blow out.

I don't want to be Mrs Evangelical but I'm surprised at how good they are. Might be worth suggesting anyway.

PigletJohn Wed 26-Sep-12 08:17:16

Not much help at this time of year, but if you have a garden, on a nice day you could invite your sister for "tea in the garden" with perhaps cake or sandwich. Or the patio, or a barbie.

Lots of open windows will help but a non-smoker can always smell a smoking house and few will like it.

Giving up is hard and it won't work unless the smoker really wants to.

dreamingofsun Wed 26-Sep-12 08:34:06

get him to smoke outside, its the only thing that works. My MIL smokes heavily and i started dreading her visits. initially we asked her to smoke in their bedroom, but it took at least a week of leaving windows open for the smell to go.

she now smokes outside at her house too. When i asked her about it she said it was so the paint didn't get stained. No mention of her husband's health!!

i would insist he smokes outside. apart from the unpleasant smell you have your health to think of. Both my BIL and husband have asthma and i'd bet this is down to my MIL.

LittenTree Fri 28-Sep-12 15:34:45

I sympathise. My mum smokes and her house smells like an ashtray. She, her DH and my DB lived together smoking away like a Coalbrookdale foundry for 20 years. Now it's just her but I reckons she smokes 30 a day.

My DH makes quite a fuss about it so she smokes in the conservatory when he's around but any other time, like when she's babysitting my DSs, she smokes indoors, in bed etc etc. I too avoid taking people around there as I find it a bit embarrassing. I accept it's her right to smoke, and yes, she has gotten away with it, at 79 and in rude good health but- and here I get ghoulish.. I am aware that 'come the day' I am going to have to decontaminate the house, including chucking out a lot of good, expensive furnishings and furniture because it stinks like a 1970s working mens club.

heroutdoors Fri 28-Sep-12 16:24:20

Try the anti tobacco candles from Prices Candles.
Part of their fresh air range.
www.prices-candles.co.uk

Brixtonelf Sat 29-Sep-12 20:42:54

I'm afraid I agree - make him smoke outside, for the sake of your own health as much as anything.
TBH I can see where your sister's coming from, I visit my mum who has smoked for nearly 60 years and 40 years of that in her current house - by god it stinks.
And I have to wash my hair, all clothes and throw away anything disposable when we get back. Not to mention even the DDs stink of smoke.

We used a glade anti tobacco air freshener when we moved into our house that had previously been smoked in. It took a few weeks but worked eventually.

PigletJohn Sat 29-Sep-12 21:23:56

I hate smoke as much as the next person, but make him smoke outside might not work. It's his home too.

BorisJohnsonsHair Sat 29-Sep-12 21:32:21

There's not much you can do with major items except get rid of them and start again, with your husband smoking outside. However much you clean a settee or carpets you can rarely banish the smell completely.

Your best bet is to get a professional carpet cleaner to come in and do all the carpets and furniture, if you can't afford to change them (and who can??). Then you can take down and burn and wash all the curtains. Anything fabric will need cleaning - lampshades, tablecloths etc. I know this for a fact as I did this when I gave up and there were still some things left around that smelled nasty. Clothes also need to be washed (or at least hung on the line) daily to avoid the smell. You should also open your windows daily, whether you smoke or not. I'd avoid using any kind of air fresheners, as they're just full of chemicals and just mask the smell slightly, rather than get rid of it.

There are people's homes that I really don't want to go to now because they smell so much; my aunt's Christmas presents to us are always whiffy.

Pavlovthecat Sat 29-Sep-12 21:40:28

I agree with smoking outside. You must insist. DH smokes. He smokes outside and when it is raining/winter he smokes outside in the daytime, and in the evening he can smoke in the kitchen with kitchen door shut and the backdoor open but only after last meal. Even then it wafts into the rest of the house, but it does not linger. Both he and I used to smoke, in our flat when we were younger, but when we bought a place we stopped from that point on (and I became pg so stopped completely). When I was pg with both children, but in particular DC2 he could not even smoke outside as I would smell it. he had to go right into the garden and not come near me for ages else I would hurl!

I hope you can find a way to make him realise he needs to consider you in all this. You would not be asking him to stop smoking, just change where he does it.

However, saying that, smoking is a habit, and so he will have rituals, smoking after a meal, in front of his fave programme, at certain times of the day, in certain places (his favourite place on the sofa reading the paper) so it won't happen immediately, as changing habits is as hard as giving up.

PigletJohn Sat 29-Sep-12 21:40:45

You could try the Lloyds or Flixonase ionising air purifier They are very effective for dust and pollen, and I believe the makers claim they also work on smoke particles. I should think the filter will need to be cleaned freqently as, judging by old pub celings, the smoke is quite tarry.

They often crop up on ebay at reduced prices as I think they did not sell as well as the makers hoped. They are very quiet in use. Get one for, say, the bedroom, and if it helps, you can get more for other rooms.

Pavlovthecat Sat 29-Sep-12 21:42:20

litten does she smoke in bed when her grandchildren are in the house? shock that is not just bad habit, that is dangerous.

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