Humans have had a long, unhealthy habit of smoking tobacco dating back to 3000 – 5000 B.C. in Mesoamerica and South America. But if it took people a long time for people to wise up, the dangers of smoking for the smoker and innocent bystanders are now widely understood and cigarette smoke removal efforts are on the rise. Smoking on airplanes has been banned for decades, as has smoking in bars, restaurants and other public areas in many countries.
But while smoking is banned in many public places, we spend more time at home than anywhere else. So, even if you are not a smoker but just live with one, it is important to understand that secondhand smoke is a mixture of gases and particles containing more than 7,000 chemical compounds. More than 250 of these chemicals are known to be harmful, and at least 69 are known links to both lung and breast cancer. Smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke are also linked to many respiratory diseases, including emphysema, COPD and asthma.
Children are especially sensitive to the toxins in secondhand smoke. Asthma, lung infections, and ear infections are more common in children who are around smokers. Some of these problems can become serious and even life‐threatening. That is why cigarette smoke removal is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your family, guests and even your pets.
Types of tobacco smoke
According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco smoke can be classified into two different categories, sidestream smoke, and mainstream smoke. Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, is a combination of the two. Sidestream smoke is more toxic, with higher concentrations of carcinogens. Sidestream smoke particles are also smaller than mainstream smoke and can penetrate deep into the lungs and bloodstream more easily.
When non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke it’s called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Non-smokers who breathe in secondhand smoke take in nicotine and toxic chemicals by the same route smokers do. The more secondhand smoke you breathe, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body.
Where does the smoke go?
While there is no research to support that cigarette odors cause cancer, it has been found that particles from secondhand tobacco smoke can settle into dust and onto surfaces and remain long after the smoke is gone. According to the American Cancer Society, some studies suggest the particles can hang around for months. Researchers are now calling this “thirdhand smoke,” or residual tobacco smoke. Dust samples taken from the homes of smokers show that thirdhand smoke contains NNK and PAHs, carcinogens known to cause lung cancer.
Research also shows that thirdhand smoke can damage the DNA of human cells and that particles that settle from tobacco smoke can form more cancer-causing compounds which may be stirred up and inhaled with other house dust, absorbed through the skin or accidentally taken in through the mouth. For these reasons, it is important to eliminate not only the odors caused by cigarettes smoke, but also the lingering particles.
Air purifier for cigarette smoke
Fortunately, air purifiers do help with cigarette smoke. The best air purifiers for smokers, and those around them, are those that remove particles and odors for both secondhand and thirdhand smoke.
Blueair air purifiers with HEPASilent™ technology deliver especially high performance and efficiency for cigarette smoke removal by combining electrostatic and mechanical filtration technologies. This combination, pioneered by Blueair, delivers high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) with whisper-silent operation and high energy efficiency. In fact, a Blueair air purifier works so quietly that you can not only sleep next to it, you might even have to check to make sure it is switched on. And on its lowest setting, a Blueair air purifier uses less electricity than a small lightbulb, while still achieving a 99.7% filtration efficiency of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size.
With SmokeStop™ filters, HEPASilent™ technology adds activated carbon to effectively remove cigarette smoke and odors, as well as traffic exhaust, smog and airborne chemicals, PM2.5 and VOCs. The high volume and weight of carbon, plus the low-density design and large surface area of the mechanical filter medium, mean the filters last a long time without becoming clogged. And for the ultimate smoke and gas removal (up to four times faster), you can use a Blueair Cleo filter with powdered, high-porosity coconut carbon.