Smoking and Real Estate



Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge non-smoking advocate!  When I worked in the service industry back when smoking was allowed in restaurants I remember needing to wash my hair after every shift if I ever wanted to get to bed without the constant smell of cigarettes in my nose.  Thank god times have changed and public smoking has restrictions, you can see some of our local by-laws  to make sure you know where to not smoke.

There have been a few interesting and noteworthy articles about real estate and smoking in the news lately.  Not only does it give a better understanding of terms such as third-hand smoke but it also makes you wonder if you still enjoy your cigarettes, is it worth doing it indoors?


The first one is a CBC article published in April l 2013 quoting us Realtors, saying smoking can affect your value by almost 30%.  At first I thought that number might be inflated, us realtors can get out of hand sometimes and be a bit dramatic.   But then I reflected on my own clients and experiences, usually if we get into a smoker’s house while out looking at homes we don’t make it past the entrance, I throw my business card down and we turn on our heels and head for the door.  I’ve only sold one smoker’s house in almost nine years, so I can’t argue that 25% of buyers are unwilling to buy a smoker’s home no matter the price. You can read that study here on the Pfizer site.

This second study almost knocked my socks off! Third hand smoke, the ugly yuk left over after the second hand smoke has left the room: you are exposed to by ingesting, skin contact or inhaling.   Not only does this Berkley Study confirm  third hand smoke can damages your DNA (and it gets worse over time),  I’m going to quote this because I don’t have any of my own words, “Thirdhand smoke is particularly insidious because it is extremely difficult to eradicate. Studies have found that it can still be detected in dust and surfaces of apartments more than two months after smokers moved out. Common cleaning methods such as vacuuming, wiping and ventilation have not proven effective in lowering nicotine contamination. “You can do some things to reduce the odors, but it’s very difficult to really clean it completely,” said Destaillats. “The best solution is to substitute materials, such as change the carpet, repaint.”  See the Berkley Study .

Wow.  That’s enough to convince almost anyone to not smoke indoors, isn’t it? Long story short: Don’t smoke in your home!


If you need more motivation to quit smoking this may help! It’s worked for 100,000 Americans already or you can visit on of the City of Ottawa’s quit smoking programs