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How to smoke cigarettes inside without leaving a smell

What to do before, during, and after smoking indoors to help minimize the smell of cigarette smoke
Updated on November 21, 2023
Written by
Paul Allen
Paul is a staff writer for HouseFresh, with a focus on product recommendations and advice for smokers and apartment dwellers. He started writing in November 2020, when he joined the content production team at NeoMam Studios (our parent company).

Cigarette smoke can stick around and linger for a long time, particularly if you’re smoking indoors. The distinct and unpleasant odor that comes with it can be quite difficult to get rid of. 

Speaking from an ex-smoker’s point of view, cigarette smoke is very potent and can have a huge influence on the smell of household fabrics such as furniture and bedding, as well as causing significant staining to our walls and ceilings. 

What makes it all the more difficult is that after a while, a cigarette smoker becomes used to the smell of smoke indoors, so they might not notice what non-smokers will pick up on as soon as they step inside a smoker’s house. 

By now, most are aware that smoking is extremely hazardous to our health and the health of others around us. But if you haven’t managed to kick the habit yet, you will be pleased to know that there are things you can do to reduce the smell of cigarette smoke in your home.

In this article, we will give you a few key tips on what to do before, during, and after smoking indoors to help minimize the smell of cigarette smoke you leave behind, helping you to avoid turning your home into a dank, dusty dungeon.

My hope is that I will be able to help you build a little routine that will make a substantial difference to the odor you’re leaving inside your home when you smoke – and hopefully inspire you to cut down or even quit, as your house will soon be fresher than ever.

Before you smoke: How to pick the best spot for smoking indoors

As you probably know, it is always best to smoke outdoors to ensure there is enough ventilation around you to help dissipate the smoke. But if you’re still craving a smoke while indoors, you need to remember that you will make it quite difficult for yourself to eradicate the smell if you’re choosing to smoke a cigarette in bed or while watching a movie in the living room with the curtains drawn. 

If you want to minimize the smell, then the first step is to pick the best spot in the house before you light a cigarette.

1. Find an area by a window

Smoking by a window is probably the most common tip you will hear to help reduce the spread of smoke around the house. It’s a great spot for you to blow the smoke directly outside and will help with general airflow around the room both during and after a cigarette, allowing the odor to dissipate faster. 


Don’t just shut the window straight after smoking. It may not smell like cigarette smoke to you but believe me, the fumes are still there. Give the room a good 30-40 mins of airflow.

2. Designate one smoking room in your home

If you’re going to smoke inside, why not pick a smoking room? Most people tend to smoke in multiple areas of their homes, making their living areas extremely polluted with hazardous smoke particles if left unmaintained. By restricting the smoke to one room, you will quickly see positive improvements in air quality for the rest of the house.


The perfect room can be easily shut off from other areas of your home and has a window, allowing for regular air circulation during and after smoking a cigarette.

3. Go for a well-ventilated kitchen space 

Modern houses usually come with well-ventilated kitchen areas, meaning that cigarette smoke won’t linger for days if you choose to smoke in your kitchen. Airflow tends to be consistent whether it’s the fresh air coming in from the back door or a large window near your sink basin. Some homes are also equipped with air vents predominantly used to disperse unwanted cooking odors using a fan mechanism.


Don’t leave your range hood running for too long after smoking, open a window instead. This will help you save some money as air vents can use up a lot of electricity. Check out what we think are the best kitchen air purifiers.

While you smoke: How to prevent cigarette smoke from traveling around your home

Now that you have picked the best spot in your home to smoke, it’s time to apply a few hacks to prevent the spread of cigarette smoke and to help disperse the odor that comes with it quicker and more effectively.

Hack #1: Place a towel down by the door

This will stop any smoke that is floating around the room from getting out. The towel will also become a smell magnet, as cigarette smoke will naturally attach itself to the fabric – and you can get rid of the smell by simply washing the towel regularly.


Smoke has a lot of trouble passing through moisture so try dampening the towel for an extra layer of protection.

Hack #2: Close any air vents that you may have within your living space

If you have installed air vents around your home, then cigarette smoke can quickly travel to different rooms, risking the health of your loved ones as well as stinking the whole house out. That’s why you need to ensure air vents are closed off properly before you light your cigarette and during the time when you’re smoking.


Air vents normally have a small lever that allows you to slide forward and back to open and close, but if not you could tape either a plastic bag or a piece of fabric over it for a part-time solution. Be sure to open the vents back up again 30-40 mins after smoking.

Hack #3: Turn on an air purifier

Air purifiers are a great way to help eliminate cigarette smoke and other foul-smelling odors, particularly units equipped with a top-of-the-range Activated Carbon filter. Smells are adsorbed by the activated carbon, trapping it so clean air can be released into the room. We went into more detail about what absorbs cigarette smoke in a recent article so be sure to check it out.


There are some fantastic air quality units out there on the market so be sure to look at what we recommended to be the best air purifiers for cigarette smoke based on our own internal testing.

After you smoke: 4 natural ways to get rid of cigarette smell after smoking indoors

Eradicating the smell of cigarettes from our home will be determined by the steps we take after a cigarette is finished. Here are a few helpful tips that will help tackle cigarette odor while improving the general airflow within your house. (TL;DR: Don’t just put out your cigarette, close the window and walk away).

1. Leave your window open for 20-30 minutes

Note that while you’re smoking by the window, the breeze from the outside air can blow the smoke around the room, so in order to ventilate the space after you’re done, you need to leave the window. Leaving a window open for a good 20-30 minutes after putting out your cigarette will minimize the smell of smoke substantially. 

2. Use odor-neutralizing sprays and/or scented air fresheners

Spray away. Scented air fresheners and odor neutralizing sprays can play a great role in making your house smell fresher on a daily basis. Using these products after smoking will help with the odor cigarettes leave behind so after you’ve finished, try two short sprays to make the room smell fresh.

3. Light some candles or incense sticks 

After a cigarette, leave your window open for a little while and light some candles or incense sticks. The fragrance of these products will keep your room smelling fresh and help tackle cigarette odor. Remember to keep your window open to help clean air from the outside to come into the room to help ventilate the area. 

4. Dispose of your cigarette butts, don’t leave them lingering around 

Don’t just leave an ashtray in the middle of the room after a cigarette. The smell of a cigarette butt can be ridiculously overpowering as it contains purely filtered toxins from it. It will leave your room smelling foul if it’s not placed either outside or in the bin and washed up.

Final thoughts

My first tip to any smoker out there is if you’re going to smoke, smoke outside. Cigarette smoke contains carcinogenic particles which are proven to be extremely hazardous to human health as well as leaving a seriously stale and foul scent. If you have been smoking inside for some time now without taking healthy measures to help deal with not only the smell but other dangers cigarette smoke can leave behind, you may notice yellowing and staining on the walls and ceilings around your home so a fresh coat of paint may be necessary. 

This is what cigarette smoke leaves behind, it hides in small spaces, our clothes, furniture, and our bodies so it is important to try and avoid these toxic fumes and particles at all costs. By following the correct tips above to help deal with cigarette odor you will start to notice a huge difference in your home so make sure you open your windows, use air purification, fragrant candles, and diffusers on a regular basis, and try and smoke in well-ventilated areas.

About the author

Paul Allen

Paul is a staff writer for HouseFresh, with a focus on product recommendations and advice for smokers and apartment dwellers. He started writing in November 2020, when he joined the content production team at NeoMam Studios (our parent company).