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Smoking kills and it is a known fact Smoking indoors exposes everyone in your family to second hand smoke, which is full of chemical compounds that...

Smoking kills and it is a known fact Smoking indoors exposes everyone in your family to second hand smoke, which is full of chemical compounds that causes several diseases such as lung cancer, asthma attacks and chronic bronchitis. The stale tobacco smell further clings to everything by permeating your clothes, seeping into the wall paint, dowsing the upholstery, and saturating everything it touches with that unmistakable stench. The best way to tackle this is to tell your family to crack a window but in case that does not work, but this is to just take the stench away. Following are a few steps you can take to avoid your home from smelling like an ashtray:

Improve the ventilation
Open the windows and let in the fresh air! Good ventilation is actually the easiest way of controlling secondhand smoke. This clears the smoke from the air and immediately removes the offending odors. When you smoke, step out into balconies so as to blow smoke directly outside which might be the best for the entire family.

Spring clean your home
Regularly undertake a thorough cleaning of the house to get rid of the smoky smell. Remove curtains, sheets, towels and linens and wash them thoroughly with a deodorizing cleaner. Steam clean the carpets and add the deodorizing product to the cleansing solution. Sanitize ceilings, floors, countertops, and other fixtures with a water and bleach solution. You can also consider adding a fresh coat of paint to lessen the persistent odors.

Use air fresheners generously
Air-freshening mists and sprays fill the air with a pleasant smell that masks the smell of tobacco. This is an easy albeit expensive method which only works for a short duration of time.

Air Purifiers
While these methods are effective in removing odors, they are slow and ineffective in dealing with harmful particulate matter or pollutants present in the indoor air. With concentration of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 well over the safe limit in a majority of Indian cities, indoor air quality provides no respite as it is estimated by the EPA to be 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air pollution. Air purifiers can be the most practical option to mitigate the smell and effects of secondhand smoke in your home.

These purifiers work by pulling in the indoor air, cleaning it, and then circulating it back into the room. Installing a room air purifier has now become imperative. Moonbow’s Air Purifier comes with a PM 2.5 meter and Air Quality Indicator that keeps a track on the air quality in the room in real time. The Puri5 Technology air purifier comes with a five-stage filtration process, killing almost every pollutant present in the surrounding area. With features like the True HEPA filter and UV lamp it removes 99.97% of microscopic particles bigger than 0.3 microns and eliminates almost 99% germs in the vicinity like mold spores, bacteria, viruses & pollen spores. An activated charcoal filter is used in conjunction with HEPA which captures all types of gases and odors. Do check for CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) and efficiency rate before buying an air purifier.

Neutralise with chemicals
Homemade chemical agents are handy and an inexpensive technique to deal with second hand smoke. Easily available substances such as white vinegar, baking soda and activated charcoal, absorb the smoke and its smell from the air to help in breathing better. Put a few open jars of white vinegar around the home to let them evaporate slowly or use it while washing your clothes. However, avoid using white vinegar if you have children or pets at home. Baking Soda provides a safer alternative and can be used by simply sprinkling the upholstery, clothes or furniture and leaving it overnight.

The crumbs can be removed later using a vacuum cleaner. Another effective home remedy for dealing with secondhand tobacco stench is to leave an open bowl of activated charcoal around the home which absorbs the prevalent smell in the air. Activated charcoal is also found in HEPA filters used in air purifiers.

Considering we spend a large amount of our time indoors, if you smoke or live with a smoker, it is the need of the hour to take immediate steps to protect yourselves against secondhand smoke and dodge the stink of tobacco by using multiple of these methods together.

By: Rakesh Kaul

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