Annoying Cigarette smell

Hi there,

We are living in a modern Minergie building and in one particular room there's sometimes quite a annoying cigarette smell coming through the ventilation system. We believe that this is caused by one of our neighbour smoking in their flat (which I believe it's their right). We obviously reported the problem to the owner but the issue is still not resolved and we are slowly getting desperate. I just found out that an acquaintance had a similar problem and they were able to resolve it by sticking scotch tape over the whole ventilation grill. Since we're getting desperate we want to try this "solution". Anyone know if we're actually allowed to do that and there are other issue we need to be aware of before trying it.


I wonder if there is some kind of filter you could buy for the ventilation grill?

But more importantly, have you talked to your landlord about it (assuming you rent?)? Your neighbors smoke coming into your apartment would be considered a nuisance (I think) as well as a health hazard and I don't think that you are required to just put up with it.

Our apartment is 5 years old and has an air circulation system, with ventilation grills in the ceilings of each room. Many of the apartment buildings close by are old and have wood burners for heating in winter, unfortunately the vents in our apartment sometimes suck the smell of smoke in if a breeze is in our direction.

I keep a supply of Price's Cooks Candles (you can find them online and from Amazon). They are for strong cooking smells like fish, but if I light one or 2 for 20 mins it clears the smoky odour. I'm just above the ground floor and it annoys me when people walk past on the street smoking when I have my windows open as the smell comes in.

My sympathies. You shouldn't have to put up with that.

Do whatever you want as long as you can put it back to how it was sometime.

You can get air purifiers with charcoal filters from Ikea and surely other places.

If you block up the ventilation, you may get mould problems with no circulation of air.

It's interesting that it's only in one room. Do you have building plans (which show the ducting)?

There is no safe exposure level for second-hand smoke.

if it is coming through a vent, you can try putting carbon filter on the vent.

^^^ If you do want to try a carbon filter, you can cut them to size, like this one:…s%2C108&sr=8-4

With a central ventilation system (either building-level or apartment-level) this should be impossible that only one room is affected, I wonder if that room is ventilated separately (or maybe all the rooms are?). In case of central ventilation system I think it's still fine to tape over it if you have other air supply vents, just remember that it may mess up the airflow and increase spending on heating and you should look out for humidity. If it's a big apartment with multiple air supply vents, the effects may be negligible and leaving the room door open may be enough to prevent any issue.

Forget the tape. You escalate the problem with the flat owner. Make sure you do everything in writing by registered mail. (Not sure if A+ Post is also okay). Join the tenant's association where you can get advice.

There is no reason you should have to put up with this. But are you sure the smell is coming from another flat and not outside? We have a "minergie standard" house. The system brings in fresh air. When I cut the grass you have that smell in the house, not that I mind. If soneone was smoing near the air intake vent, I would be able to smell it.

We have to close our doors every day when the peruvians next door start with their daily disgusting meat cook up. The exhaust from the kitchen fan blows it directly into our and other peoples balcony area.

We heard that story before from your other persona. Did you ever talk to your neighbours??

No. One has nothing to say to them about their eating habits. Its more to do with the way the apartments were built with the exhaust fans going directly out to the balcony areas.

Be cautious with scented candles - since getting an air quality sensor, I realised just how much cr@p they spew into the air...

So I started looking online, and some random sites suggest scented candles are more damaging than cigarette smoke or diesel exhaust fumes...

Incence is better.

Sometimes, but not always.

I prefer cigar smoke.


I used to work in a multi-storey minergie building. The problem was with smokers lighting up directly to the right hand side of the entrance doors - we worked out that was where the main intake was for the 'heissluft system'.

So, we needed to create an exclusion zone about 3 metres around the front door of the building.... no smoking area....

Beware! Have heard rumours that this is part and parcel of an insidious campaign by the SVP to antagonize/scare off clean living immigrants. After a softening up period, they start piping in fumes from the local head shop....

"You can get air purifiers with charcoal filters from Ikea and surely other places".

We have one in the bedroom for husband's allergies, but it doesn't really counteract odours. However it does go into overdrive if I oven cook something on the steam setting for a couple of hours. I think the type you put water and essential oil in would maybe be better, my sister used to have one in her kitchen because the neighbour underneath her cooked curry all the time and it used to waft up to my sister's flat.

"Be cautious with scented candles - since getting an air quality sensor, I realised just how much cr@p they spew into the air.."

I only ever use cook's candles and only for 20 mins then I extinguish it and put the lid on. I absolutely loathe all the products on the market like Yankee Candle, I've had them given to me as gifts before and have given them away to people who like them. I don't like air freshener plugins either, but I will say the Ambipur one for neutralising tobacco smoke works (I gave up years ago but once had 2 friends from Spain staying with us in Scotland for a few days who were practically chain smokers )

From what I found online, albeit not scientific studies, 10 minutes of a scented candle is equivalent to smoking a cigarette with a filter.