Air purifiers are powerful appliances used to clean the air inside your home. They can remove allergens, bacteria, dust, and foul odors, improving indoor air quality for humans, babies, and pets alike.
But can air purifiers help with cigarette smoke? one of the biggest indoor pollutants? Read on to find out if buying an air purifier can help reduce the toxic effects of cigarette smoke inside your home.
What’s in cigarette smoke?
The negative health effects of cigarette smoke are all too familiar to most of us by now. Cigarette smoke contains the following nicotine by-products:
Nicotine by-products found in cigarette smoke
- Polycyclic hydrocarbons
- Nitrogen oxides
- Hydrogen cyanide
- Carcinogenic metal
Cigarette smoke is made up of particulate matter and gaseous pollutants. They’re measured in microns due to their microscopic size.
Exposure to cigarette smoke, even just secondhand smoke, has serious health hazards. Secondhand smoke contains approximately 7,000 chemicals.
About a hundred are toxic, while 70 chemicals may lead to cancer, according to the CDC.
Health risks associated with secondhand smoke
- Increases risk of heart attack, stroke and coronary artery disease
- Can damage blood vessel linings
- Increases risk of lung cancer by as much as 30%
- Babies have a higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Children regularly exposed to secondhand smoke get sick more often
The health implications of smoking cigarettes and exposure to secondhand smoke are serious. Thus, it may be best to kick those cigarette butts out for good.
But for those who live in a household where they can’t help but be exposed to cigarette smoke, air purifiers can be helpful.
Can air purifiers help with cigarette smoke?
An air purifier passes air through filters to rid it of chemical pollutants and particles, then releases clean air. Air purifiers remove substances like pollen, mold and dust from the air.
Air purifiers can trap the harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke, and also rid the air of nasty tobacco smells.
To effectively remove smoke from your home, you’ll want an air purifier equipped with both a HEPA filter and activated carbon.
What is a HEPA filter?
HEPA filters are high-efficiency particulate air filters. They were first created by scientists as a way to shield themselves from radiation during the course of nuclear testing.
HEPA filters can trap all kinds of small particles, including particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. Cigarette smoke can be anywhere from .01 to 4 microns, so a HEPA filter can capture it.
An air purifier with a HEPA filter is the most effective way to filter the odor and chemicals from secondhand smoke.
What is activated carbon?
Activated carbon filters are made up of tiny pieces of carbon. They remove the gas molecules that make up odor via adsorption.
Pollutants stick to the activated carbon filters and are therefore removed from the air. Activated carbon can’t trap tiny particles like dust, lint or pet dander.
This is why they’re always used in conjunction with HEPA filters in air purifiers.
Which air purifier is best for cigarette smoke?
Now that you know the answer to the question “Can air purifiers help with cigarette smoke?”, you may be ready to invest in one for your household.
If you can’t easily do away with cigarette smoke in your house, an air purifier can help reduce the negative health effects. However, you’ll want to make sure you choose an air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter with activated carbon.
To peruse our picks for the best air purifiers, check out our roundup of the Best Air Purifier Reviews.