How Air Purifiers Help with Smoke

smoke bundleSmoke is a complex mixture of chemicals and particles that can irritate your eyes and respiratory system, as well as cause long term health problems. Identify the sources and solutions to smoke in your home

Hospital Visits
Higher Cancer
Cigarette Smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, several of which cause cancer

Second-hand smoke alone causes up to 3,000 lung cancer deaths per year among non-smokers

Nearly 15,000 children under 18 months are hospitalized annually for smoke exposure

Non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke have a 20-30% increased risk of cancer

Sources of Smoke in the Home

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled by smokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke has been show to increase the risk of heart disease and pose serious health risks to children.


Visible ash and smoke closer to the source is easy to identify and should be avoided, however, small particles not visible to the human eye drift upward and can be carried hundreds of miles away by air currents. Check air quality reports to know your potential exposure.

Wood Stoves or Fireplaces

Wood burning stoves can produce a large amount of soot that can spread through the home. If you are healthy, you are not usually at major risk. However, older adults and children, or those with heart or lung disease are more susceptible to than others.

Solutions for Smoke

Despite the many different sources of smoke, one method has been particularly useful for obtaining relief: an air purifier.   

Air purifiers are designed to filter microscopic particles out of the air with the use of a HEPA filter. Many units also include technologies to remove smoke odors and even the chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

For more info, see our Tips for Reducing Smoke Exposure Page 

Selecting an Air Purifier for Smoke

Various air purifiers may be used to address your concern depending on the source of smoke.

Secondhand Smoke

If a family member is smoking in the home, then you are coming in direct contact with ash, odor and chemicals.   We recommend a unit that can effectively address all three. Chemicals are the hardest to remove and require a unit with a large amount of activated carbon. Popular brands include Airpura, Austin Air and AllerAir.  

We recommend the Air Pura T600 for cigarette smoke in the home.


Wildfires mostly produce ash and soot.  An air purifier with a HEPA filter will be quite effective. Activated carbon can help, but is not essential. 

We recommend the Alen BreatheSmart air purifier.

Smoke Odor

Are the neighbors smoking in their apartment and you can smell it through the walls?  Is someone coming in from a smoke outdoors and the odor lingers in the room?  When Smoke odor is the concern, you can always use a heavy duty unit described above in the Firsthand/Secondhand Smoke section, or you can use a more multipurpose unit that is good for Odor.  

For heavy smoke odors we recommend the Austin Air Healthmate or Austin Air Healthmate Jr.


    View Best Air Purifiers for smoke