How to Test for Cigarette Smoke in Your Home

By Richard Daub

Cigarette smoke is a fairly obvious and strong odor that can usually be detected by the nose of a non-smoker. However, if you need solid proof that someone is surreptitiously smoking in your home, there are air quality detection companies and devices that can confirm the presence of cigarette smoke residue. Smoke detectors that are specifically designed to detect cigarette smoke are also available that can catch someone in the act. Standard smoke detectors are usually not able to detect cigarette smoke and are ineffectual as a defense against cigarette smoking in the home.

Smoking Cigarette
credit: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Step 1

Hire an air quality detection company or consultant to run an air quality report in your home. These are most often local companies or individuals who can come to your home, test the air and provide you with a report detailing the presence of specific gases and fumes, including cigarette smoke. A less expensive alternative would be to purchase a home air quality test kit, but the results may not be as accurate as those provided by a professional.

Step 2

Purchase an air quality detector that specifically indicates it can detect cigarette smoke. Two such devices are the Bosch Macurco D381 Air Quality Detector and the Enercorp AQT-2000 Air Quality Monitor, which can detect various gases and fumes, such as those left behind by cigarette smoke.

Step 3

Install the air quality monitor with the directions provided with your specific model.

Step 4

Check the air quality monitor on a daily basis. If cigarette smoke is present but you don't know who the smoker is or when the smoking is taking place, you may want to consider purchasing and installing a cigarette smoke detector.