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#1
Old 11-19-2013, 09:39 PM
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Why do some smokers smell more "smoky" than others?

A co-worker and I were discussing how a few of our co-workers reek of smoke at 10 feet and yet others, who smoke as frequently, don't smell even when you are standing right by them. Assuming that they all shower and change clothes at the same intervals, which given the even distribution of stinky and non-stinky, seems likely, why would this be?

My thought, those who reek smoke in their own houses so everything they own is infused with the nastiness. And those who only smoke outside only get surface stink? But I can't ask the stinky ones why they stink
#2
Old 11-19-2013, 09:43 PM
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Those who smoke in their homes smell worse. Unlike those, like me, who smoke but detest the smell. We steer it away from ourselves and others as best we can.

I personally think menthol smells worse than non-menthol, too.

Last edited by Samantha Leigh; 11-19-2013 at 09:46 PM.
#3
Old 11-19-2013, 09:45 PM
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I've wondered the same thing myself. There were two people in my class who smoked the same brand of cigarettes, but one of them I couldn't stand to be near, but the other one wasn't so bad. I'm guessing that the guy I couldn't go near smoked more, but I'm not entirely sure.
#4
Old 11-19-2013, 10:03 PM
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Maybe some change or wash their clothes, or brush their teeth, more often. I would assume most of any lingering odor is in clothing. Some people wear the same coat, sweater or pants for days on end. That is probably OK as regards body odor, but not as regards smoke.
#5
Old 11-19-2013, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
Maybe some change or wash their clothes, or brush their teeth, more often. I would assume most of any lingering odor is in clothing. Some people wear the same coat, sweater or pants for days on end. That is probably OK as regards body odor, but not as regards smoke.
It's not okay for body odor either.

What Samantha said. People who smoke in their homes and in their cars don't have much time outside the cloud. And even laundered clothes will smell if they're hanging in a closet in a home with a smoker.
#6
Old 11-19-2013, 10:55 PM
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Also, some smokers chain smoke, lighting one after another. Constant smoke infusion. Some smokers stub the cigarette out when they aren't actively smoking.
#7
Old 11-19-2013, 11:37 PM
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Even in my previous life as a smoker, I could tell which co-workers smoked in their cars. In the winter they'd have their heat on and A/C on in the summer, so they'd get blasted with old smoke smell from the vents in addition to new smoke from their cigarettes.
#8
Old 11-19-2013, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
It's not okay for body odor either.

What Samantha said. People who smoke in their homes and in their cars don't have much time outside the cloud. And even laundered clothes will smell if they're hanging in a closet in a home with a smoker.
How often do you (or anyone) really wash your winter coat? Maybe once, twice a year. And if it's dry-clean only, fuhgeddaboutit.
#9
Old 11-20-2013, 01:33 AM
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So do smokers know that they reek or do they just become desensitized to it?

If they know that they stink, do they just not give a fuck, or do they enjoy the smell as a badge of being a smoker?
#10
Old 11-20-2013, 02:54 AM
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They have become pretty immune to it. My FIL chain smokes in his house - he and the house stink but he's not aware there's a problem.

I used to smoke - not heavily and usually outside, and whilst I could smell it on me when I had just finished a cigarette, I wasn't really aware of any lingering smell otherwise, when presumably there was one.
#11
Old 11-20-2013, 05:03 AM
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I got a new jacket for Christmas a few years ago, I love the jacket but for some reason if I am anywhere near a smoker the jacket will wreak of smoke for days afterward. It will smell so bad that an entire room will be aware of it even if they are smokers. So I am certain that certain fabrics will exacberate this problem.

Not all smokers wreak of smoke. For many years I dated and tried to hide my smoking by sneaking outside. They would eventually pick up on it but were always surprised they didn't smell it sooner.
#12
Old 11-20-2013, 05:33 AM
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Some brands smell and linger worse than others. I can always tell when my husband's run out of the ones he rolls himself (using preformed tubes with filters and pipe tobacco for filling them) and gone to the store for a pack of Marlboros. Marlboros linger on him much longer and more unpleasantly. And gods help him if he goes through another Kool phase - Kools smell even worse than the Marlboros.

When he's smoking his rolled cigarettes, he smells a bit for about 10 minutes after smoking, but then it's pretty much gone.
#13
Old 11-20-2013, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
So do smokers know that they reek or do they just become desensitized to it?
I didn't realize how much I must have smelled like smoke when I was a smoker until after I quit. The telling thing for me was a move from AZ to GA - I'd quit before moving to AZ, but hadn't had some of my winter things cleaned. I ran across them while packing and 3 years post-quit, I could still smell the smoke on them.

I rarely noticed smoke smell on others, and never on myself, when I was a smoker. Now it's almost impossible for me to miss.
#14
Old 11-20-2013, 09:38 AM
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My sister smokes outside or in the garage and smokes less than half a pack a day. When she smokes in the garage, she puts a shower cap over her hair. She brushes her teeth after every cigarette and sometimes does a cologne spritz. She is the cleanest person I know, yet smoke just clings to her. When I smoked, I was told by several people they couldn't smell smoke on me, yet I smoked inside and in my car. Maybe they were being polite. I chalked it up to body chemistry.
#15
Old 11-20-2013, 10:30 AM
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The old-fashioned English upper crust would wear "smoking caps" and long "smoking jackets" covering their hair and clothes to keep some of the reek from clinging to them.
#16
Old 11-20-2013, 11:03 AM
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Smokers tend to be desensitized to the smell. When I smoked, I shared an apartment with another smoker, and I couldn't smell it despite us smoking indoors. My girlfriend at the time said our place stank. A few years later, I found my favorite leather jacket from that time and it reeked. I tried having it cleaned, but the smell lingered. I finally got rid of it.

I didn't smoke in the car so that never smelled.
#17
Old 11-20-2013, 11:26 AM
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What I've noticed is the smoke clings to my hands more than anything else. After every cigarette (unless it's evening and I'm home alone and don't care anymore), I wash my hands. This takes care of 80% of the reek, IMO. I've had many people express surprise that I'm a smoker because they can't smell it on me. My dental hygenist asked me if I'd quit at my last appointment. Nope, just washed my hands, Febrezed my clothes, and don't smoke in confined spaces.

I do think some fabrics hold the stink in better than others and I realize I probably don't eliminate 100% of the stench. As long as I don't see that "Dear Jesus, you reek" expression of disgust on my co-workers' faces, I'm fine.

Recently, I adopted a new old couch from some neighbors who smoke in their house. I cannot get the stench out, and even as a smoker, that couch smells disgusting to me. I spray it down with vinegar every few days and it's getting better, but I still walk in to the room and smell the couch. The dog wouldn't even jump up on it until I'd make pretty significant effort toward desmokifying the damn thing. It took me about two weeks to make it tolerable enough for her. Every time I sit down on it, I say out loud to the dog, "And this is why I never, ever smoke inside. Ever."
#18
Old 11-20-2013, 11:33 AM
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Not only can’t they smell the reek, but their sense of smell is so bad that when they put on aftershave, perfume, etc, they always over-apply.
#19
Old 11-20-2013, 01:53 PM
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Before I smoked, I thought a whiff of a burning cigarette had an attractive scent. Mind you, I mean just a whiff of a freshly lit smoke, not a smelly smoker's house odor. Once I started smoking, I found the smell of cigarettes changed. They weren't pleasant to whiff anymore. They weren't stinky, but they didn't smell like they used to whether they were mine or others'. I also couldn't smell the stink of other smokers or of the areas they frequented.

I quit smoking- the whiff of a cigarette now reeks. So do those who smoke them, and their surroundings if they smoke in them. Funny how I couldn't smell the reek when I was smoking, but it seems to be a common story.
#20
Old 11-20-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
The old-fashioned English upper crust would wear "smoking caps" and long "smoking jackets" covering their hair and clothes to keep some of the reek from clinging to them.
Ohhh! Now I understand the term, "smoking jacket" better !
#21
Old 11-20-2013, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nzinga, Seated View Post
Ohhh! Now I understand the term, "smoking jacket" better !
That's how the term mufti meaning civilian duds as opposed to military uniforms came about. A mufti is an Islamic scholar authorized to give legal opinions (fatwas—the words mufti and fatwa are derived from the same Arabic root, FTW). When Victorian or Edwardian-era British army officers would relax in their downtime, they would wear smoking caps, smoking jackets, and slippers. This was seen to resemble the skullcap, robes, and slippers of an Islamic official.
#22
Old 11-20-2013, 03:22 PM
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It's all about airflow. If you're getting a strong smokiness, you're smoker is likely smothering the flame, producing more soot than smoke. Open your vents a little more, and lower the amount of wood you're putting on the fire. Also, don't soak your wood - it's a misnomer that you need to do that. All that likely does is contribute to the sootiness environment of your smoker.

What?
#23
Old 11-20-2013, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peedin View Post
My sister smokes outside or in the garage and smokes less than half a pack a day. When she smokes in the garage, she puts a shower cap over her hair. She brushes her teeth after every cigarette and sometimes does a cologne spritz. She is the cleanest person I know, yet smoke just clings to her. When I smoked, I was told by several people they couldn't smell smoke on me, yet I smoked inside and in my car. Maybe they were being polite. I chalked it up to body chemistry.
I wonder if I met your sister on an Amtrak trip, back in 2009. During a smoke stop, I talked with a fellow smoker who told me she did all that stuff. She was a piano teacher and didn't want her students to be exposed to the smell. I especially remember the shower cap.

Yeah, I think all us smokers smell. Some less than others, maybe because of daily showers/hair washing, not wearing the same clothes more than once, liberal use of Febreze, mouthwash, etc.

I know my house smells. When I'm gone for a few hours, I can tell. My daughter's house smells like smoke and Lemon Pledge. My grandparents' house smelled like Prince Albert and bacon.

If I melt a Yankee Candle wax tart, that scent will overpower the smoke -- for awhile.

We stink. We have to face it, but do what we can to mitigate it as much as we can.
#24
Old 11-20-2013, 05:04 PM
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On a related topic, I have kissed (off the top of my head) 3 smokers. Two of them always tasted just fine; one was like licking an ashtray. I could never figure out the reason for the difference.
#25
Old 11-20-2013, 05:09 PM
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3 reasons:

1. Whether they smoke in an enclosed space or not.

2. How they smoke. A smoker who keeps the cigarette between their fingers, with the ember facing outward, and keeps their hand away from their body will smell less than a person who cups their cigarette in their palm or constantly keeps it in their mouth.

3. Post smoke hygiene. Some will use breath mints, wash their hands, etc, after they smoke. Some won't.

Also, if the smoker is one who keeps halfway smoked butts within the pack in his shirt pocket - they will smell bad regardless of the above 3 conditions. Something about a halfway burnt cigarette is pungent.

Last edited by JohnT; 11-20-2013 at 05:11 PM.
#26
Old 11-21-2013, 09:18 PM
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Having questioned a few of the non-stinky smoking co-workers, they did agree that even they can smell the stinky co-workers. I am pretty sure that the two worst offenders in the office must smoke in the their house and car.
#27
Old 11-21-2013, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peedin View Post
My sister smokes outside or in the garage and smokes less than half a pack a day. When she smokes in the garage, she puts a shower cap over her hair. She brushes her teeth after every cigarette and sometimes does a cologne spritz. She is the cleanest person I know, yet smoke just clings to her. When I smoked, I was told by several people they couldn't smell smoke on me, yet I smoked inside and in my car. Maybe they were being polite. I chalked it up to body chemistry.
I think this is true. And schizophrenics and depressives have a particular body smell/chemistry. Combine this with the self-medication of smoking and THAT is a nasty odor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Not only can’t they smell the reek, but their sense of smell is so bad that when they put on aftershave, perfume, etc, they always over-apply.
Lord yeh.
#28
Old 11-21-2013, 10:00 PM
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I believe that polyester clothing greatly increases the amount of odor that sticks to the smoker.
#29
Old 11-22-2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsura View Post
I didn't realize how much I must have smelled like smoke when I was a smoker until after I quit. The telling thing for me was a move from AZ to GA - I'd quit before moving to AZ, but hadn't had some of my winter things cleaned. I ran across them while packing and 3 years post-quit, I could still smell the smoke on them.

I rarely noticed smoke smell on others, and never on myself, when I was a smoker. Now it's almost impossible for me to miss.
Yep, same here. It's funny, at work, I can get on the elevator, be completely alone and know that the people previously on said elevator were smokers because of the smell.
#30
Old 02-12-2015, 05:24 AM
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I disagree with theories of smokers losing ability to smell or becoming immune to tobacco smoke smell. If that's case, I'm opposite.

I've been smoking for over 30 years, and just about everyone around me smoked (WWII generation especially) since I was little, over 50 years ago. I'm from the era when the majority smoked & no one complained about it. There'd be butts on the floor of the supermarket, airplanes had a smoking section, & you could even light up in the hospital. That's a long time being exposed to tobacco smoke.

It wasn't until the last 10 years or so that even though I smoke, I noticed I couldn't stand the smell.

It got to the point I quit smoking in my vehicles. I resigned smoking indoors to one room with an opening to fresh air, or going outside. I even began wearing a set of clothing that was only for smoking. I no longer smoke in public.

In younger days, everyone I hung out with smoked & we'd ride around in a car all night smoking with the window just cracked, & it was fine. When I was in the service, nearly everyone smoked (chain-smoked). No one complained about smell. I never remember it fouling my uniform. Aboard ship most everyone smoked in enclosed small spaces, including berthing areas, & I never recall any unbearable offensive odor. I smoked in my barracks room with the door & windows shut & never remember it stinking up the place.

I drove big rigs & would go thru 2 packs in a 10 hour period & I never remember the cab smelling foul. When I had co-drivers along, they smoked too & although I remember a cloud of hazy smoke, I don't recall my clothes or truck cab smelling bad.

The only place in the old days I remember smelling peculiar was bowling alleys. There'd always be a fog of smoke in a bowling alley & when I came home I'd notice the aroma of cigarettes/lane oil on my clothes. It was specific.

The only other time I recall foul tobacco smell was when I worked for this company & the boss let me use his car & he was a habitual cigar smoker. I got the dry heaves when I got behind the wheel because his car stunk so bad.

Nowadays if I have more than one cig in an enclosed space, I can't stand the smell.

I don't know what happened in the last 10 years to tobacco that now I can't stand the smell. Possibly a change in formula? Maybe the gov't enacted some sort of regulations with the recipe? Maybe they've added something to get people stop. I'm just saying, as smoker, I've noticed tobacco smoke smells more foul to me now than it did 15, 20, 30 years ago.

Last edited by 232343258; 02-12-2015 at 05:25 AM.
#31
Old 02-12-2015, 12:12 PM
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The smell was a more powerful incentive for me to quit than anything else. I was one of those smokers so paranoid about the smell that I basically donned a Hazmat suit every time I had a cigarette. The effort was not worth the reward, especially in the winter.
#32
Old 02-12-2015, 12:25 PM
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I can usually tell just walking past someone if they are a smoker. My cube mate at work is a smoker and when she comes back from her breaks, it almost gags me. I don't know if she smokes a 'bad' brand or what, but I have never smelled worse cigarette reek.
#33
Old 02-12-2015, 12:37 PM
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I was driving behind somebody on the highway this past Friday and the three of us (wife, daughter, and myself) could smell their cigarettes, even with both vehicles approaching 70mph. When we passed the pickup in front of us... no more smell.

And this wasn't the first time that's happened, either.

Last edited by JohnT; 02-12-2015 at 12:37 PM.
#34
Old 02-12-2015, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
What I've noticed is the smoke clings to my hands more than anything else. After every cigarette (unless it's evening and I'm home alone and don't care anymore), I wash my hands. This takes care of 80% of the reek, IMO. I've had many people express surprise that I'm a smoker because they can't smell it on me. My dental hygenist asked me if I'd quit at my last appointment. Nope, just washed my hands, Febrezed my clothes, and don't smoke in confined spaces.

I do think some fabrics hold the stink in better than others and I realize I probably don't eliminate 100% of the stench. As long as I don't see that "Dear Jesus, you reek" expression of disgust on my co-workers' faces, I'm fine.

Recently, I adopted a new old couch from some neighbors who smoke in their house. I cannot get the stench out, and even as a smoker, that couch smells disgusting to me. I spray it down with vinegar every few days and it's getting better, but I still walk in to the room and smell the couch. The dog wouldn't even jump up on it until I'd make pretty significant effort toward desmokifying the damn thing. It took me about two weeks to make it tolerable enough for her. Every time I sit down on it, I say out loud to the dog, "And this is why I never, ever smoke inside. Ever."
This. Minus the couch anecdote. I wash my hands after every cig. Only smoke outside. Only smoke occasionally as it is.
#35
Old 02-12-2015, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Not only can’t they smell the reek, but their sense of smell is so bad that when they put on aftershave, perfume, etc, they always over-apply.
To me it smells like somebody dumped perfume into an ashtray.
#36
Old 02-12-2015, 05:08 PM
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I think brand has a lot to do with it. I have always thought Camel filters were one of the worst.

My parents used to smoke Carltons which were supposed to be very low tar/nicotine but I thought they were among the nastiest smelling, especially the extinguished butts.
#37
Old 02-12-2015, 05:30 PM
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Many people I work with are surprised to learn I smoke, since according to them, I don't ever smell like smoke. For me, I hate the smell of cigarette smoke, so I only smoke outside, preferably while moving, so I don't stand in a cloud of my own smoke. I wash my face and hands and brush my teeth after every cigarette. I only smoke a few times during a shift anyway, so it's not that big a deal. There are 4 of us who smoke in our department; 3 never smell of smoke but the 4th one often smells like an ashtray.
#38
Old 01-01-2016, 12:12 PM
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I believe there are quite a few factors that affects lingering smell, especially on your fingers.

Brand : Marlboro is the worse. I currently smoked LD Ligatt Ducat. When I smoke LD menthol, I do smell, but not as bad as Marlboro menthol. When I smoke LD regular, no one even notice that I have been smoking as the smell on me (and on my fingers) dissipates after 10 mins.

Flavor : Menthol cigs makes smell linger. I suspect that the mint oil evaporates and can stain onto skin and fabric. Oils can trap smoky smells. Just like how backyard BBQ smoke lingers on you, as the oils from the meat evaporates and stuck onto you.

Wind : Make sure that the direction of the wind blows the smoke AWAY from your body, face and fingers at ALL times, even when holding the cig in between inhalation. Yeah, that means smoking outdoors, and upwind from other smokers.

Duration : Do not smoke until the every end. I suspect that when the cig hits the ends, you cannot prevent the smoke from surrounds your fingers. Anyone ever notice that when you had to give up the stick halfway (due to urgent calls or whatever), your fingers don't smell? Or when you use one of those old fashion cig stick attachments? And maybe the heat causes volatile oils from the melted filter being stuck onto you.

Equipment : Use finger gloves, or attachments, or even a clothe peg. That might help your fingers from smelling, but not for the rest of your body, mouth and clothes.

Cleansing. Rinse and gargle mouth with water. Wash fingers with soap. Brush your teeth.
#39
Old 01-01-2016, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 232343258 View Post
I'm from the era when the majority smoked & no one complained about it.
There has never been such an era in the US. That's a story smokers/tobacco pushers tell to justify themselves

Smoking peaked at a little over 40% in the 1950's, and has been declining since then. Now, only about a bit more than 1 out of 7 people (17%) smoke.

Last edited by [email protected]; 01-01-2016 at 07:06 PM.
#40
Old 01-01-2016, 11:49 PM
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I agree with Lorres that duration makes a big difference. While I smoke, someone I work with absolutely stinks of cigarettes hours after she's had one. She smokes them down to the filtre and yellow nicotine coats her fingers. If it's bad enough that I can smell it, I can't imagine what it smells like to a non-smoker.
#41
Old 01-02-2016, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MareIt View Post
A co-worker and I were discussing how a few of our co-workers reek of smoke at 10 feet and yet others, who smoke as frequently, don't smell even when you are standing right by them. Assuming that they all shower and change clothes at the same intervals, which given the even distribution of stinky and non-stinky, seems likely, why would this be?

My thought, those who reek smoke in their own houses so everything they own is infused with the nastiness. And those who only smoke outside only get surface stink? But I can't ask the stinky ones why they stink
If you smoke a lot you get use to the smoke.

People that smoke more than other people that smoke will smell more.

Also the way the person smokes.
#42
Old 01-02-2016, 07:07 AM
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I don't know why they cannot invent cigarettes that don't smell or smell nice than smell bad.

They can put satellites in space and build a space station and send space probes in space but cannot invent cigarettes that smell nice.
#43
Old 01-02-2016, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
The only other time I recall foul tobacco smell was when I worked for this company & the boss let me use his car & he was a habitual cigar smoker. I got the dry heaves when I got behind the wheel because his car stunk so bad.
Well yea but it is funny and may me be just me or only small number of people but I like cigar smell over a cigarette smell.

I know a cigar smell is really strong but has nicer smell over cigarette smell.
#44
Old 01-02-2016, 03:37 PM
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NM, zombie thread.

Last edited by EmilyG; 01-02-2016 at 03:38 PM. Reason: made a zombie joke, then thought better of it
#45
Old 01-03-2016, 10:55 AM
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I have a jacket at home that is 94% polyester and 6% elastine whatever that is. If I am anywhere near a smoker I wreak of cigerette smoke so bad I can't stand it. Everyone near me will be equally as offended. The finish on the jacket is similar to suede. I have never seen anything that smelled so bad in my life. I believe the type of fabric in clothing can have a significant effect on how much smell a smoker is putting out.
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