My roommate Adam is an addicted smoker and I know for certain he smokes at least 6 times a night. The constant odor and harmful environment that he creates from smoking make it very stressful for me to live in the same area as him. Needless to say that I assume he smokes just as much while I am at work. Adam usually stays in his room for most of the day, and the only time he ever comes out is to eat or smoke. Granted, he is an art student; his daily tasks include working from his computer. He is also a gamer, and he makes sure to stay up-to-date with the latest video games. His recent favorite is the Battlefield series. However, his cigarette and cigar odor is very overwhelming, so the rest of my roommates and I have designated a “smoking area” for him – the balcony. Every time Adam goes out for a smoke, I can hear him crack open his bedroom door and stomp through the kitchen to the balcony. I also know he is about to smoke because he always says “Hi” to my other roommate’s dog.
My room is right next to the balcony, and I can hear Adam slide the balcony door open every time. I always patiently wait to hear the door shut, so I know that the smoke is not coming inside. If I don’t hear it close, I start to fidget and eventually come out of my room to check. I know when my other roommates and I aren’t at home, he leaves the door open because I come home to a smoke scented apartment. Although I already mentioned to him that I don’t like the balcony door open, he continues to do so anyway. It seems as if smokers don’t care about how their addiction affects others, and the odor really bothers me that much because I am terrified of getting secondhand smoke. I read once that even if you can’t smell the smoke, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. It sinks into everything. Clothes, hair and especially furniture. That’s even more alarming!
The rest of my roommates and I love to play beer pong, and we use the infamous Solo Red Cups. You can find them stacked together on top of our refrigerator for easy setup. We have ping pong balls in places that can’t be reached, even in our neighbor’s porch. Adam used one of the red cups as an ashtray. He is a great guy, but he is a little on the lazy side and when I say a little, I mean a lot. He would never throw away this cup even when it started to deteriorate because of the heat. He would over-fill it with cigarette buds to the point where they were at least piled 2-3 inches higher than the rim of the cup. They would fall to the ground and be blown into our neighbor’s yard below us. As a side note, our kitchen trash can is literally three steps from the balcony door. For Christmas, my roommates and I chipped in to buy him a spinning ashtray for more organization and so far it’s working quite well. Now will he dump it out himself when it gets full? Probably not.
However even when Adam comes back into the apartment after smoking a cigarette, I can still smell the smoke odor. I hold my breath until I assume the smell is gone, but sometimes it takes more than three minutes. Three minutes may not seem like a long time, but it is when you’re holding your breath. Every now and then I would exhale, but then only take in a small amount of air because I didn’t want to inhale the odor. His room also smelled like smoke, and I wanted to get rid it.
When I first started to notice the stench as he came inside, I used an air freshener. I specifically used a Glade air freshener that was lavender and vanilla scented. It smelled very good at first, but didn’t get rid of the smell though. It just made it worse. It made the air smell like a burnt vanilla cupcake. It was a very strong scent as if someone sprayed too much perfume or cologne, like Axe Body Spray. All girls know how that feels.
So I did some research and learned that if you use a damp cloth with some vinegar and wipe all of your furniture and walls, it can really make a difference to the odor in the air. I also read that Febreze works really well. So I thought I would double-up on this and do both to assure myself that the smoke odor would be gone. I’m not sure if it’s working, but I’d really like to think that is. Like I said before even if you can’t smell the smoke, it’s still there.
I’m very paranoid when it comes to this situation, so I scrubbed the walls and tiled floor with the vinegar towel and Swiffer. I washed our living room blankets and curtains in the washing machine TWICE. I shampooed the carpets with ridiculously expensive carpet cleaner that could probably be easily bought by the couple in Northern California who recently found $10 million in gold coins in their backyard. I placed bowls of vinegar strategically around the apartment. I sautéed some onions, peppers and garlic, and scattered them all around the apartment. I purchased an air purifier. I opened up all the windows and turned on all the fans to dry the place and let the air circulate through the apartment. I must say that the air felt fresh in my apartment thus far. Might I add this was an all-day event for me! Someone recommended that I light a candle, but it seems as though only the gigantic candles give a strong essence. Anyone know of a good brand or scent?
But maybe I should skip all this messy stuff in between and just get rid of my roommate.