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How Much Does A Smoker Devalue The Selling Price Of Their House Or Car ?

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A friend bought a used car the other day for £8k, then found it had been last owned by a smoker.

It got me thinking in relation to housing, and what % discount should be given. I don't recall this being discussed on hpc .

Should a previous owner be required by law to disclose that they were a smoker? What about E-cigs ?

Replacing drywall & carpets that are soaked with toxins is an expensive process .

According to this DT article from Jan 16

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/12077562/Buying-a-house-from-a-smoker-could-prove-dangerous-for-your-health-study-finds.html

Buying a house from a smoker could prove dangerous for your health, study finds Third hand smoke permeates furniture, carpets and walls and could prove toxic, even months after people have stopped smoking in it, scientists say.

Scientists found that exposure to the toxic chemicals that infiltrate the home could be particularly dangerous for young children prone to explore and put things in their mouths.

They said third-hand smoke residue could be absorbed into almost any porous surface, which then leaked out over time.

"We were really surprised by how persistent the contamination is in the home, even months after people have stopped smoking in it."
Dr Penelope Quintana

Dr Georg Matt, a psychologist from San Diego State University in the US who has studied the effects of third-hand smoke for 20 years, said: “Homes become reservoirs of tobacco smoke pollutants.

“These volatile compounds soak into the drywall. Gypsum is like a bottomless pit for these toxins. Carpets are tremendous reservoirs."

The latest research involved the study of third hand smoke in different environments.

Parents who smoke only in garden may still harm children, doctors warn

Dr Eunha Hoh, an environmental chemist who took part in the study, said: "Cigarette smoke is known to contain thousands of chemicals, and these chemicals get deposited onto surfaces.

"A great many of them are known to be toxic and carcinogenic. The levels of these chemicals may be quite low in third-hand smoke residue, but they are dangerous when you have chronic exposure."

The scientists found that the longer the chemicals lingered in their environment, the more chemical reactions occurred that could turn otherwise innocuous compounds into harmful ones.

They also found a link between third-hand smoke and the presence of "extremely hazardous" carcinogenic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs.

Pets at more risk from passive smoking than humans, find scientists

These increase cancer risk and also trigger asthma attacks and eye, lung and throat irritation.

Dr Penelope Quintana, an environmental health scientist, said that simple dusting or vacuuming did not get rid of the danger, nor did painting over residue-stained walls.

"We were really surprised by how persistent the contamination is in the home, even months after people have stopped smoking in it," she said.

A Bbc article from 2004 says £16k

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3457013.stm

Smokers could be reducing the value of their homes by £16,000, according to new research in the UK.

Scientific American article from 2009

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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It's one consideration among many. If the house is one you'd redecorate anyway then it makes ***-all difference. If it isn't ... well, it is now.

I'd much rather have a house that stank of a previous inhabitant than one where the neighbours have one of those foul wood burners that make smokers and diesels seem thoroughly benign in comparison.

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I'd much rather have a house that stank of a previous inhabitant than one where the neighbours have one of those foul wood burners that make smokers and diesels seem thoroughly benign in comparison.

If more than a negligable amount is at ground level the chimney's probably screwed. Personally I prefer burning coal, although some previous bugger had messed up the fireplace so that all that can go in it now is a stove that can't burn proper coal without getting clogged up. Not going to stop me from burning wood though if I get a free supply if a tree's coming down somewhere, I've got room to stack it to season (wonder how many people are screwing things up burning unseasoned wood?)

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Personally I find the smell of dogs just as off-putting as the smell of stale tobacco. I don't suppose its as toxic though!

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Personally I find the smell of dogs just as off-putting as the smell of stale tobacco. I don't suppose its as toxic though!

It is if you are allergic to dogs. I don't think I could actually live in a house that has had a cat within the last 12 months.

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Personally I find the smell of dogs just as off-putting as the smell of stale tobacco. I don't suppose its as toxic though!

Try pulling up the carpet of a house full of incontinent cats.

Horrible.

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Apparently some cooking fumes are carcinogenic and mutagenic and who knows what paraffin heater fumes do to their surroundings and make sure there's no oil spills on the car engine and the fuel tank is sound.

Refurbishing smoker's homes could become a real money spinner - they need a new growth industry. Strip it all out and rebuild to be on the safe side.

It could easily become the new asbestos type thing. Anything over say 20 years old is 100% certain to be a risk.

Edited by billybong

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If more than a negligable amount is at ground level the chimney's probably screwed. Personally I prefer burning coal, although some previous bugger had messed up the fireplace so that all that can go in it now is a stove that can't burn proper coal without getting clogged up. Not going to stop me from burning wood though if I get a free supply if a tree's coming down somewhere, I've got room to stack it to season (wonder how many people are screwing things up burning unseasoned wood?)

Never understood why people complain about wood burners or open fireplaces. if the flue is clear (i.e. swept

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Risk is my middle name. I've had the same mattress for nine years.

I real;ly must change my mattress. It's just hit ten years, three countries, and was my 'shagging' mattress so buggered all down one side, so to speak. :D

Edited by wherebee

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Never understood why people complain about wood burners or open fireplaces. if the flue is clear (i.e. swept

If you've got enough of them, i.e. a whole city's worth, things can get pretty unpleasant. That's why choking smog used to be such a problem and why the clean air acts were needed. Not living in such a place I'm fine with them, the slight tinge of smoke on a cold autumn or winter's evening is something I find more pleasant than otherwise and I'll take a lot of persuading that the concentration is high enough of anything nasty to be a cause of concern.

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Not only smoking but also outside pollutants both clean air and noise.....a friend of mine lived on the north circular and had to clean her nets in the summer every other week, they got black from poor air quality. ;)

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Wow .. this is grade A making children fight evil people that denied you personal profit stuff! To be clear - this is just an intense dislike of the article and the person who wrote it rather than an insult intended for the thread starter or a slight on it's relevance to HPC. As bigotry is usually just poorly expressed and mis-understood concern around a real problem it isn't unacceptable as idle chatter - but it takes that house price magic to get away with it as your considered opinion published in a news paper.

It's basically just a classic good vs evil by association minority exploiting piece - I mean smokers are evil these days and small children are undeniably defenseless and innocent so smokers killing children is like evil squared. That's usually enough to understandably distract most people concerned with children and/or by smokers from thinking about who has responsibility over whom and what happens when you take the children out of the story or replace the smoking with something else we all might be guilty of or which isn't accepted as evil in it's own right. A good example might be: columnist with sick children outraged by person with bad interior designs attempts to prevent him/her from bullying them into a lower sale price as bad interior design person things it will sell for more and doesn't see why the sick children are relevant. Um ... I've got drunk and had a rage at interior design and/or ridiculous prices a few times - I understand ... but I wouldn't want to publish that as my opinion in a newspaper.

It really does make no consistent sense at all. Would you really hold a smoker guilty if they engaged in a voluntary house transaction with somebody else who had children - even if it turned out the child was actually terrifyingly allergic to smoking by-products and died in a believable way (e.g. asthma). As the article notes, children have little control or awareness of environmental harms so my instinct would always be to look at the carer first if a child was harmed before I got my pitch fork out for the smoker that sold them the house it was in. I'm not much more comfortable with the idea that people with questionable interior design skills should be threatened and bullied into selling their houses for less. It's a valid tactic but I'm obviously not placing the perperator as anything more than a dirty brown and not very nice knight. I'm no more comfortable with forcing people to buy houses at ridiculous prices too but I slipped that in at the end as these days that's just me and a few crazies on here that - but I like to say it and I think my argument stands without it.

Ok .. I'm going to stop there before I get really angry and go on about the LD50 of smoking residue or discuss actual causes of harm to children like poverty, war, abuse neglect, the daily mail and how you'd never get them on a chart with the evidence you collect for made up shit like that. It's really not about that - it's about house prices! glorious insanity, life in the moment and price rises for all as tomorrow you might run out of children to throw on the bonfire! And you can publish that as my satirical opinion of course ...

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To be honest, this is just one aspect of health considerations - also factor in:-

  • asbestos - I've probably seen half a dozen properties with asbestos roofiing on sheds/garden buildings and the EA on each turn was clueless as to my concerns
  • noise pollution - never going to know til you live there - very hazardous to physlcal and mental health
  • mold - painted over by current owner when you decide to buy, appears 3 months after you commit to a 25 year mortgage - very hazardous to health - many auto-immune diseases triggered by mold.
  • radon gas - lung cancer!

Just four off the top of my head - of course EAs and surveyors magically overlook these issues - they're not on their radar - bathroom is spotless (newly painted), what surveyor tests noises, and well asbestos? That's the neighbour's garage roof a few feet away from your garden - job's worth surveyor ignores it.

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If you notice the smoking then it probably has an impact on the price. Things you might not notice, such as mold, have an impact on the value.

It's been a while, but the last time I had to look at spareroom.co.uk I got the impression that most really cheap rooms were in smoking households, and the average was probably lower too.

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If you've got enough of them, i.e. a whole city's worth, things can get pretty unpleasant. That's why choking smog used to be such a problem and why the clean air acts were needed. Not living in such a place I'm fine with them, the slight tinge of smoke on a cold autumn or winter's evening is something I find more pleasant than otherwise and I'll take a lot of persuading that the concentration is high enough of anything nasty to be a cause of concern.

A University of Durham study I once stumbled across had done some measurements, and found the smoke from woodburning about 350 times more carcinogenic than that from cigarettes.

And in these days of smoking ban, altogether more foul than anything smokers inflict on us.

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I have friend who brought the house the beginning of the year that looked like it had smoker in it. The previous owner had not decorated for years and it was dirty. It must have effect the value of the house so my friend may have got a bargin . new carpets and painting in all rooms as helped loads. Plus its nice enough area.

Would i have brought it?. I dont think so, it would have put me off.

2 years ago my mum brought a smoker, which reaked inside. It took six months to get rid of the smell. I dont think it was fag smoke either

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A University of Durham study I once stumbled across had done some measurements, and found the smoke from woodburning about 350 times more carcinogenic than that from cigarettes.

And in these days of smoking ban, altogether more foul than anything smokers inflict on us.

Yet you don't breath it in in anywhere near the concentration of cigarette smoke, unless there's something seriously wrong with the fireplace or flue (in which case there are more immediate problems to be worried about).

Nothing particularly foul about it.

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Yet you don't breath it in in anywhere near the concentration of cigarette smoke, unless there's something seriously wrong with the fireplace or flue (in which case there are more immediate problems to be worried about).

Nothing particularly foul about it.

yeah, yeah, you go making your free choices and to hell with everyone else. I know, I know, the chinese are burning 15 million babies a week in their new coal power stations, you're just doing what man did for millennia.

Not living in a cave though are you?

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Always nice to see the "not living in a cave" line even though it demonstrates about as much ability to draw conclusions as the "leaving the EU means having nothing whatsoever to to do with Europe" crowd. Such oversimplification and generalistion is always so much easier than trying to think, isn't it?

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Always nice to see the "not living in a cave" line even though it demonstrates about as much ability to draw conclusions as the "leaving the EU means having nothing whatsoever to to do with Europe" crowd. Such oversimplification and generalistion is always so much easier than trying to think, isn't it?

Seems to have as much thinking for in it as your statements as to its non foul ness.

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I must say I do find it incredible that wood burning stoves' smoke is seen as 'green' and acceptable by all, but car pollution, bonfires and ciggy smoke etc. is seen as a menace. In the winter months I can walk thru the residential area near where I live and find large areas (a few streets) are very unpleasant due to the smoke from, I guess just 1 stove. You walk to the next street and the air is clean and fresh, before entering another smoked out street. It is not just unpleasant but agitates the throat.

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