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Constant smoke smell in nasal passages.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been having "phantom smoke smell for about 8 months now.  I am in the medical field and I know nothing is wrong with my nasal passages, etc.  I finally went to an experienced psychotherapist and she put me under (hypnosis).  Brief history, my mother passed away about five years ago.  I have been in a relationship with someone who is bringing up issues my parents have had.  Anyway, my mom has been around.  Don't know exactly what her message is but right now I feel that I have to work on the same issues they had.
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Avatar_n_tn
BTW, both my parents smoked when I was younger.  My father passed away 10 months after my mom.  

The smoke I smelled went on for months and it did not matter what I was doing or where I was.  The PhD psychologist.  I went to also deals with the metaphysical.  She first went through the physical and anatomical possibilities before we went into the subconscious.  Since I wrote my first entry here, the smoke sensation has been gone.  Maybe someone wants you to read this.
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Avatar_m_tn
Happy to report that turps / brush cleaner smell and taste has dumbed down quite a lot - though coffee still smells and tastes awful.  Maybe it is the nasal spray or maybe I just peaked and now its gradually getting back to what it was. I no longer smell exhaust fumes every time a car goes by - which was a problem as I couldn't have the windows open at work. Appointment in September for ENT - will have to see how things are by then.
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Avatar_m_tn
Been to ENT - had camera up my nose. No polyps or anything untoward. Been given further nasal drops to reach right at the top and another appointment in 5 weeks.  Was told that it is probably due to viral infection from last cold and condition may be permanent - oh joy!

She wasn't interested in the smoke smell or turps smell so have now resigned myself to this - unless the new drops improve things. Will keep my fingers crossed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am having a similar issue with my sense of smell. No matter where I go, I can smell a faint sigarette odor. It's annoying, especially because I do not smoke. I don't know anyone who smokes. This has been happening for at least a month now. Anyone have any clue as to what's the caused and how to get rid of it? Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
I also had a terrible problem with persistent cigarette smoke smell.  I eventually linked the smell to my change to a new extended wear contact lense--Johnson and Johnson Acuvue Oasys.  The problem would arise at the end of the wear cycle, and was exacerbated by dry conditions (i.e. planes).  It took about four cycles of using the new lense before a problem arose, and then it would only arise at the end of the wear cycle.  But it was terrible!!  Once I stopped wearing the lenses for good, the problem stopped (though it took more than 24 hours the last time).

When dealing with your nose, don't forget that your eyes are linked to your nasal passages through your tear ducts.
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Avatar_n_tn
Regarding the cigarette smell - you may really be smelling the cigarettes and may have been inhaling them so it's in your system. You may live in an apartment or a home but cigarette smoke travels thru anything, anywhere!  If you're a non-smoker, you can smell it.  Or, another thing I just discovered was that smokers use deodorizers or other scented things like Glade.  These cover the smell also and make you sick and is harmful to you.  The other thing they use is the deoderizer, called the Smoker's Candles and it has a strange smell - it converts cigarette or marijuana smell into unrecognizable scents - until maybe the wind shifts and you can then smell all the cigarette/pot. The deoderizer really wipes your sense of smell and it is horrible.  You cannot smell much yet smell that constant cigarette smell.  I am having that problem now and even the Police nor the Fireman cannot smell anything, nor other neighbors unless you are very sensitve and desparate to resolve this nightmare without moving.  It irritates your eyes, gags you, affects your breathing and your life.  My other neighbor smokes a lot and I live in an apartment.  She uses the scented stuff along with the deoderizer so you can't smell it much....all you notice is you continuously smell cigarettes everywhere else.  To find out if they are using a deoderizer, try to cover your nose with your t-shirt for about 5 minutes.  Then remove and breathe the air - you will notice awful smells all around you but then the deoderizer kicks in and makes your sense of smell disappear.  It's awful and I am trying to find the next step, what I can do to resolve this issue!! Who can I call, what am I really breathing in and how to stop all this.  Does anyone know? thanks.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I just went to ENT yesterday and he said that he thinks its OZENA. While he was checking my nose he told me he could smell it also. But he said to him it did not smell like cigarettes but he could see where I would mistake it for cigarettes. I go for a CT scan tomorrow for further research.
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Avatar_f_tn
I will mention this again in the hopes that it may help you.  I just insisted my apartment manager replace my air conditioner/furnace combo.  The owners were none too happy about it because it cost them alot of money, but I really don't care.  My constant smoke/exhaust smell is now completely gone.  It was gone as soon as the old unit was disconnected.  Freon was leaking from the A/C lines (coils) and was causing me to have an awful throat burning, nose burning, eyes burning, smokey smell.  No one else could smell it.  Of course, all the maintenance people were men.  If you are women, we are more susceptable to smells than men are...it is a proven fact.  I could do the same thing, put my shirt over my nose for a few seconds and then the smell would go away for about three minutes.  But then it would always come back.  I highly suggest that you somehow get a certified A/C tech in you home/apartment, one with a leak detection meter.  My A/C tech's lit up like a Christmas tree when directed towards my A/C coils.  This was after over a year of fighting with my manager over this issue...'oh, we don't smell anything'...yea, right.  But I did, and that's all that mattered.  My husband didn't even smell it.  So, after having this horrible experience for a long time, I am a MUCH happier person.  I wish you much luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too had the same problem for 6 years and it was the fabric softener. I rewashed everything I have and the problem was gone in 2 days.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, it's definitely the fabric softeners guys!  The dryer sheets especially, which probably leave a higher concentration of chemical on your clothes than the kind you add to the washer.  I suffered with bouts of this problem on and off every week or so, where I would feel like I was constantly inside a smoke filled room, to the point where I felt that it was difficult to breath and my eyes would almost burn even!  Once it began, this feeling would last for up to a week before finally subsiding, only to return again in another week or so.  I also noticed that it seemed to be worse sitting than standing, which I couldn't explain at the time, but now attribute to the fact that when sitting, your arms and legs sort of form a trap which funnels the softener fumes up to your face.  Anyway, I suffered with this problem for a couple of years before taking the advice of another contributer to this blog to try stopping the fabric softener.  Once I convinced my wife to stop using the dryer sheets on my clothes, the problem quickly subsided, although I had what I would describe as sort of mild flashbacks of the experience, which probably took a month to completely resolve.  Also, I now sometimes notice a faint reminder of the experience if I enter the room after my wife has been running the clothes dryer (she still uses the dryer sheets on her clothes).
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Avatar_n_tn
OK I have been smelling smoke off and on  since May 2010. It doesn't matter where i am in school or in my house and all are smoke free. it lasts about 30 seconds at a time and maybe 8-10 times a day. i went to doc 1st ,then ent ,then got a cat scan, mri ,and eeg... all say I am fine.. well that is great.. but what's with the smell. now thay are thinking of Epilepsy meds??? a little nervous of the side effects! please some feedback!
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Avatar_n_tn
After I stopped smoking in 2001 my sense of smell became much more sensitive. I could smell things that other people couldn't. In the summer of 2002 I was at the scene of a house fire. Due to the remote location of the house, the fire department couldn't get their hoses to reach the house so people were making a bucket brigade, of which I was a part. I did not know the people whose home burned and it was not an emotional event for me personally. Smoke literally blanketed the air for hours, making it like being in a fog. After that fire I could smell the smoke in my sinuses for days. Even since then, off and on, I can smell smoke for days, even when I can't see the source of the fire. I think it might be from other people's fire places, like right now. It is cold and calm here, not windy. There is no breeze at all. It also always happens if I've been around a camp fire... I'll smell it for days after. I don't think it is abnormal for me. I just think I have a super refined sense of smell and it's something I must tolerate, because it's not always pleasant.
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Avatar_m_tn
I came looking for a solution to my problem and am discouraged. I have been recovering from a head/chest cold for 2 1/2 weeks. Last week I suddently started smelling cigarette smoke (no one here smokes). I looked all over to see if we might have smoke coming from an outlet...I was afraid to go to sleep because I couldn't figure out what it was. I could smell it the next day at work. I was at a motel over the weekend and could smell it there too. I do see some people say it came on after a cold where they had lost their sense of taste. I did have that happen so am bummed by I can't seem to find a solution. I'm sure my doctor will think I'm crazy as will all of my family members...can't blame them...who would believe it?
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Avatar_f_tn
If you live anywhere near a street, road, freeway, byway, highway, etc., that may be a reason for your constant smoke smell and taste of gasoline when you burp.  I notice it a lot, but to me it smells like exhaust, and I can literally taste the smell (tastes like gasoline), and yes, even when I burp.  So, if we can smell it, taste it, and burp it, it is no surprise.  We are breathing it, swallowing it, and absorbing it through our pores.  Wind inversion causes it to be stronger sometimes, but I always smell the noxious fumes.  I bought an air purifier and it helps to a certain degree, but short of moving to the country well away from any traffic, it is an annoyance we may have to become accustomed to.  I know this is not exactly what you may want to hear, nor may it be a viable solution.  But, I believe this is something with which we have no other choice because we are living in a toxic environment/world.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi
my husband thinks im mad cos i smell smoke all the time but no one else can.
the tecnical term for this is "phantosmia" or "olfactory hallucinations".
it can be caused by sinus problems,migrain,parkinsons disease , brian injury, temporal lobe epilepsy, brain tumours and stroke.
anyone who suffers this should ask their gp to be refurred to a neurologist.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all ... well I get this smell too and I'm epileptic and I was told by epilepsy organisations through reading on their website that this 'smell' is a hint that I'm about to have a seizure ...

Just thought I'd tell people that ... because it's something quite big ...

Not meaning to scare people by the way.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been suffering from this for some time now. Cigarette/tobacco/burning smell. Just lately it has got a lot worse, it happens not only in my home but also in other places, so I know it is not just something in my house. I have a lesion in my right nostril, which was cauterised back in Jan 2011, which resulted in me having a very heavy nosebleed a few days later. I went to see my GP yesterday about the smell, but as I have an appointment with the ENT consultant in June, he was reluctant to do anything about it, and advised me to wait. Not sure whether to be worried or not!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have this sickening smell in my nose. I have an ENT appt soon so hope it helps. In the meantime I just wanted to say that this smell is not isolated like some have said. I smell it everywhere - at work, home, different offices, buildings and now out of town. I am sick of this! Being dizzy and nauseated all the time are no fun. I hope all of us find peace soon and something wonderful to smell!
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1665771_tn?1303157598
Im amazed. I thought i was the only one with this problem. I had an electrical problem with an inverter in my truck. It started burning. After about 2 weeks without one i purchased a new one that works fine, but then i started smelling the ashy smell. It smells like a campfire all the time. Something is in my nasal passages that makes my eyes burn too. I figure all that stuff ENT are connected. What is the solution? I have used nasal sprays and that just seems to make me smell it more. Can anyone help?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a smoker, but I've never had a problem with this lingering smoke-type of smell until about 6 months ago.  It's intermittent.  I'll have it for half a day and then it's gone the next day for a few days or a week, (sometimes longer), and then it comes back for another day.  It never lasts for more than a day.  I've been taking Optifresh Breath Gels hoping no one else can smell it, because it's pretty rank, but they don't seem to do anything for the smell in my nose.  I even put hand sanitzer in my nose hoping to get rid of it, but that doesn't work either.  Could it be an infection?  I didn't start having any sinus problems until I moved from the Great Lakes to Colorado, so I'm thinking that may be the case.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been having phantom smoke smells since attending a music festival back in August called Shambhala.  I slept in my van for 3 nights and could have sworn that somebody was blowing smoke into the window.  It was stifling and left me gasping at times.  Later I continued to experience the same smell only when I looked back at photos of the festival or talked about it.  Now...I consider myself a rational minded person so my first thought was that I had somehow affected my brain synapses with experiencing the loud music, intense light show...and yes a wee bit of recreational drugs.  I believed that until 6 months later when a friend smelled the smoke smell while we where discussing our plans of attending the festival this year. She was so sure somebody was smoking near us. That was impossible.
I finally had to tell her my experience about the smells AND how they only seem to appear when I thought or mentioned the music fest. Her experience of that smell has caused me to totally change my hypothesis.  Soon after the smell became so strong that my chest began to hurt from the pressure.  I had no other recourse than to assume that it could be malevolent energy that had followed me.  I am not religious but had only that to grasp onto and demand in the name of Christ that whatever was around me leave.  It did instantly! I was smoke smell free for 2 months Here's the catch. It has returned even stronger in the past 2 days and nothing I try is working.  Has anyone else considered a possible paranormal connection.  I am at my wits end.  Some other freaky things have happened around this as well that I would not even consider posting here at the risk of sounding like a total flake. I am only on this site at my boyfriends request as even he is concerned. BTW I am 45 years old and consider myself a rational educated strong woman. (not a flake)
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Avatar_m_tn
I HAD BEEN SMELLING/TASTING THE SMOKY SMELL FOR ABOUT A WEEK  - HAVE BEEN DIETING RECENTLY AND HAD A FLARE UP OF ACID REFLUX AS A RESULT. After some research, I developed a theory that the smell was a result of the gases venting from my stomach into my esophagus due to the Acid Reflux. I went to my doctor and she agreed that what I was experiencing was most likely caused by Acid Reflux. She advised me to double up on the over the counter Prevacid (so 30 milograms total). First day of doubling up, smell went from every minute or so, to maybe a dozen incidents all day and very faint smelling. Second day - NO SMOKE SMELL!!!!

Just wanted to point out some things - For those making the antiobiotic connection - Antibiotics can cause/increase acid reflux. For those making the weight loss connection which was where my issue stemmed from, dieting and exercise can cause/increase acid reflux. BTW - you can have Acid Reflux with no symptoms.

This is what I found to be causing my smoky smell issue. From reading everyones posts here and on other simliar sites, here are my theories:

If you are smelling the smell constantly with no difference in sitting or standing and no other symptoms, it may be a deep sinus infection, or acid reflux (EVEN IF YOU DONT HAVE SYMPTOMS OF EITHER) - have your doctor check you out to confirm.

If you are smelling it intermittently, more prominently after meals, when sitting, its most likely acid reflux. Try Prevacid or any other similar med and see if there is an improvement.

I really hope that my personal break through can help people dealing with this as i know it can be really annoying and scary to deal with. BTW, If you dont want to use medication, try changing your diets. Look up Acid Reflux to get an idea of what foods help and what foods to avoid.

Please post and let me know if this helped anyone!

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1698610_tn?1306847867
I Smoke cigarettes, and two days ago I caught strep throat, I didnt go to the doctor because I had some amoxicillin left over from a previous virus, so I had been taking those, and now this morning I woke up with this smell in my nose and throat and makes me gag! I attempted to smoke a cig, and the smell was so bad I vommited. I have been gaging on and off all morning now, and I couldnt even eat.. its like the smell wraps around the food in my mouth and makes me gag too !!
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1698716_tn?1306860165
Thank you to whoever first posted this problem.  For over ten years we have been smelling cigarette smoke and though I have never noticed anyone outside smoking, I always thought it had to be a heavy smoker somewhere in this multi-building large apartment complex.  

Today the smell is so strong that it caused a very rare headache and a nauseous feeling so I decided to search the web to see if anyone else had this problem.  It was a big surprise to see the thousands of comments about this all over the Internet.

Sometimes the smell has been so strong that it seemed like it was someone smoking right outside our outside door and on worse days inside our apartment.  

The tips about the air conditioning are good.  I clean the wall air conditioner filter and coils regularly. However I don't recall whether it reduced the smell.  I'll try again.

I haven't used dryer sheets in years yet do laundry either in the laundry room in the apartment complex or in a public laundromat.  I have heard that dryers get build-up from those sheets so perhaps that's another source.

The computer sometimes seems to emit or be the source of the smell.  I wonder if something inside the laptop is the source.

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Avatar_f_tn
As well as cleaning you A/C filter and coils regularly, you may want to check for leaks, especially around the copper connectors.  Mix a small amount of liquid dish soap with a large amount of water (about one tsp soap to a couple of cups of water) and put that in a fine mist spray bottle.  Then spray those copper lines and connectors.  If you see any fine white bubbles anywhere along that tubing, you have a freon leak.  I ended up with a new A/C unit to get rid of the annoying smell of what I thought of as exhaust. On occasion I do still smell exhaust, but that is always when the wind is blowing this direction from the heavy interstate traffic.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've just started suffering from this problem this morning - I can smell a constant "burning" wherever I am. I've just had the "sniffles" for a week, which might have been a cold/virus - but I also spent last night in a room with a fairly old AC/Heater unit.

The last time my nose felt anything like this was when I accidentally boiled butter in a pan while making a cake - my sense of smell was destroyed for over a month.

This is a bit different though, I can still smell and taste other things, but there's this constant background smell that I can't ditch. Its very distracting.
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Avatar_f_tn
Since this started this morning, I think you have answered your own question.  Older A/C's tend to leak (new ones can also) and also have mold and other nasty stuff.  If you are not going to be exposed to this old A/C unit constantly, then I think your 'smoke smell' will go away soon.  If you ARE going to be exposed to this unit in the future, I would suggest opening it and cleaning it thoroughly.  Then spray some soapy water along the lines to see if little white bubbles indicate a freon leak.  Freon smells like car exhaust to me, but it could be described by others as a smoky type smell.  

I feel your pain.
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Avatar_m_tn
Because of your posts and comments, I finally went to my GP.  I have had the smoke smell for almost 2 months.  First it started as just the annoying smell, and then the eyes started burning and the nausea.  I seemed like someone was just blowing smoke in my face until I wanted to gag.  It was in different locations, different times of the day and all in smoke free environments.  I even went so far as to check my son’s rooms thinking they were sneaking and smoking in the middle of the night.

My family physician was awesome.  Listened to my concerns and discussed some possible causes.  He suggested we start with some blood work, and then if the symptoms persisted an MRI.  Well, my thyroid count was very low almost non-existent.  I started taking 100 mg of Levothyroxine and 2 weeks later, no smoke smell.  I will continue to get my blood levels checked.
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Avatar_m_tn
My burnt smell problem began last autumn and seems to only occur when I am indoors near vented air (e.g. air conditioning or heating vents). It never happens outdoors. On most days it occurs intermittently when I am near vents (it is never constant). It does, however, lead to slight inflammation of my nasal pasages. My ENT (like most of your ENTs ) didn't have a clue to the problem. He sent me for a Brain MRI and I was fine. Now he thinks I might benefit from going to a center for smell and taste disorders at the University of Pennsylvania. I may do this if my problem ever worsens. My own suspicion is that I have an indoor allergy caused by mold, dust, or something similar. It manifests itself as occasional burnt smell. (I also have polyps in my nose.) If anyone suffers from something similar, and has advice for me, I would much appreciate it. However, please keep in mind my precise symptoms, which may be very different from yours. I wish you all good luck and I hope someday the medical community will catch up with what we have, and stop scaring everyone into thinking they have brain tumors, especially when these smells are intermittent, and caused by specific environmental conditions.
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Avatar_f_tn
I started having a persistent yet intermittent smell of cigarette smoke in my apartment a few months ago.  I live in a senior property, and it is a no smoking property.  Sometimes it is so bad I can barely stand it.  Then I realized that I could smell it in some of the stores I frequent and then I started smelling it in my car sometimes.  Finally I came to realize that it is a problem with me, since no one who comes to visit me smells it when I do.  It seems to come and go, I can have it for several days and then not have it happen for a few weeks.  I have been using a cpap machine (breathing machine) for about a year, and I am wondering if it could possibly be related to that.  I am going to pursue this with my doctor.  I am miserable, it gets so bad I feel like I am choking and gasping for air.  I have always hated cigarette smoke and have been extra sensitive to it.  I cannot stand to even be in the same area with someone who is smoking and if I am I have to come home, strip off my clothes and wash my hair before I can go to sleep.  I do not have A/C, but do have forced air electric, although it is summer and I am not using my heat.  I do use my laptop for several hours daily, but find that I can smell it in the evenings while watching television when my laptop is shut down for the night.  I am really frustrated over this matter, and in the meantime I will try all suggestions listed above.  I am just glad to hear that I am not the only one suffering.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my first occurrence of the phantom smoke smell over 9 years ago, but it has only happened maybe 5 times, total.  I used to think it was dust burning in the ventilation slots of my computer monitor at work but I have realized over time the smell is with me everywhere I go... home, work, gym, stores.  It tends to last for a few weeks and then fades away.  I currently have it again now.  Sometimes it gets so bad I become sick to my stomach.  It is NOT caused by an HVAC unit, acid reflux, fabric softener, contact lens solution, or living in a "toxic environment".  It is something medical, I am sure of, whether it's sinus or brain-related is yet to be determined.  I see my Dr next week and will start the investigation then.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a retired senior citizen (68) who is home most of the time. I live in a house built in the '60s. My A/C condenser went out, and I couldn't afford to replace it yet, so I've been using window A/C units this summer, but trying to keep the filters clean regularly.

I've been smelling this funky smell off and on for months, wondering what it is. I've even thought my little mini Schnauzer might have a strange smell, but I keep her clean, and she's an indoor dog. Even when I get very close to her, it doesn't seem to be her that is smelling strange.

Today the smell became so bad and constant that I became worried either a fire was smoldering somewhere in the house (attic, perhaps?) and the smell coming through the ceiling vents or there might be sewer gas coming from the drain of the only shower in the house that hasn't been updated.However, if there were a fire, my smoke alarms would have sounded, and they didn't.

It is kind of an acrid smell, not actually like smoke and certainly not like cigarettes (which I would identify easily because cig smoke bothers me tremendously), but similar to a smokey smell, if that makes any sense.

That's the problem.  No one else who comes into my house seems to smell it! I've asked my son, who visits frequently, and he doesn't smell anything bad or unusual. Also asked other visitors, who claimed they didn't smell anything.

I walked around the house today sniffing everywhere, trying to find the source of this smell, but couldn't narrow it down to anything but MY NOSE. It is still driving me nutty, but at least I'm not worried about fire any more.

I have suffered from sinusitis in the past, but always have symptoms. No symptoms at this time.

I've read all the posts about phantom smells on this forum, and hope that it is nothing serious affecting me. I fainted without warning about 6 months ago, and had a concussion, but was sent to hospital and had a brain scan that showed nothing wrong. (I still have a sore knot on my head, though!)

I already have an appointment with my GP in two days, so I will tell her about this strange smell. In the meantime, I'm going to get my son to take the fronts off the window A/C units and let me clean and sanitize them thoroughly in case there are mold spores.

I'll check back here after talking to my doctor on Thursday. I hope she has encountered something like this before, or she may think I'm crazy!

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Avatar_n_tn
I have found that my constant smelling of smoke was due to my contact lenses. I had read a post suggesting the link. At first I tried a fresh pair. It seemed to help for a short period, then it returned.  I have switched to my glasses for the past week or two and it has never returned.  Not sure if it builds up in my system, or if I have become allergic to the material in these contacts over time. I just know that I no longer smell it. It's wonderful. So happy that someone posted the initial comment, otherwise I never would have found out what was doing it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also reported to my doctor that I was having a problem with smelling smoke, I believed that I had a sinus infection so I wanted to know if that was a sign of a really bad infection or what...her response to me was..."Do you smoke?" as if I was stupid enough to not know that if I smoked then I would smell smoke!  From what I am reading, it seems that the doctors are either non-responsive, dont care, dont answer, or completely ignore the "smoke" symptom.  WHY?  Seems like there are enough people on here to validate it.  Why dont they believe us?  or care?

Jason
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been smelling smoke to just after  I finished  prednisone. I believe it's caused by one of three things if not a combination of all. It's either from a yeast infection from taking prednisone , or coffee or  vitamin deficiency .I have stopped drinking coffee and started a multi-vitamin and took something for oral yeast caused from prednisone. For 2 days now the smoke smell is much much lesser !! Praise God !!!!!! I will continue !!!
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1838531_tn?1318468052
im 18 and i keep gettin the smell of smoke its not all the time but like a couple of times a day, im really scared its a tumor, but im going to ask my mom to take me to the doctor... wish me luck !
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Avatar_n_tn
Have been experiencing  what i can only describe as musty cigarette smoke constantly in my nose and i'ts driving me crazy as i have never smoked and detest it's smell. The only explaination i have for it is that i have undergone extensive dental work as due to bad infection i had to have bone graft and implants, i had to have numerous injections around my upper teeth and experienced a lot of problems around my nasal area, im now left wondering if this has caused my problem, has anyone else had similar treatment and then had this after effect. Has it been caused by all the chemicals in the injections?
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 42 year old woman with some health issues. I seem to have only one or two symptoms or common meds with some and not others. My smoke smell, smells like a strong extinguished campfire. It began a month or two ago. Now I do have a LOT of stress.(nothing new) I have been taking Wellbutrin. But the smells started when I began taking the diet pill Adipex. No nasal problems, no colds, no sinus issues. Just the sudden onset of the smell. It is very nauseating and I am tired of it. I am going to try the nasal rinsing first, I guess. I am also going to talk to the Dr that prescribed the Adipex. Any other ideas not mentioned on this forum?
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been smelling the smoke smell for about six weeks now, first at work, then at home, which was when I knew it was in my nose! What I'm not seeing anyone else talk about are many other symptoms. Started with obvious dizziness and progressed to muscle aches/tension, especially in shoulders and neck, jaw pain, facial numbness, and headaches. Went to doctor and was put on Z-Pac and Tamiflu; neither helped. Thing that makes most sense to me is yeast, since it is smoky, maybe moldy smell, unlike infection, and mucous is clear and not yellow or green. Also, nose is not really that stuffy, just thick feeling.  Plus, some sites about yeast talk about all of these flu-like symptoms it can cause. Going to ENT and will report back.
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Finally!! I was sitting here waiting to read something about the Paranormal.I have had encounters with spirits since the age of five.My fiance who died of leukemia a few yrs. ago smoked as did my new Husband's wife who died of cancer.I smell cigerrette smoke(occasionaly) as if someone is blowing it in my face as to say "Hello! I'm here." We do not smoke or live with anyone,our AC is fine,so I'm just saying,keep an open mind.I have also smelled flowers where there were none but for the last year mainly cig. smoke.I am an educated woman,I have a wonderful life and trust in God but somehow,some way these things do happen to some of us.I have to say that I was surprised to hear that other people smell cig. smoke too,but I don't have it constantly or any problems with taste.Thanks for listening...Di
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YES! Your symptoms are exactly the symptoms that I am having! I am really, really getting bummed feeling this way. It's sickening and disgusting. I have too many things I need to do, and we are going out of town next weekend as my husband is runnning in a marathon. I sure hope you come back to this site with "THE" solution. I don't have medical insurance, and to be perfectly honest, I seriously don't put my trust in any doctor-- especially after reading that even an ENT can't figure it out. That is really inept as THAT is there field of expertise. You can't convince me that we (discussing this thread) are the only few people who have ever experienced this and a doctor has never heard of this before. Honestly, I put much more stock in "online forums" than I ever would in a "doctor".
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... as I continued reading this topic, but in another thread-- I wanted to add that I seriously feel that this problem began only after I spent about 1 hour on Monday evening in the presence of a "smoker". Gagggg! Ughh! If only a smoker KNEW what they smell like and how their smoking effects others.
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I have had this for two years now, I think it started after a severe cough and cold but it started out smelling like parmesan cheese and has now morphed into a strange smoke smell. I am a 47 female, wear glasses, suffer from dry eyes and a nasal drip (Very glam I know!)  If I block one nostril up I can't smell it and sometimes don't for days. My doctor says they now think persistant coughs are being linked to acid stomach/reflux and I do get a corker at least once a year. I have now been given Beconase Aqueous nasal spray for the drip and I'm sure it's worse as the smell of lightly toasted toast is horrendous like the house is burning down. So after two years I am still no wiser really but I live in hope, good luck to everyone with it. Keep your peckers up!  : )          
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I live in an apt. with a cigarette smoker below my apt., to the left of my apt. the floor above me and I am a non smoker. I have lived here for over 30 years and this seems like the apt building from smoke hell. I just had the flu and found out I have double pnemonia (pneumonia) and after staying home for 3 weeks can't tell you what the stench of cigarette smoke smells like in my house, that I never really noticed because I work! It is so incredible how selfish people are in polluting our world, homes and lungs! And why do I stay here, because believe it or not there are smokers every where!
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I have the same problem as you and im glad i am not the only person as the doctors and ENT does not know what it is it's been driving me mad. I smell different stuff like rotting flesh, cigerette smell n gas. If i sniff hard or inhale smoke the smells come, apart from that i have no problems with my health just low vitamin and iron. I had bad sinus infection a year ago which i left untreated fr a bit, aftter i started smelling bad smell i have tried prescribed nasal sprays which didnt work, i had a endoscope and ct scan i was told nothing has been found my sinuses are fine and i will just have to live with it. Its hard living with it not knowing what it is and theres no treatment for it
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very interesting...i spent abot 5 mins with a smoker..no ventilation in the room....and had to go out side..the next day i went to the chiropractor and the folowing night the smell started in my nose..it started with the smell of furnace, and then dust and then dirt and earth.. it is now like i have 20 burning cigarettes up my nostrils..it is the most disgusting thing I have ever encountered..and its not getting better its getting worse. the doc said to keep my nose moist...so i am using saline spray and polysporin.....he said my nose has an inflammation and if it doesnt help then to use an antibiotic spray that he gave me the prescription for....i think i will just smoke....and maybe enjoy it...Is that possible? this is really disgusting...
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My father has been smelling and tasting what he describes as "charcoal" all the time. He has not been able to eat much due to this and has lost too much weight in a short period of time. He also cannot be around people that smoke or that are grilling outside as it flares up this smell and taste. I am worried about him and hoping to find some answers for him. He seems to think that he caught a virus from mice at one of his part-time jobs. He stocks shelves at a small retail store that has cat and dog food that the mice are attracted to... If anyone is having similar symptoms and has some answers please let me know... Thanks
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I've been reading the posts about smelling an exhaust odor, which I have as well, then started reading the posts about smelling cigarette smoke where no one is smoking, which I was experiencing before it became the exhaust odor. Then I was in a car wreck where the air bags deployed and, after several weeks of noticing no unusual odors, suddenly started smelling car exhaust odors. I also have to say that it is not detectable when I breathe in deeply and swiftly. I honestly thought there was a generator running at the barn down the hill but there is no such thing. No one else in the house smells the odors I do. It seems quite strange to me that so many other people are experiencing this very phenomenon. Anyone into conspiracy theories have a scenario that could explain this seemingly widespread affliction???
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It is not cigarette smoke or a burning smell that is my problem.   I 'sense' an
odour which I cannot properly identify.   When at its worst it is akin to
rotting chicken meat combined with stale boiled cabbage.   I experience it
wherever I may be but no-one else around me detects it.   I was concerned
that it may be body odour or a tooth problem but my wife says my body does not give off any unpleasant odour, but exactly the opposite and that my breath too is 'clean'.    I have suffered with bad sinus problems many years ago but with no unpleasant associated smells.   My doctor is as puzzled asI am and is a present looking into my 'cocktail' of medicines for heart problems including recent pacemaker insert to see if any connection.
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I 'll add my experiences for research purposes.  .
1) The cigarette smoke smell began after my mother died
2) I did experience a nosebleed during her funeral.
3) The house where we were staying had a furnace outage. It was built in the 1930's.
4) When in church this am (sitting over a vent) strong odor once again.
5) Drank a glass of champagne late afternoon and it came back.

  
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Wanna know what it is? ... goto your car, or manual for your car..  locate the cabin filter...

change it.


Yes.. crazy as it sounds.. I did everything you guys already stated. I in fact smoke.. and have for like 20 years.. never have I ever had smoke smell in my smelling.. yes that sounds odd.. but smoking is a different all together smell.. its unoticable. unless your  directly smelling the lit end directly up your nose.

Most people dont even know theirs a CABIN FILTER in your car.. ok winter heat.. filter.. BUT.. summer air conditioner.. The coils on the airconditioner are moist all summer.. hot, cold, wet dry... constantly.. which causes what?? what??... MOLD. now when the fall weather comes.. its dry, cold weather dry.. and now what?? yep... this mold turns to dust.. and blows in you face.. all winter spring, summer.. fall.. etc.

Seriously for $20-$30.. change the cabin filter.. its a start.   I KNOW! PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT THIS FILTER.  They assume the usual car filter thats near your intake. nope.. CABIN FILTER.

try it.  I looked for mine with this van I bought 2 years ago.. ( same smoke issues during the ownership of this van)... guess what? took the cover off to pull cabin filter out.. and NO FILTER AT ALL.. a piece was broken and I guess the lady pulled the old filter out and could not get the new one in.. and just left it out. Can you say pure road dust, pollen, mold, everything outdoors basically in my vehicles ventalation system

Try this guys.. anything helps for better breathing.
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I saw your comment about smelling smoke.  I also smell smoke.  Did you get the CT scan.  It is crazy!
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My wife has this.  Does anyone have  diagnosed Fibromyalgia?  My wife has Fibromyalgia rather severely.
She takes Warfarin, Flecinide and Mycardis.  She  is overweight.  Has complained of a longterm headache on and off for several years.  Any connections outthere?
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yes, I have severe fibromyalgia, longterm headaches,Chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, asthma, etc.etc. I have been smelling smoke for 6 months now and it is driving me crazy. It wakes me up out of my sleep choking sometimes. I have hypothyroidism and just notice a small lump on my lymph node on my neck.  I am going to the doctors on again on Jan.3 and will finally mention this smoke smell thing as well and see what he has to say, to see if he thinks it is neurological. I have been taking anti-depressants as well as topamax, gabapentin, & I am wondering if they are affecting me as well.
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Hello,

I have been smelling a cigarette smell in my nose for the last 2 years; it also smells like diesel or exhaust at times.  My neighbor 50 feet away smokes constantly and I thought it might be that at first, but I later realized I smell it constantly, randomly and anywhere.  I am a lifelong non-smoker and non-drug user, into natural, organic foods and yoga and generally very healthy.  I had a motorcycle accident at 14, 40 years ago and had many nasal reconstructions and this may be a reason also both my parents smoked during my childhood.  I also thought about the paranormal aspect but haven't done anything about that yet. I am so glad I just did a google search about cigarette smell in my nose and found this forum.  I do use dryer sheets and re-use them about 7 to 10 times each so this could be a culprit as my towels, clothes and bed linen are all dried with them and I am surrounded by some of  those things anywhere I go.  Somehow comforting but also disturbing that there are SO many of us with the same symptoms.  It would be nice if someone came up with a cure or solution for everyone.  Thanks all for sharing.

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The nose, once sensitized, can be a very sensitive detector of chemicals in the air. It may help to know that smoke sometimes collects in pockets indoors, a particular corner of the room etc.

Furthermore, even using the oven, or burning a piece of toast, may put smoke into the house's interior, which may be smelled for days or perhaps weeks. I once was blaming the neighbor for burning his wood-stove, because there was a strong odor of smoke in my house. When I stepped outdoors, however, there was no odor of smoke! It was already in my house and was not leaving very fast.

I have a special air filter, which cleans the air to super-clean standards, and this is in addition to the normal filters that most people have on their AC.

Even so, smoke lingers for a long while once it is in the air, and the smoke odor can be renewed by over-cooking a piece of toast or allowing a single drop of sugar to fall into the bottom of the oven.
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I started smelling phantom cigarette smoke 6 days ago.  I am now in a completely different location and state, not around any smokers, and still smelling the smoke. So I believe it has nothing to do with my environment.  I did have eye surgery on December 19 and started taking Prednisone on December 29 due to lingering swelling.  I already take a multi vitamin, but will try something for a yeast infection (suggested by GMolly) and Pepcid AC for acid indigestion as suggested by someone else.  I will let you  know if I notice any improvements.  Fingers crossed!!!  
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I don't know why, but the smoke smell decreased on day 8 and was gone by day 9.  I am now on day 11 and it is still gone.  I did take several doses of Pepcid AC, but that was about it.  Don't know if the cause was the surgery and swelling, the Prednisone or something else.  I am happy to say it is gone and I do wish all the rest of you luck in your results.  I agree with 3beauti3 that it is stranglely good and bad to know there are so many others out there with these symptoms.  This forum is a good way to share information, though.
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I am beginning to realize that if we all boiled our food rather than cooking it in the oven or on the stove, we would produce a lot less smoke. Once your lungs (and nose) are sensitized to smoke, you will detect it even when the amount present is minute. Even baking a cake produces smoke.

Secondly, our homes are becoming more and more airtight, and modern home construction methods may be to blame for concentrating smoke and pollution indoors; that is something that should be studied. Since my last two homes, both newer construction, I have noticed that a little smoke outdoors usually results in MORE smoke indoors: Smoke seems to penetrate homes concentrate indoors, whereas smoke in the outdoors gets mixed, diluted and swept away by wind.

Pay close attention to small producers of smoke. That may solve the riddle for most though perhaps not all of us.
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Ok, here is the deal regarding Phantom Smoke smell, I promise you, it is not a "medical" problem in the sense there is something medicine can cure... Once you realize it is nothing more than stress the smell will stop. If you are smelling cigarette smoke and you wave your hand in front of your face the smell will stop. I have had people tell me they actually pulled a blanket over their head to stop the smell... If the smell is "phantom" putting a blanket over your head will not help, however, It does help because it is a symptom brought on by stress, even if you do not realize you are stressed. It's just your subconscious tricking you... I,Too, thought it was my dad, who was a smoker, coming back with a message from the great beyond. However, once I realized I could wave the smell away, I realized exactly what was happening... nothing more than my subconscious reacting to stress.Once you realize that is all it is, I promise, you will never smell Phantom Smoke again... I had the problem for 8 months, looked it up on line, figured out what it was... never had the problem again!!!
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FOR 3 YEARS.  After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES!  I smelled smoke for 3 years.  At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman.  So I discounted it.  Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires.  Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear?  Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again.  So off to specialists I go.  In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything!   I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec).  I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same".  Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke.  After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back.  In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes.  After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell.  After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away.  I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day.  DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff.  Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet.  However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting!  I hope this info helps someone.  I would try each med until I found the one that worked.  I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic.  Give it a shot!  I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!
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I don't smoke and my family and friends don't either. For the last couple months I have been smelling cigarette smoke, on and off.  I do have allergies. I have been using a prescribed nasal spray for years & Claritin. I was thought to have Asthma & for years I was on an inhaler.  A few years ago, I was told I don't have asthma but the doctor left me on Pro Air.  I took myself off ProAir the beginning of 2012, my thought being if I don't have Asthma why am I taking Pro Air?   So, the phantom cigarette smoke is allergies.  Well, guess I'll make a doctor appointment. P.S.  I thought I was nuts, so glad I am not alone.
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My mother smells cigerette smoke then has trouble breathing. She does have arthritis (no meds) i don't like the trouble breathing while she goes through this.
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I am glad you are better..I just got on Amoxicillin and am hoping it will help with mine....I still think it has something to do with the brain and the signal it sends to the nose etc....I don't know....I have thyroid disease to like some people said they had.....so maybe I am getting too little or too much thyroid medicine....I will let you know how the antibiotics work....
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That is great for you but it is not necessarily stress for the rest of us so you shouldn't be so matter of fact in saying that it is just stress....some people have brain tumors, some have sinus infections and some may actually be smelling smoke from other apartments etc....and some may be stress like yours was but everyone should get at least an MRI to rule out brain tumor I would think....be careful about dismissing it as stress
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Your not a flake, same thing is happening to me, even to the point at times  I can feel something beside me!
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for 2 weeks now constant smell of cigarettes even when im in nice country air on my bike - been absolultley doing my head in until i found this thread - anyhow think i may have traced why this is - 2 weeks ago I started on a course of new Vitamin supplements tablets Glucosamine, Vit C, Oudourless Garlic , Vit D3, Peppermint oil - im convinced its 1 of these - ill remove all the vitamins for time being & see what happens ill report back
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I have had the smoke smell on and off for a couple of years now. It's back on now, unfortunately.  CT scan/MRI showed nothing unusual.  I do believe my symptoms are definitely related to stress.  The bad thing is my hair starts falling out with-in a couple of days of the smell starting.  Last year my hair fell out for 4 months!  My dermatologist said it was Telogen Effluvium.  The smell sometimes turns to a chemical type like kerosene.  I've been working on stress therapy.  This is really bizarre.  
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Hi
I need to find people who smell this phantom smoke smell as since last September they have stopped me from driving saying that these phantom smells are related to sensory seizures which i completely disagree with as i have never lost conciousness or anything.
i need to show the specialist that their are plaenty of people out there with the same thing that are allowed to drive. I have had 3 brain scans and all appear to be normal.
Hope you can help
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April 2, 2012

I too was smelling smoke. No matter where I went, I could smell a faint cigarette odor. It was annoying, especially because I do not smoke. I don't know anyone who smokes. This came on suddenly and I tried to figure out what I had changed in my life.  The only thing I had changed  was that I had started taking a Thyroid supplement from the Health Food Store, called TriStar Naturals Thyroid Plus Supplement.  I decided to go off the supplement to see if it made a difference.  After a few days the smell started to go away and after a couple of weeks it was totally gone.  I haven't smelled smoke since.  I don't know for sure if the Thyroid supplement caused this condition, however, it has not returned since I stopped taking the Thyroid supplement.  Thought this might be helpful to someone.
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How can I help you?  Like you said, showing this forum is the best way to prove there are many people suffering with the same symptoms and many different causes.  I found out that Dr's don't like to address the unknown.  They don't have the time or take the time to do so properly in my experience.  I went to a neurologist who wanted to take my prolactin level in my blood with-in 15 minutes of the smell starting.  I haven't done that yet.  To me the neurologist was clueless.  
The cycle of smoke smell, hair loss and stress from hair loss causing more smoke smell is vicious.  I'd rather have the phantom smell than have my hair fall out!
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I've been smelling cigarette smoke for about 1 month now and I just moved into a new apt 3 months ago, where in the last place it didn't happen for 45 years, but for an entire year in the previous apt.  I've had 8 people come into my apt and they look at me like I just fell from the sky.  Not one could smell anything.  It's hard to explain because it's not like a fresh burning cigarette, but a stale, musty smell when you walk into a smokers home and they don't have any windows or doors open.

I'm frustrated because the last time I had this horrible experience, I became extremely ill and it took 5 years to get my life back.  I've read some of the comments and each has a different experience,  I've had a thyroid problem most my life and 2 years ago, diagnoses with adrenal fatique and cigarette smoke has always been a trigger for me to set my illness wild.

I know the gal upstairs smoke and I did notice that when her a/c is on the smoke smell is more intense.  It's so intense that my chest tightens, my throat is soar like smoke is searing it shut, my eyes are extremely blood shot, dry and watery, I feel like everything I own is ruined with smoke smell, I feel like my tongue is coated in a thick layer of smoke as if I've been licking an ashtray.  I can't taste my food.  I'm eating more food to get rid of the horrid taste in my mouth.

I've put a deposit on a new apt, but not sure after reading the comments it will go away.  I know I'm sane, but feeling like something is seriously wrong to the point I'm having anxiety attacks.  Will try to look up brain tumors as I once heard that causes a smoke smell, but not sure if that is true.  I'm going to an envirenmental doctor to see what he says.  He specialized in illnesses associated with environment toxins.

I do know today, we are bombarded with toxins yet not all people have a reaction.  I wonder why I am highly senstive and my brother isn't yet we grew up together and both parents smoked.  So I know what I am smelling, yet not a soul can smell but me.  I'm not sure if this is a psychic experience and I am picking up bad energy from someone else..I don't know..I just know this is interferring with my daily life.
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I do not smell smoke, I smell sawdust, more like pencil shavings. I am seeing my Dr. tomorrow and getting an MRI, MRA and possibly and EEG. I have no other medical problems, no stress and I have never had surgery. I feel great, work out and this condition is making me upset. It started out slowly, I was sniffing my ipad, my clothes, could not figure it out. Then I realized the smell went  where I went. Now, I smell this smell about 10 times an hour, it last seconds. If I close one nostril it dissipates. I will let you know how this turns out after my tests. Always see a Dr. first, I am hoping it is allergies.
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I have read all the comments on this site,some of them are absolutley rediculous. When someone is smelling smoke at all times ,or several times during the day, then it is a problem.  I have had this smoke smell for 6 months now. Like most drs, my dr is just guessing at what the problem could be..I will travel the country until I find a dr or person ,whom knows what they are talking about. This smell is interfering with every aspect of my life...If we all focused more on our mental health,and what lead up to this, we problaby have a little more in common than we think.  I have had severe depression all of my life. Fibromyalgia for the past 12 years. I,ve been on more medication than i care to admit. I have dealt with more stress than one should endure..The stress has been getting progressively worse over time. SO, I move from a large city to a very secluded remote community, in hopes that my life would settle down somewhat..Wrong answer!. If anything , it got more stressful. (I wont go into that.). I also have an issue,2 or 3 times a year with very sensitive painfull skin on areas of my body, usually the leg area. I,ve noticed that this happens at the most stressfull times. This past fall I had an infected root canal, which had to be surgically extracted. I still have a black spot on my gum from the infection. Just before the smoke smell started, I had a very bad spell with dizziness. unbalanced. head pressure.slurred speech.  This lasted 10 to 15 min.  Since then ,i have been feeling somewhat unbalanced at times.  Fatigued, unable to concentrated. I am starting to believe that, this smoke smell has alot to do with stress, which affects the neurotransmiters in the brain.  My specialist mentioned that if the neurons are not transmitting properly, it can cause you to become very sensitive to smells ,light,sound.etc.. With all the research ,i've found that  stress can cause neurological damage. I am still in the process of researching further into this..  One other thing I must say, is , when I take a zopiclone, ( Hypnotic sleep aid), the smell goes away. Muscle relaxers do the same. I,ve started a medication for neuropathic pain. Don,t like the extreme sleepiness. Have a drs appt tomorrow.   Will find out more then...
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Lately I smell mold all the time. At home, outside, and at work.  I taste it in my mouth and I have been suffering from terrible headaches and sinus pressure.  It makes me feel crazy because no one else can smell it.  I have done netty pot rinses, gargled with salt water, nose sprays and nothing helps.  Anyone else experience this with the mold smell?  I have a doctors appointment soon, but wanted to hear from others before I talk to her.
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How is it now?   I've had the problem myself for a couple of weeks and it is driving me crazy.
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A year ago my thyroid gland started acting up, symptoms of hypothyroidism.  Along with the other problems, my sense of smell started acting up.  

I had an operation removing  half the gland and went on Levothyroxin (levothyroxine).  Actual GNC kelp pills seemed to help best..but that's another story.

Once my sense of smell started coming back, I began to notice a strong cigarette smoke smell, like someone 5 feet a way was puffing my way.

There is a smoker's patio arranged so that a natural chimney effect carries their filth up to the intakes of our roof-mounted HVAC inlets.  After a few weeks the stench started coming back even when I was out in the fresh air or away completley from smokers.  Horrible!  Lasts for a minute or two and comes in waves.  I , too, wondered if it was contaminated sinuses.  But the tee-shirt over the nose makes it go away, so I guess not.
I've begun to think it is psychosomatic.
I'm an engineer, a good observer, a non-smoker, and unhappy with this smell.
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There are hundreds of comments of people who smell cigarette smoke and have either no answer or answers that range from the devil to drier sheets.  The common denominator is the smell of smoke when it isn't there.  I've had xray of my sinuses (clear), xray of my neck because I was getting headaches as well (normal), and finally an MRI to rule out brain tumor (again normal).  So once my anxiety about the major things was gone, I tried to really home in on the symptoms and decided it was allergy-like in nature--pressure headache, sometimes burning sensation in my eyes, sometimes my ears plugging up, and always the ever present waves of cigarette smoke.  So I have been trying high doses of garlic (1,000mg.)--the odorless capsules you can get at the health food store and that don't smell or taste, and a natural allergy remedy called Wish Garden brand "Kick *** Allergy".  I didn't want to take the stuff that makes you dehydrated or tired or wired, and I have to say that after 2 days of both the garlic and allergy relief meds, I'm down to just a few times for just a second or two of the smoke smell.  I have no idea which did the trick, and I suppose I can taper off one and see if it comes back, but I do think this has to do something with a fungal type infection in the nasal passages.  I too tried the nasal wash and it didn't help.  I'm in my 3rd month of this symptom and it does seem to be going away.  None of the regular doctors--ENT, neurologists, internists, know much about this and will chalk it up to anxiety or depression and give you RX for that.  I think the anxiety comes from having this weird symptom and not knowing what it is or even if anyone else has had it (glad I found this website).  I'm hoping this is the final final for these symptoms for me.  Good luck everyone.
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What was the nasal; spray you used?

irwin, LA
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Did you ever figure out why Adipex gives you the Smoke Smell????  I have the EXACT same thing!
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I have the same, been going on for months. Lost taste buds over 1.5 year ago.
No return. Pure torture!! Just spoke to old friend who also had odor, and Burning Mouth Syndrome which I have, diagnosed from ENT. He started using LYRICA, was gone within days, both BMS and odor. I'm calling  ENT to see if LYRICA will help. Hope this info helps you, and me. Also, the odd nose odor is sporadic, also thought it was my house, and learned it's elsewhere,too.
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I suffer this to and traced it to a yeast in my upper nasal passages and stress does trigger it for me.  I use a bottle that’s like a neti pot but you squeeze to flush the nose. The stuff they send is good but I use grape seed extract at about 4 drops mixed in to kill the fungus that’s imbedded up there. This may not be your answer but it has killed the smell every time for me after a couple of times. I also get the smell with a cold even after its gone so after my boy gave me his sniffles I’m back on the rinse.
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@itsamystry-Your theory I agree with. The smell came on after I got off a five year suboxone quote on quote maintenance program which no doctors know __it about how to taper one off. I did it myself as painful as it was. It could have screwed with my neurotransmitters, hence still healing afte4r being off eight months. The smoke smell or for me, olfactory hallucinaations occured do to the release of toxins that built up in my nose and other senses since suboxone acts as a half antagonist, which not to get too scientific here, blocks natural chemicals/endorphins from binding to certain receptors, but also mimics endorphins and suboxone tricks the brian into believing it has enough endorphines. While this is totally leading  to another subject of discussion, I will say in a nutshell: Psychiatry represent the worst kind of chronism in our society. Back to the smoking smell. While I am NOT saying that everyone who has these smoking smell sensations whether on a daily base, after eating certain acidic foods, taking adderall (adderrall)(which can decrease or actually increase acidity based on individual and dosages taken, I will say this: Extreme periods and prolongued periods of stress, anxiety, drug abuse, all can lead to an imbalance of receptors, neurons, transmission between specific sysetms such as the dopaminergic and serotonergic. The good thing is I am of the belief that while there isn't any real scientific understanding the complexity of the brain and the differing regions, it would make sense for my case, after going through suboxone, for my receptors to heal, I've experienced olfacotry as well as pulsing sounds in ears. Your senses are heightened under stressful situations, whether durg induced or not.  
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I apologzie for the server grammatical, run on sentences and lack of using spell check. I wanted to get point across, but by same token, feel a bit scatterbrained, so forgive me. I hope if anything, I helped reassure some that everything is fine. It is very difficult when dealing with an overly amount of stress, anxiety, depression for one to maintain at that period of time homeostasis. I guess, I also feel strongly when it comes to wanting to understand how the brain actually functions because of the situation I have been through, the struggles I had to go through. However, I have tried and am continuing to understand that how I react towards a negative or positive situation, is through my thoughts. When for example you are confronted with a situation where you feel you have to act a certain way because society has manipulated us into believing so(ex-letting someone get the worst of you by reacting in a angry rather than passive way) has an impact on your body and mental(cognitive) processess. If it was only as easy to do as it seems:(
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For months now, no matter if I'm indoors or outdoors, all I can smell is what seems like smoke from a BBQ. Anyone know why this is happening?
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I too have had this problem for a number of years now.  The cigarette smell is so intense that it makes my eyes burn and makes me nauseous.  At first I thought it was a new coffee table we had bought but then I could smell it in other rooms.  I then thought it was the heater but I get it in the summer without using heat.  Since I live in a townhome and one of our neighbors is a household of 3 non-stop smoking men, I'm thinking the problem is from their home. (two young adult sons with their father; the mother passed away 9 years ago).  The thing is my husband doesn't smell it; my eyes are tearing from the burn and no one else smells it but me.  
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It is somewhat reassurring to find others with this issue.  For me the stale smoke smell in my nostrils is very difficult to describe to my wife.  She is the only one I've discussed it with but it's been ongoing for 4-5 months now.  It is intermittent but happens commonly throughout the day, no matter where I am.  At first I thought it was work environment related but it wasn't long that I found I experienced it no matter where I was at.  Strangely it seems to come and go easily but now the sensation stays with me for periods of time that are longer than periods without it.  This gets very distressing.  

I still have to believe something in the air triggers it but what in the world would it be that is so common wherever I go.  This makes you think of some type of allergy trigger.  It started in early Spring and now it is late summer.  I assume it will continue into the Winter unless it really is out environmentally related.

I don't know if there are really any other symptoms associated with it.  I rarely get headaches normally and can't say that has changed all that much.  I haven't consulted any doctors yet but did wonder about an allergist.  I take a couple of prescription medications but have for continously for around 8 years so I wouldn't suspect those much unless they have created some kind of side affect change in my chemistry, or whatever?  I also take various health and nutrition related supplements which I would also have to believe could create a side affect but haven't tried quitting all of them just yet to try the elimination process.

I suppose it could be related to food.  Maybe getting older is a contributing factor.  It hasn't affected my sense of smell and ability to taste food.  I would say I can't sense it at all while eating or drinking.  Its just plain weird and came upon me all at once. The strangest thing is that when I first experienced it I swore someone was nearby was smoking cigarettes.  In fact I have a very sensitive nose for cigarette smoke and can still smell that type of smoke from actual smoking when it's happening.  I can drive by a person smoking in another vehicle when both our windows are down and if the wind is right I'll be able to smell the second-hand smoke.  I don't smoke and never have.  No one in my household smokes in the house.  My son does but never in the house.  None of my friends smoke or am I around smokers.  As real as the smell is to me (stale old tabacco smoke) there's no direct exposure to it.

At work it's a slightly different story and that makes me wonder.  I'm in an industrial shop with odors of welding, painting chemicals and other industrial and likely toxic odors.  Perhaps over the years it has taken a toll.  Hope to stay in touch to see who else is having this issue and if any are finding answers and solutions.
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For me, it's related to antibiotic use for sinus infections.  I'm having a particualrly recalcitrant one right now.  Just started Clindamycin yesterday, and this morning, I have the smell of stale cigarette smoke in my nose.  I've previously had this with Penicillin VK, too.  I don't really understand what it could be.  Maybe the bacteria are dying off and leaving me with some 'presents' in there?  I've tried several other ABs for this infection, with no effects on them.  I'm very sensitive ot medications, and can ususally only take antibiotics at lower-than-normal doses and for short-than-normal durations.  I'm also doing antifungal in the nose wash and some tobramycin in there, but i've done that many times before without getting the smoke smell.  I guess that I could finally be killing off the bacteria enough to get to the fungus?  I've previously had some fairly strange fungal infections cultured from my sinuses.  Anyone else get this from antibiotics?  Thanks in advance!!
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Hi All,
So glad to find my “support group”.  I too experience smoke smells. Actually, it’s like the bottom of an ashtray smells (yuk). It’s been probably going on 6 or so years now, intermittently, sometimes worse than other times. It might be single episodes lasting a few seconds to clusters of episodes lasting for hours. I smell it anywhere, anytime with no rhyme or reason to it. I experience no other symptoms with it. Believe me, after all this time, I have been vigilant to sleuth a cause. I have lived in two different houses, worked different part-time jobs, as I am going back to school. As a nursing student, I smelled it in the hospital, pediatric unit, and neonatal infant unit. I have traveled from Alaska to Arizona, so experienced different climates and seasons. It isn’t in the air. I am a non-smoker but I don’t think this has anything to do with smoke. My thyroid is normal, I am reasonably well adjusted, not a lot of drama in my life (don’t feel the need for a shrink, a psychic, or a priest).
I also have seen many doctors. My primary care doc, had me swab out my nose with antibiotic ointment for a couple of weeks as I suggested to her maybe mold from my house I lived in at the time - not helpful. I have seen a neurologist, EEG and MRI to rule out seizures and tumors. (I don’t experience dizziness that can accompany the smell episodes that are related to seizures). I saw an ENT who scoped my nose, she said it looked normal. She also asked if I have ever used a zinc nasal spray or Zicam. I told her I have, and during the period this first started. She had just come from a conference, this year, where the talk included smell and taste disorders related to the use of these. I have a friend involved in a class action lawsuit (it is taking a very long time – years) as he lost most of his sense of taste allegedly due to Zicam use. He is able to prove it directly through his ENT. This doctor said the damage is probably done, and that I may have this disorder for the rest of my life. She suggested that a saline nasal rinse, like a Neti Pot, is worth a try for symptoms, and just shrugged her shoulders.
Personally, I am quite happy the big stuff is ruled out (having experienced breast cancer diagnosis and  treatment – after, not before the smells began - not the cause there, uh, and fine now by the way, thanks:o), so … nothing growing in my brain! The rest of this stuff is small peanuts in comparison.
As suggested by my new friends,  I will try OTC allergy meds, and maybe Prilosec to see if hidden gastric issues could be the problem. I am also wondering if I used tea tree oil (a natural antifungal) in a vaporizer to knock out any kind of nasal fungus that may have been undetected. It still seems like that could be a cause.  
Finnstew: You have me wondering if maybe our normal flora has been disrupted due to antibiotics, modern decongestant formulas, or who knows what other meds? Our poor immune systems get it from all angles these days. Thanks so much for the postings everyone. It helps tremendously to have peers :o)
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I smell it in different vehicles, at work (a school), in my home.
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I don't use fabric softener sheets. I use unscented hypoallergenic liquid fabric softener.
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I googled constant cigarette smell in nose and was so glad I found this page. I thought I was crazy but now I have company.  It's crazy how there doesn't seem to be a real common bond to us. I started smelling it maybe 2-3 years ago. Through reading some posts, mine might have something to do with depression medicines. I had post partum depression after my first child then depression during 2nd pregnancy and I just stopped taking the meds. I have had the cigarette smoke smell while off and on the meds, but I don't recall smelling it prior to my first depression pill ever. Sometimes I get a little dizzy or lightheaded and if I don't eat when I'm hungry I get weird feeling but I've been tested for hypo and hyper glycemia and all my bloodwork was normal. I have allergies to lots of stuff, mold, mildew, grass, trees (basically the air :)). I take a daily decongestant and OTC zyrtec or allegra. I also use a neti pot for my allergy/sinus junk. Oh, and I had sinus surgery 2 years ago but I think I smelled it before my surgery.
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I have had this phantom smell from time to time. I thought maybe it is the medication that I am taking and I confirmed it by stopping and then starting on the medication. As I suspected, it is. The phantom smell goes away when I stop the medicine and comes back on the second day of dosage. I am taking synthroid for hypothyroid. Thats me. Guess I'll see an endocrinologist about this next. See what other options there are for hypothyroid.
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I started smelling cigarette smoke this summer, I realized it was coming from every electronic, car dashboard, computer, blackberry, iPad, cable box, etc. I'm a stay home mom and had the luxury to experiment about 4 days without electronics, the lease I used them the more I could handle starting to use them in short periods. As soon as I start using them in the regular basis the smell comes back, so I have to pay attention to how much I use them. Even when it was gone for a month using electronics only when I needed I could still smell it when I'm near cash registers at starbucks, panera, maybe because they are hot from being on all day, I don't know.  But it's almost like I need to detox myself when I start smelling it again before it gets bad.
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I started smelling cigarette smoke this summer, I realized it was coming from every electronic, car dashboard, computer, blackberry, iPad, cable box, etc. I'm a stay home mom and had the luxury to experiment about 4 days without electronics, the lease I used them the more I could handle starting to use them in short periods. As soon as I start using them in the regular basis the smell comes back, so I have to pay attention to how much I use them. Even when it was gone for a month using electronics only when I needed I could still smell it when I'm near cash registers at starbucks, panera, maybe because they are hot from being on all day, I don't know.  But it's almost like I need to detox myself when I start smelling it again before it gets bad.
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People here have real problems.  You are either not very funny or just mean spirited.  

Yes, someone is calling from the beyond.  Please!!!!
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I don't think you understand that they smell it everywhere, not just at home, and that little bit of smoke residue you're talking about would not make people feel as if there was someone blowing smoke in their face, enough to gag.
I believe the body can eminate a smell when there is something wrong in the body as in acid reflux or some other disorder. I don't believe it is actually a problem with the sinuses themselves. Several have mentioned that it started after sickness.
It sounds like, for some, it is an allergic response to chemicals (dryer sheets, contact lens cleaner, prednisone...) or a result of acid reflux that you may not be aware of.
I think it's your body trying to overcome a problem of some sort and the result is an odor created from with-in.
I would first try an acid reducer like previcid to eliminate the stomach acid, then go from there.
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a have been smelling smoke since taking glucosamine suplement tablets, \could be a help for you
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I have been smelling smoke since they have bombarded us with chem trails ..look up...and read "what on earth are they spraying"
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You are right. It is due to acid reflux. I even had Nissen Fundoplication (surgery) after I developed GERD in Japan at the end of 2010. I had my surgery in mid 2012 in Japan only to find out nothing has changed.No drug has helped me up to now. I have spent thousands of $s without any change. No change with PPI's, my experience is horrible smoke smell that makes me quite desperate.When I am by a car it is worse; I feel smoky exhaust that nobody seems to smell except me. I have searched a lot but no cure up to now. It's really horrible thing to happen to human being.

Has anybody got a cure? GERD is killing us!        
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Hi

3 days ago i noticed a smell of burning fat when i was at work and it continued at home in the evening. I found this amusing and mentionned it to my wife who has an excellent sense of smell. She confirmred that there was no such smell. I work in an airconditionned office and the chance of any such smell is remote.

Today at work i noticed the same smell but coming home by car I was concerned that exhaust fumes were getting into m car. I now have a constant smell of exhaust fumes in my nose andit is persistent and unpleasant.

For several years I have had mild breathing difficulties at night...just a general blocked up feeling but I am generally fit and well with no medical problems.

I WONDER WHAT i SHALL BE SMELLING TOMORROW?
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Are YOU kidding me? THAT has GOT to be it !!!
I'm going back to my old lens for a while
thinking back, that's about how long I've been smelling smoke
only with me if seems a lit cigarette is right next to my nose with the white smoke going up in my nostrils. sometimes I have to hold my breath just for the relief. This is awesome news.
Thanx
Trying today
Linda
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A few things we all might have in common are?
How about hand washing with chemical soaps.
How about GMO foods which unfortunately
were all exposed to.
How about chemicals on cotton we wear.
How about tampons we put inside our body.
The list is quite endless and could never be
completely exhausted.
I've been sensitive to light, smell, sound, and
even vibration for over a year. Of course I am
a high functioning spinal accident survivor.
One thing I've noticed one year ago I had a
rather awful spinal tap done that landed me
in the hospital three times in 8 weeks. I've not
been the same since. My nose is keen to
the slightest offish smell. I've had 15 MRI's
to watch for spinal cord lesions they tell me.
Hope this has been helpful. /Little Seaflyer
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I was at an inside/outside bar watching football last Sunday.  Everybody around me was smoking (I quit 5 years ago).  Since I came home, I cannot get the cigarette smoke smell out of my nose.  I tried 'cleaning out my nose', minty mouthwash, lozenges, saline nasal spray, scrubbing my hair and body...but it won't go away! I know I deeply inhaled the second-hand smoke a couple times, as it sometimes actually smelled good to me (probably my ex-brand), but why can't I get this smell out of my nose several days later?  I feel like it got into my lungs and won't leave.  All of you who say you've had it for months or years scare the heck out of me, as I keep waiting for it to go away NOW!
Many of you have guessed the odor was exhaust fumes or this or that, but in this case I KNOW it was from actual cigarette smoke.   HELP!!!
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Does anyone else with this exhaust smell problem take cholesterol medicine?  I take Benicar and I have a theory that this could be a side effect as the medicine and the body breaks down cholesterol.  The smell seems to get better if I go off the medicine for a few days.  Since cholesterol is an organic, perhaps it breaks down into trace amounts of carbon monoxide which those of us sensitive to that smell can detect.  It's just a thoery, but since I have a degree in Chem Engr ,it makes a some sense to me.
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HI. JUS FOUND THIS SITE. ABOUT 4 DAYS AGO WE HAD A FIRE GOING IN OUR FIREPLACE AND THE SMOKE CAME OUT INTO THE HOUSE. I HAVE BEEN SMELLING SMOKE EVER SINCE THEN. I STARTED OUT WITH BURNING AND WATERING EYES. I HAVE ALSO BEEN SNEEZING AND NOW MY THROAT FEELS LIKE IT IS BURNING. MY NASALS FEEL VERY DRY. YOUR POST SOUNDED ALOT LIKE ME. WE ARE NOT CRAZY!!! IT IS THE SMELL OF SMOKE!!!! I JUS HOPE WE DO NOT HAVE IT FOR DAYS LIKE THE OTHERS. GOOD LUCK.........
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After dealing with the cigarette smoke smell and exhaust fumes for 5 months, I saw an ENT yesterday. He diagnosed me with Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR), "Silent Reflux". It is a back flow of the stomach content into the throat and larynx and it affects the nasal passages. When I researched LPR, nowhere did I see anything about smell. I repeatedly asked him about the smell and he said "this" should take care of it. Upon getting up in the morning. I spray saline water nasal spray 2 pumps in each nostril) and take 2 omeprazole (40mg). In the middle of the day, I spray the saline solution. Then before bedtime, I spray the saline spray followed by two sprays of Qnasl (trade marked) Nasal Aerosol (prescription) in each nostril and take 2 Pepcid. I am to keep up this routine for 4 weeks and see him again. Also, if i feel a lump in my throat and if I am doing a lot of  throat clearing, I can take a Mucinex. So far today, I have been without the odors. Most of this treatment involves OTC drugs, so I would encourage trying it for yourself. I hope this posting helps those who choose to try it.
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Can you tell me what he said the problem was and did you have heartburn with the bad smell and does the Pepsid help? I have had this for a year know had a MRI done and am waiting on to see if a brain tumor is there I would like to hear more from you .
***@****
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epilepsy meds have like no side effects, trust me because i have been on them for 3 years now. However, recently, (as in the past few months) i have been experiencing the same smoke scent effect and it is really annoying. I did my research and spoke to my doctor and she said that stress can cause that! I think that is the most plausible explanation for me, because i have finals coming up!
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Its Feb.2nd 2013 and what a ****** up thing we all have, bare with me because I tend to explain everything from A to Z. I've experienced every symptom everybody has written the smell of cigarette smell so intense it burns my eyes, it seems to be concentrated when I sit ironically in front of the computer.  The odd thing is I can tell you exactly when I started smelling this.  My family and I were at Wal-mart just before this past Christmas.  We were looking at the perfume display corral to purchase perfume for my sons girlfriend.  They had all the tester bottles on display, perfumes like Boyonce, Brittney Spears, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks etc.  I stupidly went around that corral twice spraying and literally inhaling up my nose every fragrance.  Two days later I started smelling like cigarette smoke.  It followed me wherever I was.  Now I drive truck for a living and have been doing this currently for over 15 years.  At first I thought it was due to the valley smog.  But then realized when I smelt it in my bed that it couldn't be. After about two weeks of constant smell, I saw my ENT.  I have had surgery on my inner ear.  I've had my uvula removed.  And have had surgery on my neck but that was back in 2006.  I do not believe it is related to surgery or dryer sheets, I have been using the same dryer sheets for decades.  Besides I can still smell it when I'm naked.  Anyway, I asked my ENT "hey doctor, tell me if you've ever heard this one. I have been constantly smelling cigarette smell when there is no smoke around.  I have never been a smoker nor do any of my family members smoke." He said "well what I usually hear is people say they smell the smell of rotting meat or something dead. Never the smell of cigarettes".   But I know this obviously is not uncommon just based on this blog.  The funny thing is one of his staff members told me when she gets a sinus infection, it smells like a dirty ashtray.  Anyway the doctor looked up my nose and said "what you have is a sinus infection".  But I said "how can that be, I have no symptoms. No congestion, no runny nose, no sneezing, no drip".  He said "well that is what you got".  And prescribed to me a antibiotic called Cirpro.  And a saline nasal rinse kit that I was to perform twice a day for 21 days.  He told me it should clear up within a week but to keep doing it for the full 21 days.  Well up to 21 days I was still smelling it but on the 22nd day, I noticed no smell.  This lasted for 3 to 4 days.  Then the smell returned.  Through the 21 days my nasal was clear breathing was fine but now it turned into a full blown nasal infection with all the mucus.  Funny thing is while I had mucus, I had no cigarette smell.  So back to the doctor for a follow up.  He now prescribes to me a new antibiotic and to continue the same routine.  After one week of taking the new antibiotic, all the mucus is gone.  And I breath clearly. But you know what, the cigarette smell is back at full strength.  So let's do the rigamarole.  I now have an appointment for a MRI.  Everybody has such great opinions on what this could be, my car does not have a cabin filter.  I do not believe it is a sinus infection.  I have had problems with heart burn so acid reflux is possible. But if it was acid reflux wouldn't the smell that emanates up from your stomach reflect what you just ate instead of cigarettes because my heart burn can cause me to burp up and my burp still smells and tastes like my dinner.  So that's a wonder.  The odd thing here is that we all share literally the exact same symptoms.  Although we all live different lifestyles.  What we need to find out is what one thing we all have in common.  Or what one thing we can contribute it to, like I said this started exactly two days after inhaling a **** load of perfume up my nose.  Could it be gum disease?  It seems I smell it more when my mouth is open and am breathing easy through both nose and mouth.  Could it be stress related?  We all have stress, like someone else said even if you don't feel stressed.  I am a firm believer that your brain controls you not the other way around.  The brain can cause you to have symptoms for no apparent reason that can not be related to anything (i.e. pain in your leg, arm or back or anxiety even when there is nothing the pain can be attributed to or even if you try to talk yourself out of being anxious). Anyway, sorry so long.  Glad at least to have found this post.  I guess I'll check back again.  Let's all try to find out what we all have in common other than the symptoms.  Somebody devise a questionnaire.  Are we eating too much meat?  Is it rotting inside of us?  What would happen if we did a nasal rinse with vinegar or peroxide?  A little scared to try it.  That's all for now, God bless you all.  
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Just last night my husband told me he has a bad smell constantly. I said that is your gases in the stomach. He doesn't believe me. And then I started to remember a weird sense of cigarrette smell I had constantly a year ago. I went to doctor and she said is acid in your stomach. I reluctantly took the Prevacid pills and guess what?
Is OVER. My husband doesn't believe me. I hope everybody that reads this does and just take for several days any over the counter pills to helps acids  and you will notice it rapidilly starts to reduce the sense of cigarrette smell.
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To all of you who smell smoke or burning in your nose.. I occasionally get brief bouts of smoke smell in my nostrils.  . I have allergies and if I get dry sinuses, they start to bleed. Even if it is only a small bit of bleeding, I can get that smoky smell.  Most recently ( today ) it came after I got an upper left rear molar pulled.  It has to do with the tissue behind or around your olfactory nerves. If the sinus area or the tissue at the very back of your nose is actively bleeding or becomes covered with clotting blood, you can start smelling smoky or burning smells. I believe that even a bruising of this tissue can cause this.  This phenomenon can be caused by a wide variety of things ...such as allergies, medication, household products , heaters that dry your sinuses out, injury, disease, surgery , or any strain/ damage to sinus cavity.
I truly hope that this helps you all.  
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I quit smoking over 4 years ago and the smell of cigarettes really bothers me now.  On Wednesday (this is Saturday) I went to a Midas Muffler place to get the oil changed on my car.  It was so stinky in there.  Just reeked of cigarettes.  Now you can't smoke in there so I don't know why.
I was really uncomfortable and I kept thinking I should wait outside.  But I have a bad back and there was no place to sit and it was really cold.  I couldn't wait to get out of there.  
Well, like so many of you here, I now have that burning smell stuck in my nose.  It's driving me NUTS.  
After scanning through all these messages, I am taking the remedy close at hand, which is a prilosec for GERD and a couple of diazepam for stress. What a weird malady.  .  
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I believe it!  It's been going on now for 3 days and it's getting stronger and stronger.  I did call my family doctor, figured I'd give him a good laugh at least.  He wants me to call the ENT and get his opinion.  I guess that's positive...he didn't leave me without an answer.
Living in a Fog :(
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hi.. I have been struggling with the smell of smoke and other phantom smells for over several years now and they've put me in harms way in several occasions. Just last night I woke up with the strong smell of smoke and felt the warmth of the flame and thought my table was on fire but realized it was not real. I fell asleep and woke up a while later seeing my whole room engulfed in smoke and this time the smell even stronger and I felt the kitchen was on fire and I ran to see what was burning and realized that this too was not real. Can someone please explain to me what's going on here?
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Just like many of you, I came to this site hoping to figure out what was wrong with me, but came away with disappointment and more questions than answers.  I vowed that if I ever figured out what caused my issues, that I’d share it with everyone.  Here is my story…

About mid-October I began smelling a constant smoke smell, like somebody was burning leaves.  At times the smell became so intense that I could taste smoke and my eyes would burn.  The smell would (almost) go away while I slept, but would come back each morning and get worse as the day went on.  I also developed an altered sense of taste – foods just didn’t taste “normal”.

I saw three doctors (my regular doctor, an ENT specialist and a Neurologist) and despite a CT scan, two rounds of antibiotics and a month on steroids (Flonase) my problems persisted and nobody could figure out why.  As a matter of fact, the ENT saw no sign of infection or polyps and told me my sinuses were probably the healthiest he’d seen in months.  

As luck would have it one day in January, I was preparing our condo to head south for a couple of months to escape the Wisconsin winter.  While in the laundry closet shutting off the main water supply, my wife happened to flush one of the toilets – and I could clearly hear the toilet flushing through the floor drain in the utility room.  If you know anything about plumbing, this is not normal!  All drains are designed with a trap to capture water and block off sewer gases from entering the home.  However, drains that are not used often (e.g. a floor drain) can dry out thus allowing poisonous sewer gas to pass through unobstructed.  By shining a flashlight down into the drain I was able to confirm that my drain was indeed dry.

Sometimes hindsight is 20/20 and as I started thinking about the sequence of events, things started making sense.  We had purchased and moved into the condo at the end of August.  The previous owner was an elderly lady who probably had no idea what sewer gas is and had allowed the trap to dry out.  I immediately poured a glass of water into the drain to recreate the natural trap in the drain and block off any additional sewer gas from leaking back into our condo.  We then locked up the condo and started driving south.

Almost immediately my symptoms improved and by the time we returned in mid-March I was almost back to normal (smoke smell was completely gone and I was able to taste food).  I say “almost” normal, because some things still didn’t taste quite right.  But this was a vast improvement from where I was back in October.  I was both apprehensive and anxious to return to our condo, but I’m happy to report that we’ve been back about a month and still no smoke smell.

I did further research on Sewer Gas Poisoning and here is what I learned:
“Hydrogen sulfide (aka sewer gas) is a colorless, flammable gas. At low levels, it smells like rotten eggs. At high levels, it quickly destroys the sense of smell, so victims may no longer recognize an odor. Symptoms of low-level exposure to sewer gas include extreme fatigue, dizziness, headaches, irritability and memory loss. Runny eyes and a runny nose are also common.  Exposure to sewer gas can irritate the eyes, cause a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Other symptoms include nervousness, dizziness, nausea, headache, irritability, poor memory, and drowsiness.  High levels of exposure can cause "olfactory fatigue". Olfactory fatigue, also known as odor fatigue or olfactory adaptation, is the temporary, normal inability to distinguish a particular odor after a prolonged exposure to that airborne compound is the permanent loss of the sense of smell, and is different from olfactory fatigue.”

So in conclusion, I am not suggesting that everyone who constantly smells smoke has been poisoned by sewer gas.  However, this is a very easy thing to check and remedy if you have drains in your house that are not often used.  Personally, I have set up a reminder for myself to pour a glass of water down my floor drain every month to ensure that it never dries out.

One final thought... I think this sewer gas issue could be related to the natural gas leak issue that Mikki13 discussed in her 7/21/09 post.  Similar to how Mikki identified her gas leak by calling the gas company, you can contact your local water department and have them test for the presence of sewer gas.  It could be a longshot, but if this helps even one person get their life back it will be worth it.
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Wow, your description of symptoms was exactly like my own.  The smoke smell (also somewhat like poop smell) never leaves, ever.  At first I didn't notice it outside in colder air, but now it's always there.  Had this for nearly 8 months now.  I really notice it after getting into my vehicle and turning on the heat, which comes through the vents and lets me have a good whiff.  I'm a little concerned about what the hot summer will do.  Have been to ENT for the camera in the nose, had the CT, then an MRI, a scratch-n-sniff smell test, and 2 different anti-biotic treatments for possible sinus infection.  Several different types of nasal sprays/saline stuff.  Nothing works, all tests reveal nothing.  I suppose I can just live with this the rest of my life, as long as there's nothing serious happening.  I would just like to know why I must, and what exactly this is.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am not sure what causes this but the same thing is happening to me. If you get severe headaches and sinus problem you must make an appointment to visit a neurologist
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Avatar_m_tn
I have recently experienced this smell. Yet, after reading this note, I started taking pepcid and it left. I think it is due to acid reflux. Just my thoughts!
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Well, the smell finally has vanished, my ent. was convinced it is a sinus infection and i now believe him it actually left about 3 months ago I started sleeping with a cold water humidifier and shortly after i noticed it starting to dissipate. Take nice hot showers and breathe in through your nose that helped also. But don't be discouraged it will go away. deep sinus infections must be hard to kill because if you remember 2 sets of antibiotics didn't kill it. keep up with the saline rinses too you'll be okay, good luck everybody and God bless.
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Avatar_m_tn
i have been experiencing the same thing; smelling cigarette smoke 24/7 when no one around me is smoking. it has been going on for several months; maybe longer. recently, i have noticed that certain foods smell strange; like having a sulfur-metallic smell to them. This smell only happens with certain foods like eggs and peanut butter. I notice also that my stool has the same nasty strange smell. But then i noticed that someone else in my home's stool has that strange smell. So i don't know if my stool is really "diseased" or if it is just my distorted sense of smell, since the smell of the foods i mentioned has suddenly been distorted. also, standing by the fan with air blowing, seems to make the smell even stronger. Also, some of you mentioned that the smell reduces or goes away when you cover your nose with shirt. i just tried this and i agree with this. All these things maybe suggest to me that it is not necessarily that we are smelling something that is not there, but that a specific element (perhaps sulfur?) is suddenly being distorted due to some physiological disruption/disease occurring within our bodies. Could it be due to a toxin? Could it be due to parasites? I wish i knew. I noticed that some of the posts have been written several years ago. It would be so helpful if those people would update us on how they are doing now? also, the recent ones, please keep posting; this maybe can help us reach an answer. i too am reluctant to ask doctor, due to not wanting to be patronized. i did hit my head 4 months ago, leaving me with bad headaches for two months. then took antibiotics (clarythromycin) for 3 weeks for possible sinus infection.
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Avatar_m_tn
did you read my last post, the one above yours, also read my main post further up, we all suffer from the same symptoms or slight variance (of),considering we are all different individuals, but I am  100% sure it is some type of deep sinus infection, even my e.n.t said everything looked fine when he looked up my nose but still diagnosed it as a sinus infection and treated it as such and prescribed me with the necessary treatment and after a long while and a lot of skepticism on my part it did go away, I guess he does know what he's talking about. I have great confidence in him. Stop trying to over analyze it e.n.t's know a lot more than we do. Thats my thought on this matter.
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Avatar_f_tn
Good morning fellow smoke smellers!

   In a way, I am happy to see that I have plenty of company. I was beginning to think I was crazy.

   My symptoms started last year, August, around the same time I had a seriously bout of vertigo. I was subjected to a battery of test, MRI Brain, hearing, ENG/VNG. The conclusion; no stroke, no tumors, no hearing problems, no sinus infections, just vertigo which was explained to me as tiny flecks of your ear becoming dislodged and floating in a canal that it shouldn't be in! Of course I never got an answer as to how they know this. Like did anyone every remove a tiny fleck from someone's ear canal? But anyway.The vertigo lasted six months and is subject to returning.

  This smell of smoke I get isn't like a cigarette smoke. I am a former smoker, quit 28 months ago and I can smell a cigarette a mile away! LOL The smell I experience is a thicker smell that actually takes my breath away. I had a nasty bout of it just last night where I suffered severe shortness of breath.

   When it first happened, I was still living in Florida where the A/C is on all the time. I also have four dogs and my partner still smoked. Anyone who ever smoked knows that we really do wreak of smoke. So I'm thinking between the smelly clothes in the house, the dogs and no fresh air circulation that it was all playing havoc on my sinuses. But, I had no other symptoms.  I noticed that I could breathe easier outdoors. However, bathing the dogs, cleaning the house from top to bottom, changing A/C filter, did absolutely nothing to eleviate the smell.

Then I noticed I was experiencing it in the car with the A/C on and anywhere else I was with A/C seemed to make it worse. Then it was simply gone one day. But has returned several times.

To make this extremely long story as short as possible, I began to really pay attention to when this occurs and I did notice that it seemed to be associated with extremely stressful/depressing situations. This past year has been a rollercoaster of emotions, to say the least. My symptoms started again two days ago, coinciding with an extremely stressful situation.

Last month, we moved out of Florida. When this bout started two days ago, I opened the house as it hadn't been too hot. I felt better for a while but then it started up again. The fan blowing on me, while sitting on the deck, made it worse.

I felt myself slipping into a panic mode last night with the shortness of breath. And yes, to those who say covering their nose with their shirt helps, it does, but last night, it only made me feel like I was suffocating. I finally put some Vicks in a tissue and slept with it under my nose. I was able to finally fall asleep and when I awoke this morning, the smell was not as severe but my search for answers brought me here and to a few other sites.

Like everything else, I have found that there are numerous causes. Some are psycological and others are nuerological and who knows what else. I see the posts about the acid reflux. I have been on Nexium for years now and pretty much have that under control. Last year, I also taking thyroid medication. Switched from Levothyroxine to NatureThroid.  The upside for us is that the symptom is acknowledged by the medical profession. Therefore, if my doctor doesn't take me serious, I will look for another. First I will have to find one since I am new to the area.

Hopefully, mine is simply an emotional trigger that a long vacation and an elimination of stress will be the cure.

Good luck everyone!



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Avatar_m_tn
All I can say is "WOW"... my smoke smelling started yesterday.  I contributed it to my husband deciding to grill ribs in the garage because of the heavy rain.  It was during that time I started smelling smoke.  Of course I contributed it to the ribs smoking.  Once the ribs were done.  I asked my husband remove the grill from the garage because I kept smelling charcoals.  He of course couldn't smell what I was smelling.  He removed the grill and realized I was still smelling it.  The next morning, I didn't think anything else about the smoke smell until I got to work; much to my surprise, I was still smelling the "grill".  I thought I was losing my mind considering that I was now 30 miles from that grill.  I have read many of the posts and the thing that sticks out the most with me is that I spend a lot of time in front of the computer at home - I mean every waking moment almost. So that makes me go hmm... could it be the computer?    I don't have the answer yet as I sit here smelling smoke and typing this post.  I just sure hope it goes away.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hmmm... I agree, the standing around a fan blowing also makes the smoke smell stronger.  
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Avatar_f_tn
What helped me was getting better hydrated - which is not always just drinking water.  I needed to increase my magnesium and electrolytes and yes, even salt intake in order for the water to retain in my body.  So, now, every time I get that smoke smell again, I know I am dehydrated.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Not sure if this posted or not - but what helped me was getting better hydrated, which included increasing electrolytes and minerals - particularly magnesium and also salt, if I had lost enough of it thru exercise.  Now the smoke smell signals me that for sure I am dehydrated, and it goes away.
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Adding to the chorus. I recently realized I have been smelling smoke for the past year or 2. I thought it was because I live in a row home and both my neighbors were smokers. I realized it was me when I went over my sister's house and the smoke smell followed me. It wouldn't be so bad if cigarette smoke didn't make me queasy. So reading around it appears that it could have occurred as a result of nerve damage. I had a bad bout of facial shingles. My left nostril doesn't function well, I am almost always congested no matter what I do. Vicks  rub is one of the few things that kills the smell. I also noticed that the symptoms get worse when the humidity is higher. To further complicate things I also have a pituitary tumor and my prolactin levels are elevated. Getting an MRI this week, once we rule out anything related to the tumor, I'll be seeing the ENT regarding the neuralgia.
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Avatar_f_tn
I get a whif of the neighbors cigerette smoke and i can smell it in  my nose and mouth for days.Its been happening for years now it goes away and comes back again if smoke goes in my nose. Its really unpleasent. I try using vicks undermy nose and it works for alittle while but comes right back I hate it. food tast gross and the smell is always there i just want it to go away Help i tried showers, blowing my nose and sniffing clean laundry lol
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been smelling cigarette smoke for a couple weeks now. I think it is caused by either the antibiotics I took or from using a netti pot. Does that correlate with anybody else's experience?
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Avatar_f_tn
I keep a journal of when I experience the cigarette smell.  Low and behold, it's always when I am in a high stress situation.  DG
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Avatar_m_tn
Guys, I had this problem for about 2 months. I was smelling smoke constantly everywhere I went. Someone suggested I try "Sinus Buster". Its a nasal spray I purchased at RiteAid. It took a few days but finally the smoke as disappeared. I am not using the spray any longer and am fine. If you cannot find this at your local drug store, they sell it on Amazon. Give this a try!
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, I have had phantom cigarette smoke smell in my nose on and off for several months.  I thought I had a brain tumor and was just getting ready to call my doctor for an appt. when my husband admitted that he had secretly started back smoking.  So, don't assume that "no one in your house smokes".  I was shocked and hurt that he let me go on for so long thinking that I had a problem, when it was his smoking all along.  
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Avatar_m_tn
no matter where I am I smell cigarette smoke ,to day I was at church and I was sitting their and start smelling cigarette smoke . I don't know what to do.
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Avatar_m_tn
Smokers don't care if they smell or affect others. Most anyway. I've come across 3 in my entire life that actually are willing to help not invade someone else's clean air space. Still hoping for California's smoking ban to become nationwide. An alternative would be a better solution.

Right now, our solution is for the smokers to quit altogether, and their solution is for us to wear a mask or never go out in public. Both sides are invasive, so a new alternative to cigarettes would be best. But how? Hmm.
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Avatar_m_tn
My doctor told me to take 20 or more mg zinc daily. It worked. The smell went away.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been experiencing smoke smells for over eight years now and it periodically accursed when i am awaken out off my sleep thinking that there is a fire in my house. I walk around every time and there is nothing to be found, and then minutes later it goes away, very very weird. I noticed it when I use to clean my dogs boop up with bleach, and a couple months after that is when it  started. Maybe I need to go see a Doctor..
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Avatar_m_tn
Cant believe how common a problem this seems to be, however have not found any comment Rhinitus. I was diagnosed this after having constant runny but blocked nose for 2 years. I was given a spray but it doesnt help. The tablets I was given, cetirizine do help. However a few weeks ago I started smelling cigarette smoke, when I'm knowhere near it or anyone who smokes. I've also had stomach problems on and off for about 6 months. Is it all related? Anyone with any advice? Will go and see gp but to be fair he's not the most helpful sort!!!
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Where there's Smoke (Smells) there is fire...Is MTHFR your prob?

The phantom smells are a canary in a coal mine. That's all well and good if you know what it means when that canary buys the farm. Many people who ultimately develop MS report phantosmia (phantom smells, especially smoke) prior to diagnosis.  However, a precursor to this condition is toxin overload, which not-coincidentally is thought to be related to MS development.  When you have one or more MTHFR gene mutations, the body can’t produce glutathione efficiently to help the body detox on its own, so toxins build up and damage nerves.  The good news is that there is more often than not a simple fix.

You might want to get tested for the MTHFR (methylene tetra-hydrofolate reductase) gene mutation. [If you google mthfr and mind map and mindmeister, there is a pretty good visual representation of this condition though it’s disease list is not comprehensive.]  If you have one or more copies, it is easily correctable with the active form of folic acid called methyl-folate and the active form of cobalamin called methyl-cobalamin. Be sure to AVOID the inactive forms called simply folic acid and cobalamin or you will make your condition worse...even if it's just in processed foods.  They can cause serious problems and even behavioral problems like irritability/anxiety, etc, and serious digestive issues when you eat too much of them and you have these mutations.  (Warning!:  You have to START SLOW and build up with this ‘fix’ or you will rebound causing more symptoms which may cause you to give up altogether on it.  Just be patient and take it slow.)

There is a whole list of other associated conditions including stroke/heart attacks/Deep Vein Thrombosis, IBS, Crohn's & other digestive disorders, hormone dysregulation/miscarriages, MS, cancer, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, CFS, FM, migraines, multiple chemical sensitivity, etc. These conditions are completely avoidable with simple methylated B vitamins and a change in diet (avoid supplemented folic acid in food like the plague).  

You can read about the mutation in a really well written blog post by googling "Holy MTHFR". The blog is not all about MTHFR mutations but the blogger takes a complicated condition and puts it into simple terms. Then you can read more convoluted, technical stuff online (mthfr.net and dramyyasko.com and heartfixer.com).  There is also an mthfr support account on Facebook too, where doctors familiar with it will answer your questions. I see a doctor in Texas City, Texas, an MD who happens to be schooled in nutrition related disease. (most doctors are not, sadly.  Dr. Ben Lynch has a Find a Doctor feature on his website though, if your doctor is not educated on this mutation and how to treat it:  mthfr.net)

I've used Cerefolin NAC for a year now (methyl-folate, methyl-cobalamin and NAC combo) and the smoke smell only comes back if I stop using it for more than a couple of weeks. I am homozygous so it's a critical thing for me to take it life long. [I learned recently that the preservatives/additives in this form are a trial for my body so I am moving to Dr. Lynch's additive free methyl Bs.)

Oh and the migraines have stopped since I started taking 500 mg of magnesium citrate (has to be citrate or a chelated form of Mag) combined with 500 mg calcium citrate and a combo of vitamin D3/K2 5000 IUs/1100 mcgs before bed.  Be sure to use the citrate form since the oxide form is not nearly as bioavailable...i.e. a waste of money. (**NOTE:  This combo is important NOT only because they have to have each other to work properly but because taking calcium without mag and vit K can contribute to plaque development in your arteries. So if you lower the amt of Mag because your bowels loosen too much in this combo, be SURE to lower Calc to the same level to avoid plaque buildup.  This is hyper-critical since those with these mutations already are MUCH more susceptible to heart attacks/strokes/DVT whether you are currently showing signs or not.)

In addition to the night Mag combo, I added 500 mg mag citrate alone to my morning routine which also seems to be helping reduce the number of migraines/headaches too.  In any event, there seems to be some kind of connection with an increased demand for Mag for those of us with this mutation.   [A couple of times I have used about 8 oz of pomegranate juice too, a vasodilator, when the magnesium combo just wasn’t enough and had headaches ease off altogether.]  

**You can buy these active B vitamins without a prescription at Vitamin Shoppe for about the same as what you spend for a 3 month mail order supply through an online pharmacy like Brand Direct for one of the 'medical foods' that combine them into one pill, but you need a prescription for them. (i.e. Deplin, Metanx, Cerefolin NAC---each of these varies in type and amt of active B vitamins and are listed here in increasing amts of methyl-folate/methyl-cobalamin formulations) You may have to try one and move to another if it isn't enough to address your condition. Just google the contents of each to see the amount of each methylated vitamin in them if you are going to try to match them at Vitamin Shoppe separately. (again, if you are homozygous, consider using forms that have NO additives like Dr. Lynch's or Yasko's)

Heterzygous---or a person with 1 gene mutation copy--- needs less methylated B vitamins usually than those who are homozygous---or have 2 gene mutation copies. You don't have to be tested to try them but doing so will make it much easier to treat and to know exactly how much you need so you don't waste money.  

1 mutation means you are about 70% efficient at activating your Bs while 2 mutations means your about 10% or less efficient. That is a serious difference and means you are MUCH more susceptible at an earlier age to the disease states associated with this mutation if you are homozygous.  However, they are beginning to understand that heterozygous mutations have their own significant challenges so don’t discount your need for methylated Bs if heterozygous.

Just a thought...the longer you wait, the more likely you are to develop the related and completely avoidable diseases with simple active (methylated) vitamins. Be proactive...don't wait until you come down with one of these serious diseases because treating it at that point is much harder.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the same problem..i don't smoke don't hang with anyone who smokes..and my home is new ..and I smell smoke..my eyes are buring   ..I am so sick of this..has anyone found a cure for this problem yet????  
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