Smoking emits harmful fumes into the air, and in an enclosed space like your vehicle, it can cause irreversible damage to both your health and the interior of your car. We all know cigarettes are bad for your health, but many smokers are unaware of the effects of those harmful second-hand smoke fumes on the environment around them.
So, how does lighting up in the car damage the interior? Let’s take a closer look at what you’re doing to your car’s interior every time you have a cigarette.
The smoke from a cigarette contains hundreds of harmful chemicals. These chemicals cause damage to surfaces as well as organs and body parts. Have you ever noticed that dingy film on your car’s dash? If you smoke in your home, you might have noticed it on your walls, too.
The tar and nicotine in cigarettes stick to everything, coating it in a sticky residue that smells and can cause discoloration. The hard surfaces of your vehicle, including the dashboard, steering wheel, center console, and even your door handles can become coated with this residue; effectively ruining the car’s interior.
Not only is the residue difficult to clean, but the smell doesn’t really go away. Even after you’ve doused the surface with every car cleaner you can get your hands on, the smell has penetrated every surface in the vehicle and likely won’t leave once you’ve been smoking in it for enough time.
It’s for this reason that many smokers are looking for viable alternatives. From vape pens to tobaccoless dip, there are dozens of alternatives to smoking that don’t involve that harmful smoke.
Aside from that dingy residue that coats everything, your ashes will blow around the vehicle and likely get ground into the upholstery. Those white/gray ashes fly around when you open the window, causing smears and stains on your car’s fabric seats. If you have leather seats, especially black leather, the smears can still occur and leather can become stained.
What does this matter? If you ever need to sell your car, you can bet that you’ll have a much more difficult time selling a vehicle with ash stains in its interior. Any passengers in your vehicle will be forced to sit on stained seats, and no one wants that!
The inside of your vehicle is a tightly enclosed space, which means that the quality of the air inside matters a lot more. Smoking on a regular basis in the vehicle can cause air quality within it to drop, and every time you light up, you’re adding to the problem. When someone else gets into the car, they’ll be forced to breathe in that cigarette-laced air.
Even if you smoke with the windows down, cigarette smoke is so potent that it still pollutes the air and stays on surfaces for weeks or even months after. If children are frequent passengers in your vehicle, you’re potentially exposing them to all of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
As if polluting the air quality of the vehicle wasn’t enough, smoking inside your vehicle can also cause those same harmful pollutants to accumulate inside of your ventilation system, where they’ll lie dormant until the next time you start your vehicle. Those particles stick to anything and everything, and when you turn on your A/C, you’re just blowing them around in the car again.
This affects both the resale value of your car and your investment. A vehicle is nothing less than a monetary investment, and when you’re taking active steps to damage it in any way, you’re basically throwing away money. What’s the point of buying a $10,000 car if you’re just going to destroy it with cigarette smoke?
Sometimes, ashes get blown around and embers follow suit. When you flick that burning end off the cigarette, it doesn’t always go out before it reaches the ground, or, in your case, the soft fabric of your car seats. Once it lands, it can burn right through the seats, causing further damage to the upholstery.
This is usually a classic sign that a car has been smoked in. If you’re buying a used vehicle, it’s a good idea to look for burn marks in the seat to see if the car has been smoked in. If it has, move on!
At the end of the day, smoking cigarettes damages the health of those around us and even the health of our most prized possessions, including our vehicles. Save your car’s interior, resale value, and your lungs by putting cigarettes down for good. There are plenty of quit-smoking products available, and even tobaccoless products that can help you quit nicotine forever.