Car owners may enjoy their rides as much as they can, but many also plan to sell them after only a couple of years. This, however, requires preventing unnecessary wear and tear as much as possible. Typically this means driving carefully, performing regular maintenance, avoiding potholes, and the like. But there are also other things to be mindful of when trying to maintain a car’s value –– including smoking.
Indeed, drivers who smoke may be worried about the effects their habits could have on their plans. In this article, we will discuss some of the effects cigarette smoke has on a car’s value, how smoking can affect its selling price, and what driers can do to avoid issues.
Third-Hand Smoke and Cars
Smoking tobacco in an enclosed space significantly increases the levels of pollutant. When this takes place in a car, second-hand smoke components are absorbed by different materials. These substances then become what is known as “third-hand smoke,” and are released over the course of several weeks and months.
As psychologist Georg E. Matt determined in a study, the fear of inhaling toxic particles and the unappealing smell of cigarette residue are enough to discourage many potential car buyers. As a result, cars that have been driven by smokers tend to be sold for lower prices than smoke-free vehicles. It is for this same reason that so many rental agreements include no-smoking clauses.
Although most car owners plan to sell their cars eventually, re-sale isn’t the only situation in which cigarette smoke can negatively affect plans. Some drivers may also look to return vehicles they’ve recently purchased, for one reason or another. As we detailed in our piece ‘Can You Return a Car You Just Bought?’, some car dealers do offer a refund –– but it can depend on several conditions. The dealer may be reluctant to take back a car with even a faint smell of cigarette smoke, knowing the effect it might have on would-be buyers in the future.
Getting Rid of Third Hand Smoke
Having a smoking habit doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost all chances of selling your car at a fair price!
One solution could be to switch to products designed to reduce the need to smoke –– at least while driving. Some recommend, for example, sugarless gums and hard candy. And if these aren’t enough, some drivers will also try chewing tobacco. The only problems are that this provokes bad breath, forces the user to spit regularly, and according to the CDC, can provoke tooth decay and long-term health problems.
Another option that circumvents these issues is to use nicotine pouches. Prilla notes how nicotine pouches are entirely tobacco-free and can be easily placed under the upper lip, releasing a small dose of nicotine that greatly reduces the desire to smoke. Unlike smokeless tobacco options, these pouches do not cause a desire to spit (nor do they lead to bad breath or tooth decay!)
If you’re a smoker concerned about what the habit might be doing to the value of your vehicle, these alternatives are worth exploring. And if you’ve already smoked in the vehicle, a piece on Lifewire recommends cleaning with baking soda and window cleaner –– which might just get rid of that lingering residue (and odor).
All things considered, cigarette smoke will have a negative impact on value –– but you don’t have to accept this as an inevitability, even if you have a smoking habit.