Why You Smell Phantom Cigarette Smoke When Nobody’s Smoking

Nobody around is smoking, so why do you smell cigarette smoke? Is this crazy or what? There are some explanations for this phenomenon.
“There are many reasons that cause people to have phantom smells and/or bad smells (known as parosmia),” explains Jordan S. Josephson, MD, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in NY, Author of Sinus Relief Now, Director of the New York Nasal and Sinus Center.


Unfortunately, some causes of smelling cigarette smoke
when nobody is smoking are very serious:

“These phantom smells can be caused by damage to the olfactory nerve by chemicals, or infection with a virus or bacteria, or trauma. A tumor of the brain or the olfactory nerve can also cause phantom smells. Or it can be caused by the infection itself. And the resulting sensation is then confused in the brain with the smell of cigarette smoke.”


More about parosmia: Dr. Josephson notes, “The bottom line is that many people may get this sensation at one time or another. If it comes and goes, then again, there is probably nothing to worry about. However, there are a few conditions that can cause parosmia, and this lasts longer than a fleeting moment, or recurs more frequently, and this is something that needs to be looked at carefully.” 


Why is cigarette smoke usually the phantom smell? “The parosmia is often described like the smell of smoke or cigarette smoke or like something that is burning. Overall this symptom is poorly understood and we don’t know why people relate this to cigarette smoke. It may be that the neurologic signals sent to the brain by the damage is closest to what we have learned is the smell of cigarette smoke or something burning.”  


If one has parosmia, when should he seek medical attention? “If the parosmia lingers, worsens and does not get better or it occurs with increasing frequency, you should probably see a board certified otolaryngologist and a neurologist and get studies to evaluate the cause of this problem. The good news is there most likely is a solution for most of these sufferers.”


What is it about phantom cigarette smoke and being alone in a car and nobody’s been puffing tobacco? “Many people report that this sensation of parosmia is brought on by dry heated air.  That is probably why many people report this to occur in the car because of the heating system in the car blowing dry air. 

"Boiling water and forced hot air from a furnace have also been reported by many patients to induce this sensation as well.  It is probably that there was damage to the nerve, and the heat causes the nerve to fire and cause this sensation of parosmia.  However, this is not well understood.”


Other causes of smelling cigarette smoke are infections that can invade the sinuses or throat. These can harm the nerves that pick up scents. Dr. Josephson explains, “This is usually following a sinus infection or an upper respiratory tract infection.” 


He continues, “If it is a bacterial sinusitis it needs to be treated with antibiotics, irrigation with saline and topical steroid sprays.  Furthermore, viruses that attack the olfactory nerve or taste nerve can lead to this sense of something burning. Migraines can also be related to an aura that brings on the sensation of something burning or a smell described like there is cigarette smoke when there is none.”


If you continue to smell cigarette smoke, Dr. Josephson urges a comprehensive workup which includes a smell test and CAT scan. “Then appropriate treatment has to be instituted. And the cause may be multi-factorial and therefore the treatment may need to be multifaceted.” Unfortunately, two more causes could be neurological conditions including stroke.

85 comments:

  1. I have been getting Phanton cigarette smmels for about 4 to 5 years now. It only happens after I have been around a smoker. Up to three days later, I can still smell the cigartte smell. I do not smoke. I was dianosed with CLL leukemia about a year and half ago. Not sure if it's related, to the phantom cigartte smells.

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  2. I have only been smelling it up in my part of the house since my mother passed away last year. She used to smoke downstairs and id get the same whiff I am getting now.
    I hope its nothing serious for me but my father smells it from time to time to.
    If anybody can help, flyingslugs@gmail.com
    Thanks

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    1. I always think it's my dad who passed many years ago. The smell is just so nauseating and overwhelming that I feel like I'm going to purge! I wish I knew what was the cause. It makes me so sick whenever I smell it.

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    2. My family smells it too, after my grandfathers passing as he was a smoker.

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    3. I have read that it could be someone close to you that passed that is producing this phantom odor of cigarette smoke. My mother passed away 3 years ago, and it has been about 6 months recently that I do smell the odor often. I do believe in other realms and that she is close to me, although she stopped smoking a few years before dying, which is weird, I smell the smoke. Maybe it is her way of letting me know she is nearby.

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  3. I am not a smoker and have never been one. My spouse is not a smoker. For the last three days I cannot stop smelling cigarette smoke. At work (in a scent free massage studio), at home, in the car, outside in the fresh air. There is no escape. I have tried burning scented candles and can smell the scent but over the scent I smell cigarettes. After reading the above article I am getting worried. This is so freaking weird. I am going to give it one more day and then I am making a doctor appointment.

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    1. Did you seek recommendations from a doctor? What happened? I smell it more often as I'm getting older to the point it gives me a headache. This article scared me a bit. I am thinking it is sinus related.

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  4. I smell a sweet smell all the time. Anyone else experienceed this?

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    1. Yes, I smell something that I equate to pipe tobacco or pipe smoke.

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    2. That's what I smell! It is driving me nuts at this point.

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    3. Same with me and I have been smelling phantom cigarette smoke sine 2013. When I get that sweet smell I try to figure out where I've smelled it before. Just this past week that cigarette smoke smell has been making me choke.

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  5. I only smell it after phantom sex.

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  6. I got phantom smell like something burned and sometime it smell like human blood

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  7. A couple days ago I hit my head on a metal clip on my horses rug and since then I've had two little bumps on my forehead and can smell smoke most the time.

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  8. I get the phantom smoke smell on and off for the past couple years, though mine is more like burning wood than cigarette smoke. Lately it has been much more often and more intense. Sometimes it lasts for hours or days at a time.

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  9. I've been smelling smoke for 6 months. Turned out to be a zinc deficiency. It stopped about a week after I started taking a zinc supplement

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    1. Yes! That's the one vitamin/mineral I've quit taking because it causes nausea. Thank you!!

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  10. I have been smelling cigarette smoke for a few weeks sometimes so bad it takes my breath away. My brother has a benign tumer in his head which is being monitered. Could i also have one

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  11. This started with me also about 3 weeks ago, I thought I was going crazy. I did not bring it up to anyone because it sounded so ridiculous to myself that I thought I would just sound like a fool to anyone else.
    After about the 3rd week I finally asked "does anyone else smell cigarette smoke?" No, was the reply. It was so bad that it was starting to make me sick and I googled the symptoms, thinking nothing would show up, but it did. The only relief I have now, is knowing that I am not alone. This is one of the worst things, if not thee worst thing that has ever happened physically to me, and I have had lots of bad things, from herniated discs and so on.
    It is like I am in a room of smokers or a bar from way back when people were able to smoke in them. I am not a smoker, never have been and I have not been around any smokers, nobody in my house smokes. It's driving me crazy.
    I went to the E.R. because I could not take it anymore, the headache, also a stinging feeling in the back of my head were so bad that I decided to go to the hospital.
    A CT Scan was done, and that came back normal, so far I am being treated for a sinus infection which I do not have. I also was able to see my Primary Care doctor yesterday, I need an MRI for it will show him more, he needs to rule out stroke and tumors. Also, lots of blood work, which was done today. I hope to find out results in a few weeks, I have a vacation scheduled for next week so this is the worst time for me to actually be going away but it was planned a while ago, my brother and wife had a baby and I have to meet the little guy, but I am completely miserable surrounded by smoke. This is so terrible. I am just glad I am not alone even though I would not want anyone else to have this ever.
    I will update this blog with info as I learn more.
    Good luck to all who are also suffering with this. Take Care

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    1. Going through same thing over last couple weeks. Seems to go away when I'm in a sleeping position. Awaiting ENT specialist and cat scan. Incredibly difficult to deal with.

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    2. Going through same thing over last couple weeks. Seems to go away when I'm in a sleeping position. Awaiting ENT specialist and cat scan. Incredibly difficult to deal with.

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    3. Chris, It's horrible to deal with. Like I said in my comment (post) I have had other painful things to deal with in my life, even a back surgery, but this is the worst because you're trapped, I feel trapped, I can't escape this smell, It's just awful and the headache and it also makes me sick to my stomach. I've always hated cigarette smoke and I can not BELIEVE for the life of me why this is going on and why THIS smell. I guess only time will tell. Good Luck to you.

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    4. I've had the same thing you experience on and off for several years now. I had sinus surgery 5 years ago and it started after that. It has something to do with low grade infections and or nerve damage in my case. Very uncomfortable situation. Best of luck!

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  13. I've been smelling this for some time and will soon go to the dr. for it but I wonder if my Guardian Angel has taking up smoking....rofl

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    1. So strange you should mention that bloomerbear. Someone said to me it could be a ghost. Unfortunately, I don't think that is it. Definitely go to your doctor. Good Luck.

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  14. This has been happening to me off and on for years. I have to sleep with Vicks Vapor Rub in my nose in order to get some sleep and not get a massive headache. My doctor hasn't done anything to help me. My psychiatrist said it is a sign of being bipolar. So, I guess I am crazy

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  15. I though I was going crazy!! never thought of going to the doctors though, I will try. I've been having chest problems lately, maybe could be related, i don't know. And yes... somebody sais it was a smoking ghost, but what a stuborn one that follows me everywhere hehe

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  16. I have been having this issue off and on for several months. It happens at work and at home and when I ask if anyone else smells smoke, I get a strange look and the answer is always no. I'm thinking it must be done underlying infection because my nose and eyes often burn at the same time when I smell it.

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  17. I have been having this issue off and on for several months. It happens at work and at home and when I ask if anyone else smells smoke, I get a strange look and the answer is always no. I'm thinking it must be done underlying infection because my nose and eyes often burn at the same time when I smell it.

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  18. It's very important, I think, to go to the doctor's, as much as it may be a pain. I'm still in the test process. I just got back from a vacation where I was thinking I was possibly getting better, but I still smelt smoke on and off during the trip. I'm home now and it appears to be getting bad again. I have my MRI this week, Friday, and then I have to get my blood test results soon, as well as the MRI results. Medicine for allergies did not work. Just made me tired. So, I still don't have any answers. I'm just hanging in there. Take Care Everyone.

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  19. I have experienced this also. I have noticed it is only during times of being stressed. My wife is now experiencing the same and she is currently very stressed out.

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  20. I am suffering the same thing and don't know what to do. It gives me headaches.

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  21. I'm still having tests done. MRI was today , so hopefully I will know more soon. I just hope I get answers, I don't want this to be the usual "we don't know, you'll just have to live with it" scenario. I really can't take the smell anymore. It seemed a bit better recently but not 100% and now it's bad again. I can't stand it anymore.

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    1. This whole experience started for me barely a week ago (last Sunday). I had my window open when the phantom cigarette smell kicked in so I wrote it off as just some smokers outside. The next day at work (in a closed studio with no smokers around) I was alarmed when I kept smelling cigarette smoke underneath / on top of all other normal smells.

      It threw up some red flags because like I said, I don't work with anybody that smokes, I've never smoked, don't live with a smoker so why does it smell like someone is puffing a cigarette in my face all of a sudden? I googled the symptoms and was amazed to actually find this page and some other similar pages on Phantosmia/Parosmia and their causes.

      I thought I would give it a few days to see if it would sort itself out and it never went away. It's actually pretty bad as I'm typing this right now. I went to go see a doctor today and she was very honest in saying she had no idea what to tell me. She said my sinuses were completely normal yet told me to take allergy medications which I had been doing to no avail for the past few days. I tried a saline wash as well and that didn't help. I really don't think this is a sinus problem but I'm at a loss.

      I've always loathed the smell cigarette smoke. It makes me feel uneasy and often gives me headaches so to feel like I can't escape that scent is really frustrating. Like you said earlier I feel trapped. It is however a comfort to know I'm not alone but I wish there was a more concrete answer for how to fix this problem, or even for what is causing it.

      Just throwing out ideas but I'm wondering if this is a geographical thing? You said it was better when you traveled but slightly present, and much worse when you were home? I'm from the Midwest for what it is worth.

      Thanks for posting updates though and I hope to hear back from you. Take care

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    2. I am hoping you give results of all your tests.

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  23. The smell I smell is as if there is a car backed right up to my window and the fumes are coming in the house; of course there is no car, just perfectly clean air!
    I asked my Doctor if he knew of any conditions like this... it has been with me for well over 3 years, I am not stressed, I do smoke, but I do not believe this comes from that.
    I will ask my Doctor to look further into this... right now I am practically choking with these fumes! Honestly, this must smell like it does when someone tries to do themselves in with a car!!!!
    I cannot smell anything else right now, pleasant scents from my garden aren't there... perfume is useless too!
    I really hope everyone here who has this gets some help.... its so bad.. a horrible condition!

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  24. I have found that if I eliminate bread and other wheat products from my diet this this condition disappears.

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  25. Not sure why I took so long to Google this, but happy to find out I'm not alone. For me, it smells like someone is smoking. I did have a serious problem with my Olfactory sensor, 18 years ago, while undergoing chemotherapy. This has been going on for close to a year. Almost always around 11:00 pm. If I get up and walk outside, it disappears. I'm wondering about one of the previous replies about the zinc deficiency, being tested now.

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  26. Not sure why I took so long to Google this, but happy to find out I'm not alone. For me, it smells like someone is smoking. I did have a serious problem with my Olfactory sensor, 18 years ago, while undergoing chemotherapy. This has been going on for close to a year. Almost always around 11:00 pm. If I get up and walk outside, it disappears. I'm wondering about one of the previous replies about the zinc deficiency, being tested now.

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  27. I will certainly update this thread when I find out more. I still do not have any information, I will get the MRI and blood work results this coming Thursday. The smell is still there, it also tends to be later at night but nonetheless it shouldn't be there at all. This makes no sense. It's annoying and quite baffling.
    I'm in Florida and was on vacation in CT. If that helps out any, if it is at all regional.
    I did start the neti pot system , which is not too much fun to do, but I have had no signs of relief.
    I'll stay in touch here, at least we aren't alone even thought I don't wish this on anyone. It's terrible.

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  28. I will certainly update this thread when I find out more. I still do not have any information, I will get the MRI and blood work results this coming Thursday. The smell is still there, it also tends to be later at night but nonetheless it shouldn't be there at all. This makes no sense. It's annoying and quite baffling.
    I'm in Florida and was on vacation in CT. If that helps out any, if it is at all regional.
    I did start the neti pot system , which is not too much fun to do, but I have had no signs of relief.
    I'll stay in touch here, at least we aren't alone even thought I don't wish this on anyone. It's terrible.

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  29. I thought I was crazy ,started a year ago ,eyes burning ,and cigarette smoke ,takes your breath away ,,I would ask my family do you smell that ,it's crazy some days are worse than others ,I hate cigarettes ,no one smokes in my family ,what the hell is it ,iam diabetic ? Live in the south? Use a cell phone? Could any of this be something related

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  30. I quit smoking 2 years ago. And I can't stand the smell of smoke. But I've been smeen smelling cigarette smoke every day off and on for several months now. I can't stand it. But thanks to you guys and this site I know what to ask my doctor and how to ask him about this problem. I will update when I find out something. Thanks

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  31. I quit smoking 2 years ago. And I can't stand the smell of smoke. But I've been smeen smelling cigarette smoke every day off and on for several months now. I can't stand it. But thanks to you guys and this site I know what to ask my doctor and how to ask him about this problem. I will update when I find out something. Thanks

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  32. I have just experienced this in the last two weeks and have been diagnosed with a viral infection in my sinus and throat. If it goes away in the next 2=4 weeks I will know it is the virus. If not...I'll be back!

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  33. Wow there are a lot of us smelling imaginary smoke. This just started happening since my allergies kicked in guess it is time to call the doctor. I have been blaming my hubby but he has only been smoking outside, so I know it is not him. I will let you know what the doc says.

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  34. I quit smoking years ago and can't stand the smell of it now. I have had this condition off and on for the last couple years, got over a very bad case of pneumonia last year, and it comes and goes, usually in the office or in the car. But yesterday it lasted almost all day and I'm smelling it now. I know I do not have a zinc deficiency as I take it every day. I mentioned this condition to my Dr. and he had never heard of it. However I don't get any other symptoms like headaches but I do feel a slight pressure in my ears so I'm assuming it's sinus related. I'll give it a little more time then see about visiting a specialist.

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  35. I am also glad to see, I'm not going crazy, I went to the doctors 5 yrs ago and he said your sense of smell does sometimes change as you get older, but not the smell of smoke is happening every night. Keep going outside to see if someone is burning of and it's driving me crazy. I'm glad to read at least others are having the same issue I also am getting intense headaches I will now go yo my Doctor and ask to see a neurologist and go through all the tests. Dr josephson comments above have at least NOW shed some light on it. And I know that I'm not going crazy.

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  36. Just returned from my doctors visit for blood work and MRI results...everything came back normal, which unfortunately is not really what I wanted to hear because of the fact that the smell is driving me crazy and now it just seems like I AM CRAZY. I thought at least something would show and I could at least know what was going on and how we could fix what was going on, but no such luck.
    Everything was normal except my testosterone, which I have suffered with Low Testosterone for about 10 years now...so when I was 35 and now I am obviously 45.
    As far as everything else , it's all normal, including the zinc, which he did run a test for.
    No abnormalities in my brain MRI with and without contrast.
    So, now I have to see an E.N.T. which means more time, energy, money and waiting.
    I'll keep everyone posted as I learn more and I do hope all of you get some answers too.
    Please know though, we are not going crazy...and we are not alone apparently.
    Take Care

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  37. Lord, I am so glad you are sharing your tests results with us. I too have been smelling cigarette smoke and it is bothering the hell out of me.

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  38. I had surgery on my neck in Oct of 2014, and have been having this problem on and off since. I do not smoke nor does anyone in my home. Even by myself or in a area that smoking is not allowed, I will still smell it. It is as though someone is sitting right next to me blowing smoke in my face at times.

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  39. I went to an ENT and he is sending me to get an MRI with contrast of my brain stem due to the smoke smell and now no sense of smell (anosmia). I'll let you know how that turns out. I must say I'm a mother of 4 and every time I gave birth I lost more and more smell...how odd.

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  40. I started smelling cigarette smoke 3 days ago, when we visited a smoky environment and the smell will not leave me. About 8 years ago, I had a similar problem after we had a large cookout/company picnic and the smell of the smoke from the grill stuck with me for over a month. It was as constant and horrible as this cigarette smoke smell is for me now. I was lucky enough to find something that fixed it last time and am going to try to find someone near me to try it again (we have moved 2.5 hours away from the person that helped me last time). When I was told this would help me, it sounded almost silly to me and I went for the treatment thinking it would be a waste of time and money, but the problem stopped the next day. I don't know if I can describe it accurately, but I will try, and then I am going to google it to see if I can get more information on it and hopefully find someone near me to go see. The massage therapist 8 years ago called it "Raindrop Therapy" and said that she would use 8-10 different essential oils, applied up and down the length of my spine on the massage table. It took her about 30 minutes, or so, to do this and while I must admit I had very little faith in her plan, it made the smoke smell go away completely. I'd love to hear if anyone else tries this and if it works for them, as well. Good luck to all on finding the solution for this horrible affliction.

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  41. To All,
    At least we have each other and this thread. I would have never thought there were others with this same annoying, downright terrible symptom. I thought for sure it was just me going crazy, I always say that, so I am sorry if it is me repeating myself, but it's true. It took me almost a full month to even mention this to anyone because I thought to myself "how stupid this can't be really happening".
    As stated my MRI w and w/o contrast came back normal.
    I now will go through the E.N.T. fiasco.
    My first appointment isn't until July 11th though, so I will not know much else for quite some time. The smoke smell is still strong though, it's not ALL DAY like it started out as, but it is still there, or maybe I am getting used to it, something I DO NOT want to do.
    I have been using the neti pot nasal system about 2 times a day, so maybe it's helping a bit.
    Still frustrating though.
    OK, take care all. Goodnight.

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    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks again for posting your results. I wrote to you earlier in the comments.

      I've started to take a 50mg zinc vitamin supplement and I feel like it's helping at least a little bit. Or maybe it's all psuedo / placebo...

      Anyway I still smell smoke but it seems like it's getting a little better but still terribly annoying. I'm at the point where I can't even tell the difference between real and imagined smoke anymore. Walking by smokers in public and then smelling smoke later, it's just all bizarre.

      Anyways I'm starting to really think this is climate related (worse for me in the heavier / humid days), and maybe some sort of sensitivity to electromagnetism and over exposure to electronics. I'm willing to risk sounding crazy saying that, if smelling imaginary cigarettes everyday didn't already do it.

      Take care and please keep us posted.

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  42. Last year I had an electrical fire from my microwave and that smell was completely new to me, so it left it's own imprint on my mind. However, just today, I smelt that same smell as I was in my bathroom. It only lasted about 2-3 seconds, but I had to check my microwave... and it was fine. Later I smell it again about 2 more times today, and it's insanely irritating. Tried cooking food, being in a room with no windows open, but to no avail. They come in intervals of about 3 hours. -.-

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  43. Try 10 to 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. I don't know but it often works for me.

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  44. I came to this site few months ago, I was smelling cigarette smoke for over a week and I thought I was going crazy. I was so glad to see all the comments here. I went to my Dr and He ordered an MRI and did blood work on me. The MRI come back normal but it showed that I had a chronic sinusitis He referred me to the E.N.T, I was treated with antibiotics. I wanted to comment here for anyone else that is suffering with this horrible smell.

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  46. Please join my support group if you are on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/Phantom-Smell-Support-Group-141049492969546/

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  47. https://m.facebook.com/Phantom-Smell-Support-Group-141049492969546/

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  48. https://m.facebook.com/Phantom-Smell-Support-Group-141049492969546/

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  49. Beyond frustrating. Couldn't handle headaches and went to emergency a few weeks ago. Smell of smoke had disappeared though. Cat scan revealed fluid in left sinus and was given nasal spray. Within week, all symptoms went away. Finished nasal spray on June 4. Woke up June 7 with smoker smell and headache. Luckily, my ENT appointment was June 9. Left appointment with more questions than answers. ENT feels both issues are not related. He will evaluate cat scan images today but thinks he will find nothing. If so, I will be referred to a neurologist for headaches and as far as smoke smell goes, I will have to live with it. Very depressing.

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  50. Hi Alyce - If I had Facebook I certainly would, but I got rid of my account 3 years ago and still counting.
    I wish you well. Take Care

    Chris, I think I just replied to you thru my gmail account. Let me know you got that. Thanks, this site sometimes confuses me with the layout, seems easy enough then it doesn't post or posts multiple times.

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  51. Hi Chris, I am in the same boat, I guess we all are. The smoke smell is so gross , I don't like smelling it in real life when people would smoke around me , so now this is just ridiculous smelling it everywhere and most all day long. I smell it right now while typing this comment. It's gross, I feel like it's all over me, I find myself always in the shower or washing my face knowing darn well it's not going to help.
    When I go to the ENT on July 11th, I am sure that I also will have more questions than answers. I can't live with this smell, but I guess I will have to.
    The headaches do get pretty bad from the smell. My MRI was normal and so was my CT scan, So I am not sure what is going to happen next.
    I don't know if it is an olfactory nerve issue but I guess the ENT will have to figure that out, I am just afraid of how long it may take.
    Take Care, I wish you well.
    I am so close to the horrible night club shooting, I am just outside of Orlando, I know the club and having worked for Disney for many years I know lots of people who could be affected by this senseless tragedy in one form or another (we all are though as a nation) so I am going to see if the stress or being sad or depressed has any effect on this condition also.
    Peace.

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    1. I am new to this and have been 'smelling' smoke for about a year now. It used to come and go, so I thought it was something in my office. Now in the last 2-3 months, I have it all day everyday. Went to my ENT today and having CT scan in two weeks, also thought may be Zinc related. I was on Zinc supplements up until few months when I ran out and didn't get any more, was taking a Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium combo for bone health. So hopefully that will be it, but as am reading all these - believe I may be in same boat as rest of you! Thanks for all the posts, I am glad to know am not alone in this and others don't think I'm crazy.

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  52. Okay so I obviously know what cigarette smoke smells like because I have parents that smoke. I was sitting in my room and watching a YouTube video and the YouTuber was smoking a cigarette so I started smelling cigarette smoke. Can anyone help explain why this happened? P.S now I have a headache from the "smell" how do I get rid of it?

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  53. ENT found nothing regarding cigarette smell issue. ENT feels both issues non related. Has referred me back to family doctor to resolve headache problem. More than likely off to see a neurologist for headaches. No answers. This sucks ! Quality of life taking a hit cause of this. Hope you all get better answers than I.

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  54. I am one more with this symptom. It is good to feel less alone. I have mild headaches and a respiratory issue. This happened two years ago at a time of extreme stress and went away with relaxation over time. Anyone undergoing extreme stress?

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  55. Site owner popping in here on this board. I love that there is a little community going on here regarding this most troubling symptom! Within the next several weeks (I can't pinpoint which week), I'm going to transfer this site to the WordPress platform. I do not know if the comments will also be automatically transferred. But if at some point down the road you come back here and wonder what happened to all the comments, it's because the site has been moved to WordPress. It will look very much like this one. So this is just a heads-up. I'd hate to lose all this dialogue, and I will try my hardest to retain them to the new site. Thank you!

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  56. This is all very interesting, I've had the smell of smoke for the past couple of months, my wife is a nurse and she's advising me to see my GP. I'm not quite so worried now after reading this thread so thank you to all who contributed. I will get an appointment very soon though, it wouldn't do to be complacent about anything

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  57. I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up.. dab rigs

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  58. I am glad to find this group. I was smelling smoke again when I googled this tonight, and in the last few minutes it has gone away. It comes and goes like that. I live in a rural area, and a year or two ago, I would smell another type of smoke and think there was a fire somewhere. Now, it just smells like cigarette smoke, and it feels like it's in my clothes. I finding myself worrying that I'm irritating my throat, though of course, I'm not.

    A few years ago I had a similar experience where certain parts of the house smelled like ozone, but no one else smelled it. I just wanted to share my med history here to see if we have anything in common.

    I noticed one person had had CLL Leukemia. I was diagnosed with that also in 2011, and in 2013 began chemo treatments (FCR), and am now in remission, but wondered if the chemo might have done it.

    Last fall, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and in December, had the entire prostate removed, but this time, no chemo.

    I have been stressed a little at times, obviously, but wonder if there is a connection between chemo and this symptom. Thanks to all for your info!

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  59. Gosh guys and gals, thanks for the info and support. IH ave battled this for the first time this week, but last night took it's toll. To go into would be ditto-ing your words. Nothing is working and how many showers can one take? I am critically disabled and been through more than you want to hear. I guess I will follow your leads. Nothing working for me thus far. I will fill you in later, but for now it is so bad and I am scheduled for a infusion in the morning, provided I am not in the hospital because my port flipped last night due to the extreme vomiting.

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  60. Does anyone smell raid like insecticide spray, it's driving me nuts. Someone get back to me please. Thanks

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  61. Does anyone smell raid like insecticide spray, it's driving me nuts. Someone get back to me please. Thanks

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  62. I too have been suffering from these phantom smoke smelling episodes since Sept/Oct 2015.

    The first time I experienced the phantom smoke smell I was home alone and I immediately ran to the stove, it was off. Then I ran downstairs where the gas supplied water heater and clothes dryer reside, nothing. I even went into my garage thinking I don't believe I left the car running (never have but I was trying to rule out where the smell was coming from) and my last resort was to go into the attic to see if the furnace was malfunctioning...NADA. So I retreated back to my bedroom, sat on the bed convinced that there must be some faulty wire in the wall that caught fire. When none of the smoke detectors (including the one attached to my house alarm didn't go off) I just prayed that whatever was the source would not burn my house down with me in it. This happened a few times at home and had me so concerned that I bought a puppy. I figured if something was burning, he would alert me. This was always and only happening while I was at home up until a few months ago. Then it started to occur when I was at work (smoke free building), in the car, on the subway...so I went to a neurologist who scheduled for me to see an epileptic specialist. The neuro doc also sent for me to have a brain MRI and an EEG. Everything came back fine although something benign showed up on the MRI that wasn't in the part of the brain that causes olfactory issues. The EEG showed some form of slowness during the hyperventilation step but nothing else showed to suggest that these episodes are connected to small seizures/stroke. The neurologist believes that this is either another 'new' type of migraine that I am experiencing (an olfactory migraine) but I have no other symptoms like my typical migraines (i.e., head pain, nausea, light sensitivity, occasionally visual spots, etc.). The epileptic specialist didn't see anything concerning with the MRI or the EEG but to be certain that I am not experiencing mini seizures he scheduled for me to take part in a 24 hour EEG study (fun!). He and the neurologist also wanted to start me on Topamax as a preventative for the migraines and also doubles as a medication for epilepsy.

    I have rescheduled the 24-hr EEG study a few times because you have to go outside looking crazy with electrodes hanging from your head that are secured by glue - SMH.

    After having several back-to-back migraines and more episodes of smelling smoke, I scheduled it in mid-July 2016. The neurologist and epileptic specialist want to rule out that I am not having these episodes as a precursor to having seizures. No family history of seizures or epilepsy.

    I will keep those interested posted on what they find after the 24 EEG study. I'm learning from this thread that folks have gone to see ENT's which I didn't do. I'll wait since the specialists believe these phantom smoke smelling episodes are connected to my migraines.

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  63. I'd also like to add to my above comment ("Anonymous June 23, 2016 at 8:50 AM)...to the best of my knowledge I do not have cancer, never smoked, never had chemotherapy, never did any recreational drugs, don't drink, and the most sick I've gotten was a sinus infection and the flu last year (and of course these pesky migraines).

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  64. I have been experiencing phantom smells for probably a year or so, I didn't really think anything of it until I was watching something and it said it could be a sign of stroke, tumor, or an aneurysm... thank God my smell isn't cigarette smoke because I don't think I could handle that at all, I freak out if someone lights up next to me because it's an instant headache. My phantom smell is more like burnt marshmallows, I have no clue why. It doesn't really bother me, it's just kinda weird. I've suffered with migraines for almost 8 years now but I've never talked to my doctor about the Phantom smell issue, I definitely will now though!

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  65. Char in ScottsdaleJune 24, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    My smell is diesel exhaust fumes. Have had this for about a year. i attributed it to the fact that I drive an RV type vehicle occasionally for my business.I finally had the vehicle checked out, and the mechanic found a loose flange in the exhaust system which I hoped would help. But now I haven't driven it for a few months, and the smell is still there. On top of that, I was around a guy with slight B.O. recently, and now that smell comes back to haunt me for a brief whiff every once in a while. My GP says that you can get odors trapped in your sinuses. I have no sinus problems that I know of, and the neti pot doesn't seem to help. I am waiting for a referral to see a neurologist, but have the feeling I will go through all those expensive tests for nothing.

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