Cigar Smoke Air Purifier

Cigar smoking is an increasingly popular activity. Despite a ban on smoking in enclosed public places, there are still many locations in the UK where you can smoke cigars indoor. High-performance cigar smoke air purifiers can effectively control indoor particulate, gas and chemical contamination.   

Cigar smoke is very complex because cigar tobacco leaves are aged and then fermented - very different from cigarette tobacco. Cigar smoke contains many aromatic compounds, which makes smoking them especially enjoyable. However, many components of cigar smoke are harmful to health, particularly the tobacco-specific, N-nitrosamines (TSNAs) which are carcinogenic. The analysis shows there are higher levels of TSNAs in cigar smoke than in cigarette smoke, because of the way a cigar is made. Other toxins and irritants in cigar smoke include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Ammonia
  • Aldehydes, including formaldehyde
  • Benzene, a known carcinogen
  • Aromatic amines, also known carcinogens
  • Polyaromatic aromatic hydrocarbons

On 1 July 2007, smoking was banned in enclosed or 'substantially enclosed' public places in England by the Smoke-Free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations (similar bans had already been introduced in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). This means that you can still smoke in your own home, in hotel rooms, (though many hotels are now totally non-smoking), care homes, outdoors, in your car (but not in a public transport, taxi or a mini-cab) and in a public room, so long as it is not substantially enclosed.

When bans were introduced in various countries (and many organisations had smoking bans before they were introduced nationally), smokers began to huddle outdoors to indulge, seeking out doorways or car parks. Then pubs, fearful of losing customers, began to make the outdoor smoking spaces cosier by introducing shelter and heaters. That, in turn, led to the evolution of the cosy/comfortable outdoor smoking area (COSA) which is a terrace where smokers, including cigar smokers, can go. There are now a growing number of COSAs, often in luxury venues like top hotels, in London and around the country.

To comply with the law, the COSA or smoking terrace must be open enough not to form a 'substantially enclosed' public space. That is, it can have a roof (which can be fixed or moveable, like a canvas awning) and walls but the openings in the walls are more than half of the total area of the walls (this is known as the 50 per cent rule) in the 'substantially enclosed' public space. These openings cannot include doors or windows that can be open or shut. A tent or marquee can be classified as enclosed if it does not comply with the 50 per cent rule. So people designing a cigar terrace need to make sure that the openings in the structure comply with the 50 per cent rule and allow sufficient ventilation from the smoke.

You can smoke a cigar to test it, if you buy at least one, in a specialist tobacconist that sells cigars. 

This is just the way the law has been set out. It states that the rule on smoking applies to 'enclosed' or 'substantially enclosed' public places. There are many locations that escape this definition.

Second-hand smoke increases the risk of cancer among non-smokers by 20 to 30 per cent, according to the UK's Scientific Committee on Tobacco & Health, whether that smoke comes from pipes, cigars or cigarettes. Moreover, the side-stream smoke from a cigar is more polluting to the atmosphere than the side-stream smoke from a cigarette, for equal amounts of tobacco smoked.

The law introduced in 2007, described means that virtually all workplaces have to be smoke-free and employers are liable to fines up to £2,500 if they fail to prevent smoking on their premises. 

Fresh cigar smoke may smell beautifully aromatic, but the smell of stale smoke can clinging to clothes, furniture and carpet. Added to that there are the health risks of exposure to second-hand smoke that have been described above. So it is important to have a method for removing or reducing smoke from any environment where smoking cigars are permissible.

One approach is to remove the air with an exhaust fan and have an inlet for fresh air to replace the exhausted air. Here an exhaust fan should have a m3/h rating that can cope with the volume of air in the room. Unfortunately, this approach can be problematic in colder winter months, when cold air is brought indoors and warm air is constantly extracted. Conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are ineffective at removing cigar smoke from an indoor environment, and care has to be taken to make sure that smoke does not back draught through the system into neighbouring rooms.

An alternative approach is to purify the air that is in the room and recycle it through the use of a professional cigar smoke air purifier. Cigar smoke is a complex mixture of tiny particles and gaseous molecules. To effectively remove it, two types of filtration are required. A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to trap the tiny particles (including viruses, bacteria and allergens) and a mixture of high grade activated carbon and potassium permanganate impregnated alumina to remove the gaseous molecules and odours. The IQAir Cleanzone SLS MG uses both filters, but also adds a third layer of protection in the form of an electrostatically charged sleeve to further remove pollution.