Guests smoking in unit - appropriate response

I suppose that after answering the same question over and over for 10 years I forget that there is always someone new here who is just learning that Febreze is a trick from the Devil’s Playbook.


In my early days of hosting, I allowed single nights. I had a raging party at my house with considerable damage. I changed to a two night and now a 3 night minimum. I really learned the hard way. I still get the occasional pot smoker. What I do depends on how strong the scent is. I will always open several windows and run ceiling fans and the HVAC fan, with new filter. Then I will sometimes put a couple of plates out on my kitchen counter. One with vinegar, one with houshold bleach. DON’T MIX THEM!! Sometimes, against most advice here to the contrary, I will also spray some scent (take your pick, I’ve used several) on fabrics, curtains ect. I do this very lightly and only if the smoke is really bad. No one has ever complained or even mentioned scents. I’m not new to hosting, I’ve got, I think, seven years now. I have a self imposed rule, if damage is less than $100, I just absorb it as part of business. I hate smoke smell unless its a camp fire out in the woods. Remember that reviews are extremely important, getting all 5 star reviews is your goal and are much more valuable than a $200 fee, fine or penalty.

My last guest was a pot smoker. I agreed on the condition that he only smoked in the garden. However all the blunts were in the inside trash and the apartment smelt of weed, but it’s hard to know if that’s due to the trash or not. Lessons learned it’s no smoking anywhere on the property from now on.


I have in my house rules:
“No smoking inside or in the area directly outside the property. [Restaurant name] is [not far away] and has a smoking bin attached to the wall, so if you need to smoke, please do so there.” (I don’t want strangers hanging around outside standing in the street where they annoy my neighbours with smoke going into their windows)
And also:
“Please do not dispose of any used smoking materials in the waste bins inside the property as it leaves behind an unpleasant smell” (which should make it pretty clear how I feel about smoking!)

No surprise. Just like I never mention it in reviews when guests overdo it with the cologne and perfume in my rental. Since it’s attached to my home and shares ventwork, I can smell the gross overuse of scents but I have never, ever mentioned it to any guest nor dinged them in a review. I guess I could check “would not host again.”

My house rules say no smoking of ANYTHING in the house and that I prefer them not smoking on the premises. If they feel they must, they need to do it outside and keep the windows and doors closed while doing so. Nothing I hate more than cigarette smoke. I don’t like the residual pot smoke either, but it doesnt bother me as much as the cigarettes. Because I’m in California, I get guests, from states where it’s still illegal, feeling they “must” take advantage of the leniency here, AND smoke in the house! I had one guest leave behind one of those big black plastic storage boxes with the yellow lids, only it was gigantic. I pulled the lid off and was almost knocked over from the pot smell. There was still a good size bud inside. I can only imagine what they smuggled in that. I get angry, but realize it’s gonna happen. Smoking in my house is very rare thank goodness.

I hear you. People who vape do not consider themselves as smokers so they assume it’s fine that they ‘vape’ obnoxious fruit flavoured scents etc. next to my office window. We do ask all guests to leave the premises if they are engaged in smoking of any kind but that seems too loose of a term…

We extended our smoking ban to candles, rose petals and any other open flames. I think we will add glitter to the list. I already feel weird listing all these things in our welcome booklet making grown and responsible guests feel like we’re hosting some circus on a regular basis.

I have pointed out before and now point out again that vaping isn’t smoking, regardless of anyone “considering” it so. There is no fire or smoke involved- a vape produces water vapor, not smoke, just like a boiling kettle. If you leave a lit cigarette near something flammable, it can easily start a fire- a vape device only activates when you draw on it, and isn’t a fire hazard.

So if hosts don’t want guests to vape, you need to specifically say that.

That vaping can leave an offensive smell is no different than a guest using a ton of perfume that permeates everything. But neither of those things is “smoking”.

I’ve never experienced any vaping, weed or nicotine, that had an odor that offended me. But the young man who just checked out showered in the shower and in some sort of men’s cologne twice: last night before going out and again this morning. It’s so odious to me that I’m going to check “would not host again.”


I recently had a guest who used a vape pen. (Not only saw her use it, but she missed taking it with her- I found it among the bedding). If it produced any odor, I couldn’t detect it.

I used a vape pen when staying at my daughter’s house while quitting smoking. It was very mildly tobacco flavored, but contained no nicotine. My daughter absolutely hates the smell of cigarette smoke and was also concerned about any ill effects to her or her family from me using the vape pen indoors, but she did extensive research and said it was fine. And if it had produced an offensive odor, she definitely would have asked me not to vape indoors.

What is being vaped determines whether it puts out detectable or lasting odor, not just the process of vaping.

Apologies for expressing myself poorly again.

I don’t care whether it is a combustion or vapor induced production of obnoxious smells.

It’s in the house rules, drop it. It’s technically not that difficult.

Just not thrilled about the fact that vaping people seem to have little general awareness that people in their immediate surroundings (as in people within the same building and/or property) might just not enjoy their clouds of happiness as much as they do.

You are wrong to think that vaping is just ‘water droplets’ - Vape pens contain nicotine.

Since vaping is ‘thought of’ as looking and acting the same as ‘smoking’, we do not allow it under any circumstances. Any addition to the ‘atmosphere’ inside our airbnb is considered a negative.

Here is an article from Johns Hopkins about vaping - and the fact that nicotine is still an ingredient along with many many others is reason enough to ban this noxious thing…

" With no smell, e-cigarettes reduce some of the stigma of smoking."

Vape pens and other vaping devices DO NOT all contain nicotine. You are misinformed. Vapes can be used with many different substances. Some are just a flavored glycerin solution, some people vape marijuana, some vapes have nicotine. You can go into a smoke shop and get any one of a wide variety of vaping liquids. I can assure you that the rechargeable vape pen I had, which used cartridges, did not contain nicotine. The ingedients have to be listed on the package- it was water, glycerin, and flavoring.

I in no way have put forth the notion that hosts should allow vaping or that it is harmless. That’s up to individual hosts. My point is to present facts so that hosts don’t think their house rule of “no smoking” includes vaping. In order to cover yourself for guests breaking house rules, you need to also say “no vaping”.

It’s the same as any other house rule. If you have a rule that says “No street shoes to be worn on the carpets”, and a guest mucks up the carpet by walking across it in filthy socks, they have been disrespectful, but they haven’t broken your house rule. If you say “No loud music after 10 PM,”, loud is open to interpretation. It’s much better to say “No music after 10PM”, period.

And I didn’t say that vapes only produce water vapor. I said they produce water vapor, as opposed to smoke. They also give off the smell of what someone is vaping, which could be quite strong, and in some cases, produce little to no odor, that wouldn’t linger.