How should I rate this secret smoker?

Figured my guest was smoking (against the rules), because although my separate suite has its own HVAC, there is one common duct/vent, and I sure smelled it.
I immediately messaged the guest, asked if he was smoking, and reminded him there is a no smoking rule. He replied that he had only smoked earlier outside, it wasn’t clear to him the entire property was no smoking, apologized graciously, and said he would smoke in his car going forward.
We continued to chat back and forth, I speculated that he was on the deck near the compressor and that drew the smoke in, and we actually exchanged ideas about a designated smoking area further out in the yard; he provided enthusiastic suggestions.
Got home from work and went to clean the unit. It reeked. I’m running a full room fliter, washing curtains, etc. I have family coming tomorrow. I’m sensitive to smoke myself, so the cleaning is no fun.

I met him in the driveway before he left, and he seemed nice. He made a last minute booking for a funeral, and also seemed genuinely upset/grieved. I understand smoking is a comfort mechanism, but geez . . . And I can’t actually prove he smoked in the room. So what to write?

“George was a pleasant fellow. There were cigarette smoke odors around the the suite while he was here. When brought to his attention, he explained he had been smoking outside and said he would smoke in his vehicle instead of near the entrance, which I appreciated (and I will clarify the rule to add no smoking on the deck). Extra cleaning was needed to freshen the suite after his departure, as it smelled rather heavily of smoke. Otherwise no complications.”

Thumbs down and one star on cleanliness and rules. I’d be apoplectic if someone smoked in my rental so your wording is much kinder than mine would be. I’d also be trying to charge him for the extra cleaning… he might refuse and Airbnb wouldn’t back you but it’s worth the try.

Has it warmed up where you are? Fresh air is the best, open all the doors and windows and put fans in the windows to blow air in or out. Thank goodness you are hosting family and not guests; at least they will be understanding.

Also I got a fancy new expensive air cleaner called Molekule. I haven’t tested it on a smoked in room and hope I never have to, but it seems effective for other odors. Maybe it would be worthwhile to have one in your space and then if you need it for the airbnb room you’ll have it.


This seems good to me. Factual with no emotion, but enough information that I would decline this person!!!

I am like K9Karma and would go absolutely ballistic if someone smoked inside my house. You cannot remove all cigarette smells completely from walls, paint, textiles if the smoking was ongoing.

I would charge a significant [extra] cleaning charge—along with the review. Grieving is no excuse; you two had a face to face discussion about it. Manners don’t disappear when our loved ones pass away. He was so wrong. This isn’t 1982. People don’t smoke indoors in their own homes sometimes. Smoking when it is against the rules, is inexcusable behavior.


He played you. Nail him.


Thanks for advice, oh experienced hosts! To clarify, as far as I know (or rather smelled from my home office), no smoking occurred after I busted him. It happened once, late the second night of his two night stay.
I’m not going to make statements I can’t prove – “I was smoking outside near the door” vs "You were smoking inside."
One ciggie can leave a strong lingering smell in an enclosed area from my perception – I have a sensitive schnozz – and I think part of the source is that he also brought in smoke smell on his person and with his luggage.
No butts in the room trash. One clue – the bathroom can of Febreze is MIA.
I’ll block him from booking with me, thumbs down, and leave the review, which an astute host should be able to figure out.

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I have had so many guests like these super sweet on the face but they get a thrill out of rebelling. I ve seen it with my own eyes. I have the nicest couple stay with me and we have no shoes indoor policy as in hawaii but Ive seen atleast a dozen guests argue with me saying that they are new. Then when I’m not looking they put on their slippers on the sly. It seems like they are getting a thrill out of it.


I’ve had smokers stay in my guest room who I know for a fact didn’t smoke in the room and the room smells after they leave. Other smokers leave no smell.

The butt got flushed down the toilet. He probably tried to smoke in the bathroom and blow it out a window or the exhaust fan if you have one.

I think you can make it stronger and still be factual. Like saying that you smelled smoke in your part of the house even though there is separate HVAC systems. Perhaps it came through the single common duct. Regardless the room smelled of smoking after check out. That is your experience. No you can’t prove he did it in the room and he denies that he did so but if he didn’t smoke in the room, only outside then I still wouldn’t want to host him. He either reeks or he is a liar.

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Oooooh, this is SO true! Have had a few guests be saccharine in person, who later do bizarrely rebellious things that we catch on the CCTV. haha

Also some may be so sweet in person, say everything is perfect, but then take off stars for something completely trivial that they never bothered to mention. Just had a review where they GUSHED about the room and me as a host, but then in their “area of improvement” part of the review they write some silly critique

…but I also think it’s hilarious that Air lets us see guests’ reviews in detail…each of their stars and notes on what can be improved, and not just the private feedback directly written to us. haha That’s one of the things I like about the site. Like an inside little pressie to hosts—that the guests have NO IDEA. haha :joy::rofl:

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Yes, guests engage in odd behavior for sure! (I’m still up here on the East Coast because I’m washing EVERYTHING).
I think this was more like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He spent all day at a funeral and wake or whatever (got in very late), a long hard day in his words when I ran into him, then later, alone in the suite, absentmindedly lit up for a last smoke of the night. His host immediately texts him “Are you smoking? This is a no smoking property” like the voice of God who somehow sees all and knows all, and he panics and makes up the first thing he can think of “Um, I was smoking outside.” Then this host keeps messaging him, so how do you think I should handle outside smoking, how do you think it’s getting into the house, how about restricting it to driveway, and he keeps frantically making up stuff, your back garden is nice, maybe you could put a bench there.
Well, this has been therapeutic, now I’m laughing.


I wonder how much time he spent looking for the hidden camera?


Text does not really matter, thumbs down and one stars will do it.

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This made me laugh! :rofl:

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I agree. Many hotels do that if you smoke in a non-smoking room.


Hotels can collect, Hosts can not.

I am not proud to admit it but many years ago I stayed in a serviced apartment for 3 months that didn’t allow smoking inside but did on the balcony. I used to smoke inside anyway if it was cold out. Presumably alerted by other tenants, the manager would knock on my door and ask if I was smoking inside. As the living area was connected to the door by a long corridor I would smile politely and say “no I wasn’t” and that the smoke must have drifted in when I was smoking outside and I would do my best to keep it closed. Until the next time. I knew that he knew and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it without proof. Like I said I am not proud of this but I had learned from a bad neighbour where I lived before that you can just deny things that are obvious but if they don’t have proof they can’t do anything about it. So, no, I wouldn’t believe him either.

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Call Air, cancel his booking for breaking your rules.