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Smoking and the damage it does to your home's value

Quit smoking, save your home too

Thursday is the annual Great American Smokeout, the day sponsored by the American Cancer Society to encourage people to quit smoking.

If the health benefits of quitting smoking haven’t convinced you or a loved one to stop, consider the financial impact that smoking and third-hand smoke have on your house.

“Third-hand smoke is a term created by a research team from the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center,” according to “It refers to the chemicals that remain on the surface of objects after they’ve been exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. In other words, third-hand smoke is the residue that is left after the smoke clears out; it can be found on carpet, counters, and clothing.”

This residue has at least 11 carcinogeninc compounds, according to The New York Times. Research is continuing to reveal the ongoing effects of this residue on the health of people living with third-hand smoke.

A 2013 survey of real estate brokers in Ontario indicated that smoking in your home can lower its value by up to 29 percent.

“To be clear: if you had a home worth $100,000, smoking in it can drop the price tag to $71,000. That is a huge price difference,” according to

Here’s another example: According to the U.S. Census, the median sale price of an American home in 2010 was $221,800. This means that smokers could lose about $64,000 on average.

The Canadian survey goes on to state that 44 percent of real estate professionals believe smoking lowered a home’s value. Of these professionals, 32 percent said smoking lowers a home’s value by by 10 to 19 percent. Another 32 percent of those surveyed believed it lowered the value by 20 to 29 percent.

88 percent of brokers believe it was more difficult to sell a home in which someone has smoked. More interesting, 27 percent of brokers stated that buyers are unwilling to purchase a home in which someone has smoked.

Ready to quit? Get help from the American Cancer Society.

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