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I Smell Non-existent Cigarette Smoke

For the past few days I've almost constantly smelled cigarette smoke - which I know to be non-existent. We have a non-smoking home (although I smell it in random places as well, not just at home), and if I ask my husband or someone else if they smell it too, they never do. I am 100% confident that this is some sort of olfactory hallucination.
I am 38 weeks pregnant, so I don't know if this might be a weird side effect of crazy hormones. Has anyone else experienced this? And if so, do you have any solutions? I am getting some low grade headaches from the smell.

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I am glad you posted this! I smell non-existent cigarette smoke sometimes too! And, I am not even prego! I would be interested to hear the cause!

This has happened to me in the past, althought not while pregnant. I thought I was going crazy!! I went to an ENT and I had a ct scan which showed swelling in my olfactory nerve. The Dr. prescribed nasal spray and this cleared up the problem. Some sort of congestion/virus thing, I guess.

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Maybe mention it to your doctor but I wouldn't worry too much. As long as you have ruled out any concerns in your home, regarding furnace or gas smells, I would chalk this up to a pregnancy smells.

Usually, I have an excellent sense of smell. However, with my one pregnancy, ANYTHING that had the slightest amount of vinegar in it, turned into an ammonia smell, on my nose. Yes, my husband DID return the newly opened mayonnaise, twice, because I insisted it was rancid. Then... I insisted the ketchup was bad, the pickles were bad.... it became pretty clear that it was me, not them. Funny!


1 mom found this helpful

Oh....LOL!!! Ditto to you - sense of smell is definitely heightened in pregnancy. I'm sure you have nothing to worry about, once you get your bundle of joy, everything will return to normal SLOWLY.

1 mom found this helpful

I am glad you posted this! I smell non-existent cigarette smoke sometimes too! And, I am not even prego! I would be interested to hear the cause!

Chances are that you're fine. It's his senses that are not picking up the odor. He may hang his coat at work next to a smokers coat or take a break with someone that smokes etc. Your senses are extremely keen while pregnant. His are probably dull and he just doesn't smell it. I have a non smoking household. Someone opens my front door to come in and I can smell it from the kitchen on the back side of the house. I smoked for 30 years and quit. I can smell cigarette smoke in the air outdoors on a breezy day.

i had the same problem with my second and third pregnancies. i was convinced that smoke from the gentleman who lives behind us (we live in a quad-type townhome) was seeping through the walls. No one but me ever smelled it, though. it was strange. plus, the smell of smoke made me nauseated. i never mentioned it to my doctor; i just thought it had to be coming from somewhere but i just put up with the nausea from it.

mention it to your doctor and see what he/she says. maybe it IS a pregnancy thing. i would be curious to hear what your dr says, if you don't mind posting an outcome.

good luck with your delivery!

Oh, it's absolutely hormones! I insisted I could smell the dog! I'd say to my husband, "Don't you smell that?" He'd just smile. :-) Later in my life when trying HRT my experience was very similar. Strange, but true! I'm confident you will be free of this once your hormones have settled after delivery.


Hi N.,

When your pregnant, your sense of smell increases about 10 times. I could smell cigarettes while driving two cars ahead of me. There will be times that some smells will make you feel sick. I hated smelling brats for a long time. Pretty normal though, so need not to worry.

FOR 3 YEARS. After extensive MRI's, CAT Scans, sinus surgeries, X-Rays....It turns out to be ALLERGIES! I smelled smoke for 3 years. At first it wasn't odd since I am a fireman. So I discounted it. Up until I transferred to a specialty station that no longer handles structure fires. Maybe the smell was stuck in my turnout gear? Nope, Got new gear issued to me and there it was again. So off to specialists I go. In short, an over the counter allergy medication known as fexofenadine (ALLEGRA) without the pseudoephidrine, solved everything! I just so happened to borrow some from my engineer when I forgot my traditional/antihistamine medication of choice (Claritin & Zyrtec). I tried all other allergy meds in the past and over looked the Allegra stuff due to the cost and the ignorance that "all allergy and sinus meds are the same". Well it took a couple of doses for me to realize that I no longer smelled the smoke. After my second dose, I could almost time it to when the smoke smell would start to come back. In the beginning, I smelled a campfire-like smoke along with the burning eyes. After the fexofenadine, the smoke smell morphed to cigarette-like smell then ultimately to paper or lint-like burning smell. After 6 days of taking the allergy meds, the smell of burning has gone away. I can still sense when the medication is wearing down, when I start to smell a hint of smell like a hot dry summer day. DRINK A BUNCH OF WATER on this stuff. Not saying that this is the cure, since I don't dare discontinue taking the allegra yet. However, it has given me back my sanity. The guys at work razzed me about it for years saying it was my brain cells spontaneously combusting! I hope this info helps someone. I would try each med until I found the one that worked. I imagine that each of us have a different reaction to the various OTC allergy meds, name brand to generic. Give it a shot! I CAN FINALLY SMELL THE ROSES!!!

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