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Smoking may be hazardous to real estate health

Home buyers turn up their noses at tobacco

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In spite of a healthy U.S. housing market, real estate brokers have had more difficulty finding buyers for homes and condominiums that smell strongly of tobacco smoke, according to a Feb. 8, 2004, article in the New York Times. The American Lung Association, which has been warning people of the health risks of tobacco for more than 50 years, has heard of this secondary financial risk of smoking before. "Potential home buyers may not always be able to articulate exactly what a 'healthy' house is, but they know an unhealthy environment when they smell it," said Angie Lien, national director of the American Lung Association Health House program, the nonprofit's indoor air quality program. "Our program has received more attention in real estate trade publications in recent years than anytime during its 10-year existence. While some of this can be attributed to heightened public concerns about mold, I believe there is a greater overall public awareness of indoor air problems in our homes...