Smoking is outlawed in most places in the UK today and a look outside any pub or office will bring your attention to a huddle of hardened smokers in any town, who are becoming an increasingly marginalised minority.
Let’s be honest even if you are a 60 a day smoker who is determined to enjoy the habit no matter what, you have to admit that not having to exist in the middle of a fog of secondary smoke is so much better for everyone else and not having clothes that reek of cigarette smoke has made life better for the majority of people wishing to enjoy a night out.
One place that unfortunately smoking has not been completely eradicated is the motor car and the problem is becoming an increasingly difficult one for car dealers to overcome.
If you have ever opened the door of a car which has been regularly smoked in it is, not to put too fine a point on it, absolutely disgusting. It makes you want to vomit (which obviously make the cleaning problem suddenly a whole lot worse) and although there are some temporary cures it is virtually impossible to eradicate the odour completely.
In much the same way as non-smoking hotel guests kicking up a stink by being put in a smoking room, many car buyers are adamant they will not buy a used car that has been smoked in. Worse still; many others, who have already bought them, are rejecting these cars as the bad smell slowly comes back once the fabreeze or other remedy wears off.
A senior sales manager recently told us that he is finding it a real problem and he has decided he will no longer buy cars that have been smoked in even though that maybe hard to pull off in practice.
Many rental companies have signs saying no smoking in their hire cars and, of course it is banned from company cars and vans that are used by more than one person as they are a “place of work”. However it is more difficult to say to a retail customer that you will be devaluing their car which maybe in great shape apart from the smell of smoke.
It is a difficult problem and until some bright spark comes up with a permanent way of getting rid of the ghastly smell of stale tobacco the issue is likely to worsen.