Tobacco Smoke


Tobacco Smoke

The removal of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a challenge for any air cleaning device due to the complex nature of ETS and the high rate of generation in rooms with multiple smokers. The IQAir MultiGas GC is one of the world's most effective air cleaners for dealing with ETS in small to medium-sized indoor environments.


ETS is generated by the combustion process called smoking. ETS is made up of about 4,000 different chemicals and consists of solid, liquid and gaseous contaminants.

ETS consists of a visible component, made up of millions of tiny particles, which can be seen as smoke. Most ETS particles are smaller in size than bacteria, so highly effective particulate filters are a necessity. ETS particles consist of a complex variety of chemicals including nicotine, nonvolatile hydrocarbons, phenols, acids, heavy metals and glycerol.

Apart from the particles that make up smoke, ETS contains a complex mix of gaseous components. Made up of inorganic gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides, ETS also contains a large number of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds such as benzene, ethane, propene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein and acetone. A number of studies have demonstrated that the gaseous components of ETS account for most of the odor and irritation caused by ETS.


In order to be able to deal effectively with ETS, the air cleaning device must be able to capture both particles (seen as smoke) and gaseous chemicals (experienced as odors). Look for the following features in air cleaners for ETS:

  • high efficiency for small particles (tobacco smoke particles are very small: mean diameter of 0.1 micron)
  • high particle holding capacity (ETS particles can fill up filters very quickly)
  • wide spectrum gas phase filter (activated carbon alone will not capture all chemical compounds)
  • large gas phase filter (weight of gas phase filter is directly related to the holding capacity for gaseous compounds)
  • high-efficiency pre-filter (significantly increases life and effectiveness of gas phase filter)
  • high air delivery (the air in a room should be cleaned several times an hour)


The IQAir MultiGas GC is the best IQAir air cleaning system for the removal of ETS. It uses multiple independent filter stages to remove ETS. The IQAir MultiGas GC device contains a large capacity, high-efficiency, particulate pre-filter to remove the vast majority of ETS particles (over 99%) immediately at the first filter stage. This high-efficiency pre-filtration is a key factor in the longterm performance of the MultiGas GC. For gas phase and odor filtration the system contains four substantial gas filter cartridges, which contain 12 lbs. (5 kg) of a broad-spectrum gas phase control media. Unlike conventional activated carbon filters, the MultiGas filter uses both physical and chemical filtration processes. As a result, more odors and gases are removed with a higher efficiency. As a final filter, the electrostatically charged post-filter sleeves remove any possible particles from the gas phase filter media.

For dealing with low concentrations of ETS, the IQAir HealthPro Plus (Europe: HealthPro 250) is suitable. While offering a slightly higher efficiency for particles, this system provides a smaller (5 lbs./2kg) wide spectrum gas phase filter.

In addition to offering one of the world's most advanced air cleaners for ETS, IQAir offers a number of accessories that further enhance the system's performance.

Designated smoking areas benefit from a negative pressure system, which prevents ETS from spreading to other areas. IQAir developed two accessories, which allow the creation of a negative pressure system in smoking areas. If the IQAir filtration system is to be positioned inside the smoking area, the OutFlow W125 is the appropriate solution. If the IQAir filtration system is to be positioned outside the smoking environment, the InFlow W125 provides the solution.

In areas where floor space is an issue, the mounts the IQAir device to the wall. While wall-mounted, remote operation of the IQAir device is a breeze thanks to the IQAir remote control, which is supplied with every IQAir device.