6 Indoor plants that filter cigarette smoke

The Amazon jungle is considered the lungs of the earth filtering out carbon dioxide. Closer to home, Indoor plants are regarded as the lungs of the office, filtering out harmful toxins like cigarette smoke (carbon monoxide).

The dangers of cigarette smoke (Carbon Monoxide)

Cigarette litter is a pain in the butt but carbon monoxide kills!  Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that is incredibly dangerous in high quantities. Small doses of carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms in employees, smokers and secondary smokers, without anyone realising it is there. Complete exposure to this gas results in Carbon monoxide poisoning and death.

cigarette smoke

Indoor plants that filter carbon monoxide

Life Indoors, the indoor plantscaping division of Life Green Group, decided to explore what indoor plants filter out air pollutants produced by tobacco smoke, that would be best suited to an office, smoker’s home, designated smoking area or restaurant’s smoking room.

1. Umbrella tree (Schefflera arboricola)

The schefflera is a wonderful plant that thrives indoors it is incredibly hardy and its dark green leaves have a waxy shine. Leanne the divisional manager of Life Indoors recommends you keep them dust-free to keep the plant healthy. Not only will the schefflera filter out tobacco smoke but benzene, formaldehyde and toluene too.

2. Bamboo palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

It's certainly no drag taking care of the bamboo palm as it likes to be neglected and commonly dies from being over-watered. The bamboo palm is one of the most well-known indoor plants and the perfect plant for a smoker's home or a designated smoking area.

3. Golden pathos (Epipremnum aureum)

Interior plantscapers enjoy working with the golden pathos creatively and it makes for a great addition to a livingwall. It is also a creeper so it works well on shelves. The golden pathos can handle cold temperatures and low light, making it a useful indoor plant for tricky rooms.

pothos filter carbon monoxide

4. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)

Fight the affects of addition with the rubber plant - the rubber plant is ideal for absorbing carbon monoxide in the office or home. Interior plantscapers recommend you use the rubber plant in areas with a lot of space as this indoor plants can get extremely large, making it great for atriums.

indoor plants for cigarette smokers

Variegated variety © Cliff Cooper

5. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Protect employees from air pollutants and sick building syndrome with the benefits of the spider plant. The spider plant also makes a great eco-wall addition. It is also one of the few indigenous indoor plants in southern Africa, along with the Natal Mahogany.

Indoor plants filter the air of carbon monoxide and other harmful air pollutants – facility managers, put that in your pipe and smoke it! 

6. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

Air pollutants and a build-up of carbon monoxide is a smoking gun for not only your health but for employee productivity. The Chinese evergreen is a very hardy indoor plant thriving in most indoor conditions. It also comes in a variety of colours from deep sea green to silver.