Smoking near Mac voids warranty

In a rather bizarre situation reported on The Consumerist website, it turns out that smoking near your Apple computer is a bio hazard and voids the warranty.

There is very little doubt as to the repercussions of smoking a pack of ten per day, however one would never think it would affect a laptop's warranty. If you have a Mac, it does. Two readers in different parts of the country claim that their Applecare warranties were voided due to second-hand smoke. Both readers appealed their cases up to the office of Steve Jobs himself, both lost.

In April this year, a man named Derek complained directly to Steve Job's office, copying the people at The Consumerist in, stating the following:

"I took my mid 2007 apple macbook (black) into the Jordan Creek Apple Store in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, April 25th, because I had been experiencing some issues with it overheating, and figured the fan was bad. After some initial testing, they took the computer in for work under my Applecare plan, which has over a year remaining on it. Today, April, 28, 2008, the Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, that has voided the warranty and they refuse to work on the machine, due to the "health risks of second hand smoke". Not only is this faulty science, attributing non smoking residue to second hand smoke, on Chad's part, no where in your applecare terms of service can I find anything mentioning being used in a smoking environment as voiding the warranty."

According to The Consumerist, Job's office declined to help the user with his issue, however, he resolved some of the problems himself by disassembling his Macbook and cleaning it out with a can of compressed air. Just a few months later, a lady named Ruth got in touch with the people at The Consumerist complaining about the very same problem when attempting to have her son's MacBook fixed, this time at a local authorised repair centre.

"I bought an iMac for my son (for school) along with the extended Applecare warranty. A month ago, it quit working. My son took it to the authorized Mac service center. The "tech" informed him it would be ready in 48-72 hours. Five days go by and he's heard nothing, so I called. They informed me that his computer can't be worked on because it's contaminated.

When I asked for an explanation, she said he's a smoker and it's contaminated with cigarette smoke which they consider a bio-hazard! I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honoring warranties if the owner is a smoker. The Applecare representative said they defer to the technician and my son's computer cannot be fixed at any Apple Service Center due to being listed a bio-hazard.

This computer cost approx. $3,000, with the extended warranty. I'm all for destroying cigarettes and putting big tobacco out of business (yes, I'm a reformed smoker), but to label a computer a biohazard because one is a smoker is going a bit too far in regulating who can have the warranty they purchased honored. Shouldn't there be some disclaimer stating that they won't honor warranties from smokers?"

Ruth stuck with her complaint, and like Derek complained straight to the chief of Apple, Steve Jobs. His office also declined to help with her matter. However, in another letter, she wrote:

"Dena [from Jobs' office] did advise me that nicotine is on OSHA's list of hazardous substances and Apple would not require an employee to repair anything deemed hazardous to their health. However, OSHA also lists calcium carbonate (found in calcium tablets), isopropyl alcohol (used to clean wounds), chlorine (used in swimming pools), hydrogen peroxide (also used to clean wounds), sucrose (a sugar), talc (as in powder), etc... as hazardous substances.

...

Dena set up an appointment at the same Apple store. They told me that they would take pictures of the computer - both inside and out before determining whether to proceed and that if the only problem was the optical drive, they'd probably just replace it. Dena called me earlier this week to deliver the "bad news." She said that the computer is beyond economical repair due to tar from cigarette smoke! She said the hard drive is about to fail, the optical drive has failed and it isn't feasible to repair the computer under the warranty. This computer is less than 2 years old! Only one person in my household smokes - one 21 year old college student. She said that I can get it repaired elsewhere at my expense. I asked why my warranty didn't cover the repair and was told it's an OSHA violation."

According to The Consumerist, it has attempted to try and draw some kind of reasoning behind this matter from Apple's media relations department but have received nothing after months of waiting. They say: "Mostly, we're curious what the threshold is for smoke damage to a computer, and why this is not mentioned in the Applecare contract."

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Sale of Skype finalized

Next Story

YouTube to begin reinforcing restricted API access on Dec. 2

177 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Im sure they have a whole laundry list of special, unspecified things they can refuse you for...sound familiar?

How can smokers afford to buy Mac's in the first place? both are a giant black hole in the bank account.

But yeah... well done Apple! This is the only time i'll say that too.

Other things that void the warranty

Drinking alcohol 7 day before or after turning on power
Swearing or fornicating within 100 feet of unit
Using unit to view pornographic material
Using unit for anything other than "WE" say you can

Yea smoke can kill a computer that's why I say do not under any circumstances operate one in a fire.

I have never smoked near my Computer or in the house, even when I did smoke which was two years ago now and never turned back since.

Although I would like to point out, is Apple trying to tell their Apple customers something here...? I have been building and maintaining computers for over a decade... I have never come across a laptop overheating because the fan was clogged up with smoke... although, comes to think of it, nicotine deposits could slow the fan down causing it to run at a slower rate than normal, therefore causing the laptop to overheat. I suppose this could happen. I would have to run some tests to see if this would actually happen, it would be interesting to see if Apple are right on this one... contradiction in the answer I know, but I think it could clog the fan up with nicotine.

You guys realize that Apple has nothing in their terms about this and I doubt they ever will. This was the choice of that crappy store. They really show how incompetent people working retail can be! It was probably the store manager who refused to service it......Second hand smoking from a computer......first time I hear this one. People in Iowa should go back to herding sheep and cattle and leave technology to others.

Here's the thing, I don't care about the smoking part. But where is the line going to be drawn for future, I mean something as simple as smoking. Whats is going to ruled out in land of Apple, I mean seriously!

I have an Apple mac pc and I never had problem with the warranty as my friends smoke
i have been many times to apple store but they replaced without any questions. May be
this technology is coming with the new mac.survival kits

Better yet, if people still have to smoke, go out side and do it. Problem solved.

Seriously, looking at some of those pictures and what tar dust does to PC, how can anyone say Apple is in the wrong by this. I mean just look at those machines. Simply put, if the user didn't smoke they wouldn't look like that. Also in the case of the CPU cooler getting packed with Tar dust to the point were it can properly cool itself and burns up. That also wouldn't happen if the user didn't smoke in their house.

They support unexpected hardware failure in a warranty period. A PC part failing due to large amounts of tar dust is not unexpected.

warwagon said,
Better yet, if people still have to smoke, go out side and do it. Problem solved.

Seriously, looking at some of those pictures and what tar dust does to PC, how can anyone say Apple is in the wrong by this. I mean just look at those machines. Simply put, if the user didn't smoke they wouldn't look like that. Also in the case of the CPU cooler getting packed with Tar dust to the point were it can properly cool itself and burns up. That also wouldn't happen if the user didn't smoke in their house.

They support unexpected hardware failure in a warranty period. A PC part failing due to large amounts of tar dust is not unexpected.


+1. If you're going to smoke, just do it outside. Then everything in the house won't eventually smell like smoke and risk the health of others who come into your home with second hand smoke exposure.

******** those pics are machines that have been used for years before they went toes up just because it was a smokers pc doesn't mean that is what caused the problem

So i would presume than dust and dander caused by pets, having your equipment near a heating register, using your equipment in a shop or other dusty/dirty facility and having it fail by those means would void the warrenty as well? Also i presume that opening the equipment to clean it out with compressed air would further void said warrenty too. Theres a laptop we have at work in the auto shop that you regularly have to pull down and blow out as it tends to get dusty/dirty in its enviroment, and its a panasonic toughbook!

Haha, they told me the same thing when I called to Apple Service for DVD repair 6 months ago. But they changed it without a question when I brought my Mac there and yes, I smoke around computers. Although I never had any problems at any Apple Store/Service, they just fix things every time without any complications at all. I love their support.

If anyone thinks a PC/laptop is bad, you should work on cars/trucks, & it doesn't matter whether the driver's a smoker or not. There's also the very, very common practice of charging extra, whether you're doing plumbing, carpentry, contracting, electronics repair or whatever... If it takes extra work, you tell the customer up front & with their OK get on with it. Believe me, It's no big deal. When it comes to warranty [or extended warranty], most every one ever written says that they're not responsible for normal wear/tear, acts of GOD, abuse, &/or anything but defective components [unless you pay extra for a lost/damage sort of clause]. Only prob with that is you have to prove it -- a clogged cooling fan that no longer spins is abuse -- a burnt out chip that never had a heatsink is not.

IMHO that's why Apple took the hazardous waste stance -- no burden of proof of cause to deal with. OTOH a customer could sue based on the alleged toxicity of found residue vs. what normally could be expected. Or they could just clean up the innards & take it to another shop. There are a LOT more toxins around, & quite a lot of bio hazards that are ignored simply because they're not visible -- work in a job where you deal with the public & you will catch more colds. But smoking is unpopular, & the shop had a chance to get out of lower paid work [customer pay is always higher].

Far as the actual smoke goes, it leaves deposits, usually on the order of a yellowish film. Dust can stick to it, & on a somewhat rough surface, like most electronics cooling fan blades, it can eventually built up to feel like MaJoR described as "sticky & gummy"... however the same can happen in a humid environment from dust without any smoke, & it's the dust bunnies, not any film, that's most responsible for clogging air flow. [I don't think the stores stock canned air just for the few remaining, tidy, PC using smokers -- do you?] The ONLY things any film can do is make fans less efficient, &/or make heat transfer from heatsinks less efficient. On a laptop it might screw with the more open CD/DVD drives, but it's not going to get into a fully enclosed hard or disc drive. It doesn't/can't short out electronics or chips, but it wouldn't collect there anyway. That said, you'd have to bench test at the component level to find most problems, & not many do -- they just replace parts -- so you can blame it on smoke easier than nasty tooth fairies, or just do what I've always found best: tell the truth & say who knows why whatever part went bad?

I have repaired and cleaned many a PC/Laptop with smoke residue yes it's nasty and horrid and yes it's not a nice thing.

But 1) I am in no place to judge anyone I don't smoke but if people want to that's their problem
2) Dust from cigarette smoke is only slightly worse then from pc's covered in dust from a dusty damp house and that would be covered

If this isn't listed in the extended applecare warranty then I'm pretty sure that legally they would have to honour it, take 'em to court but unfortunately Apple get away with murder and as such would probably win, I think this is a god damn cusomer service disgrace, there is no danger through cleaning if gloves and filter masks and goggles are worn.

Appalled and disgusted - and before the flamers start I am not a Mac user I use a PC I do have an iPod and am pleased with it I just prefer Windows.

I love how every single person who has actually worked on PC repair can understand the move and every smoker and Apple hater cry foul. Basically I love how humanity is only interested in pushing their own agenda =p

I think this is great. I have worked on PCs as a repairman for many many years. Nothing can kill a computer faster then cigarette smoke. It is like tar mixed with dust into a sticky, gummy substance. Bleck! I charge an added fee to work on computers that need that extensive of cleaning just for basic maintenance.

OK, if it's about tar build-up it's a fair point - tar does cause extra build-ups (nasty looking). But then they should refuse warranty on environmental grounds (same as equipment operated in excessively dusty environment), not health reasons. I'd be interested what the outcome would be if this goes to court.

I agree on apple with this. If I took a hammer to my screen, that wouldn't be covered under warranty. I don't see why smoking near a computer should be different since smoke can damage computer components.

Senlis said,
I agree on apple with this. If I took a hammer to my screen, that wouldn't be covered under warranty. I don't see why smoking near a computer should be different since smoke can damage computer components.

Vast quantities of smoke can damage a computer over time. Smoking a cigarette cannot damage a computer.

I find it amusing how most posters that have been technicians in the past will say that smoking clogs up computers, but there is this persistent minority that will claim to have never seen any kind of negative impact on computers due to smoke ever, and then point out how many years they've serviced computers, how much smoke smokers smoked, etc, etc... They argue against the claims with an almost paranoid fervor.

Are you in IT? I am, been for ~20 years. I can safely tell you that 99.9% of the IT people I know would never void a warranty simply over smoking "damage." Why? Show me a warranty from a major motherboard maker (as an example) that specifically voids warranty over smoking. It would be dubious as best to try to claim that smoking falls under "misuse" or other vaguely generic clauses in a warranty. Yeah, that might give the maker a quick, cheap and lame loophole/out to deny warranty, but that would certainly be something to fight over.

Smokers around the world will be flipping over backwards if it were to become a widespread precedent to do this. This is akin to saying that normal dust buildup voids a warranty. And don't tell me you can keep 100% of the dust out of your machine under normal circumstances.

ir0nw0lf said,
Are you in IT? I am, been for ~20 years. I can safely tell you that 99.9% of the IT people I know would never void a warranty simply over smoking "damage." Why? Show me a warranty from a major motherboard maker (as an example) that specifically voids warranty over smoking. It would be dubious as best to try to claim that smoking falls under "misuse" or other vaguely generic clauses in a warranty. Yeah, that might give the maker a quick, cheap and lame loophole/out to deny warranty, but that would certainly be something to fight over.

Smokers around the world will be flipping over backwards if it were to become a widespread precedent to do this. This is akin to saying that normal dust buildup voids a warranty. And don't tell me you can keep 100% of the dust out of your machine under normal circumstances.

I don't really understand that mantra and the dust comparison is completely unwarranted. A more sound analogy would be if you had a can of compressed dust in your room that you regularly sprayed and over time it resulted in a build up in your PC internals. I don't disagree that smokers around the world would be flipping backwards but that is their prerogative.

I work for a large multinational employer in the IT and servicing departments and we will regularly reprimand users (i.e. take the laptop back and prevent them from taking it home) if they smoke around it. I have worked at several such companies with similar policies. It is nothing new--if you want to smoke, fine that's your decision, but other people should not have to suffer for your privilege.

nice going apple by screwing yet more customers and when it comes to fixing things you think of some lame excuse which is not said in ANY warrenty just so you don't have to shell out the extra cash to get the job done properly and sides you can put maskes on to prevent smoke n stuff from affecting your techs so it's no big deal so get with the program pathetic apple before you go out of business and if you won't honor something then for crying out loud put it in the damn warrenty so customers know about it. man i'm glad i don't own ANY apple stuff or i would face these same headaches so no thnx i don't have time for stupid excuses from a lame brain company.

Have you read the warranty? Is it possible that it was covered under a generalized term? Smoke doesn't have to be specifically mentioned and listed in order for it to count. Even a simple term like "hazard" can include cigarette smoke, as the quote about OSHA definitions explained. From a legal perspective, I imagine the warranty is sound.

This is either just a bunch of generic Apple hate (and I do loves the Apple hate--but I prefer to make fun of the USERS), or angry smokers who feel like the world has turned them into second class citizens (which they are, sorry kids).

Apple just lost me as a customer. The OSHA safe limits are about air quantities (0.5 mg/m3). I wonder how they reached the brilliant idea that handling electronic parts is anywhere near the limit (though, yes, nicotine is readily absorbs by the skin). However, does that mean the technicians don't wear plastic gloves and touch my precious electronics with their greasy hands? Reading this again, wait a minute - it's contaminated with... 'cigarette smoke'?!

Yeah, Apple is so great. Not. (and no I don't even smoke) But of course their fanboys will support this, because everything Apple does is great... Not.

After having worked on many PCs that were used by heavy smokers, I have to say that I agree that it shouldn't be covered. It's well known that cigarette smoke is really bad for electronics, and gunks up fans etc. Basically, something the owner did damaged the PC. That's abuse and shouldn't be covered IMO.

Having said that, I'm pretty sure Apple is the only computer company with this policy, and it should be clearly written in the warranty. They're taking it too far by claiming it's bad for the tech's health.

They should just leave it at "If you smoke near your computer it may not be covered under warranty as it damages the internals."

wait wait this is interesting. how does cigarette smoke affect electronics and gunk up fans? please elaborate. i'm a heavy smoker and i want to know how my smoke affects electronics.

3rd impact said,
wait wait this is interesting. how does cigarette smoke affect electronics and gunk up fans? please elaborate. i'm a heavy smoker and i want to know how my smoke affects electronics.

Are you slow? Do you even know what you're smoking? All the toxins you smoke collect and build up over time. Scroll up for links with pics or do a quick google search, but it should be common sense.

3rd impact said,
wait wait this is interesting. how does cigarette smoke affect electronics and gunk up fans? please elaborate. i'm a heavy smoker and i want to know how my smoke affects electronics.


Here is the link to some pictures that was posted above: http://www.thecomputerwizard.biz/photos.htm#smoke From my years of working in computer shops, I can say that this is fairly typical of a computer in the home of a heavy smoker.

3rd impact said,
wait wait this is interesting. how does cigarette smoke affect electronics and gunk up fans? please elaborate. i'm a heavy smoker and i want to know how my smoke affects electronics.

If you really are a heavy smoker around your computer, and you really are curious, um... pull out your case, open it up, and have a look. That build up? It's not normal.

BigBoobLover said,
Here is the link to some pictures that was posted above: http://www.thecomputerwizard.biz/photos.htm#smoke From my years of working in computer shops, I can say that this is fairly typical of a computer in the home of a heavy smoker.

Those pictures are misleading because dust and other chemicals cause that as well.

I've been servicing computers on my free time for like 10 years and non-smokers computers (with no one on their houses being a smoker) tend to look just like that if they were never cleaned up before.

ajua said,
Those pictures are misleading because dust and other chemicals cause that as well.


Simple dust build-up is VERY different than the build-up from cigarette smoke. Dust can easily be removed with canned air, but not smoke build-up. As others have stated, smoke also contains acids that can destroy circuitry.

ajua said,
Those pictures are misleading because dust and other chemicals cause that as well.

I've been servicing computers on my free time for like 10 years and non-smokers computers (with no one on their houses being a smoker) tend to look just like that if they were never cleaned up before.

That's just FUD--a typical non-smoker computer will rarely, if ever, look like that. A typical heavy smokers computer will almost always look like that. It's disgusting to work on; if you want to smoke then that is fine by me but I should not have to work through your nicotine and tar residue while attempting to prevent myself from hurling because of your choice.

omni1 said,

That's just FUD--a typical non-smoker computer will rarely, if ever, look like that. A typical heavy smokers computer will almost always look like that. It's disgusting to work on; if you want to smoke then that is fine by me but I should not have to work through your nicotine and tar residue while attempting to prevent myself from hurling because of your choice.


I said "tend to look just like that". There some differences in thickness or odor but both are a pain to clean up.

If you were a tech guy at some company, you can always quit your job because you can't stand working on computers like that. There is a difference with this case, because the company, not the worker, is refusing to the job and honor the warranty.

ajua said,

I said "tend to look just like that". There some differences in thickness or odor but both are a pain to clean up.

If you were a tech guy at some company, you can always quit your job because you can't stand working on computers like that. There is a difference with this case, because the company, not the worker, is refusing to the job and honor the warranty.

Perhaps the company is refusing to honor it so all their tech guys don't quit?

Are you honestly so entitled that you would prefer people to be unemployed so you can smoke purely because they can't stand it?

I call those pictures FUD. It may be true if the user purposely blows to the vents continuously smoking 12 hours a day for say, 5 years. For a typical smoker and PC, it won't look like that. Any of you seen something EXACTLY like that? Exaggerate much?

ArKeYa said,
I call those pictures FUD. It may be true if the user purposely blows to the vents continuously smoking 12 hours a day for say, 5 years. For a typical smoker and PC, it won't look like that. Any of you seen something EXACTLY like that? Exaggerate much?

exactly. those pics are sensationalist. molds on the power supply? i believe the pc in the pics is not situated on a home setting to get like that. probably in a bar near a sink.

3rd impact said,
exactly. those pics are sensationalist. molds on the power supply? i believe the pc in the pics is not situated on a home setting to get like that. probably in a bar near a sink.

You believe? quite a few techs who work in computer shops for a living have said that those pictures ARE typical of a smokers PC....
whats so hard to grasp?

f4af_billy said,
You believe? quite a few techs who work in computer shops for a living have said that those pictures ARE typical of a smokers PC....
whats so hard to grasp?

the fact that my pc does not look anything like that, thats what. i invite anybody to look into my pc and look for "tar buildup" as illustrated in the picture. i think everybody is basing what a smokers pc look like with those pictures and taking it as gospel truth.

3rd impact said,

the fact that my pc does not look anything like that, thats what. i invite anybody to look into my pc and look for "tar buildup" as illustrated in the picture. i think everybody is basing what a smokers pc look like with those pictures and taking it as gospel truth.

Nope. I've seen it quite a few times and I know a lot of other people have as well.

I would hazard a guess that your computer is under the table or in some other location whereby the airflow causes the smoke to move away from the PC not toward it.

There was a study done over ten years ago which proved the second-hand cigarette smoke particles were small enough to slip in through the seams of a Hard Drive in a computer and cause a disk to crash. I don't see Apple, Inc. stating this exactly, but I'm wondering if this is their logic. I actually agree with Apple's logic here, however, it should be more clearly stated in their warranty.

Microsoft needs to take advantage of this... QUICK MAKE AN AD! oh... wait... then Microsoft would be supporting smoking.... but atleast they'd get more PC's sold! Right Apple? :P

If Apple wants to treat it's customers like this, that's fine...just put a clause in the warranty. You can't just make up new rules as you go along.

No wonder Apple scores highest in customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, Apple's most obsessive customers don't seem to get it. When Apple breaks their warranty contract with you by refusing to provide service based on an exception not listed in the terms of the agreement you don't cry to Steve Jobs and hope for the best. You get a lawyer.

I'm amazed at the brand loyalty some people have for Apple when the company shows no regard for their customers time and time again.

C_Guy said,
No wonder Apple scores highest in customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, Apple's most obsessive customers don't seem to get it. When Apple breaks their warranty contract with you by refusing to provide service based on an exception not listed in the terms of the agreement you don't cry to Steve Jobs and hope for the best. You get a lawyer.

I'm amazed at the brand loyalty some people have for Apple when the company shows no regard for their customers time and time again.


This is very true.

I can't understand why many persons in this thread seem to agree with Apple on this when clearly they are refusing to honor a warranty with a cause of void that is not listed on their terms.

C_Guy said,
No wonder Apple scores highest in customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, Apple's most obsessive customers don't seem to get it. When Apple breaks their warranty contract with you by refusing to provide service based on an exception not listed in the terms of the agreement you don't cry to Steve Jobs and hope for the best. You get a lawyer.

I'm amazed at the brand loyalty some people have for Apple when the company shows no regard for their customers time and time again.

I challenge you to find a civil law suit that has succeeded in enforcing end-user contracts for warranties (you will find a few for service agreement, a clause under which this does not fall). If you had any kind of legal training I may be able to respect your opinion here but unfortunately I am guessing this post should of been listed IANAL just as you would on Slashdot.

I can't stand uninformed users posting even more uninformed comments but that is the society we live in today--don't know the law, don't know the precedents and the first instinct is to shout lawyer for anything.

..... WOW ...... am at a loss for words...!!!!!! caffeine is also considered hazardous! what if i had some coffee, accidentally 'contaminating' myself while making a fresh brew, still waking up, and got some coffee on my fingers....... and transfer said coffee granules to my macbook.... and it goes belly up....! wonder what would happen then..... mmmmmmm !!!!!!! ...... peanut butter???? and the tech is nut allergic????

Sulphy said,
..... WOW ...... am at a loss for words...!!!!!! caffeine is also considered hazardous! what if i had some coffee, accidentally 'contaminating' myself while making a fresh brew, still waking up, and got some coffee on my fingers....... and transfer said coffee granules to my macbook.... and it goes belly up....! wonder what would happen then..... mmmmmmm !!!!!!! ...... peanut butter???? and the tech is nut allergic????

THAT is a poor argument, because in this case the user damaged his macbook, and the warranty covers defective equipment. If i opened a computer and saw that FOOD was the cause, id also make you pay for the repair.

Welll, where i work, i get to repair many of our companies laptops, the general stuff like crashed hard drives, loose hinges on screens... etc...and i have found some really dodgy food in the these laptops... and eventually something major does go wrong, and we have had DELL, Lenovo and HP warranties honored! engineers came out, opened them up, grimaced, but the repairs were done, and all under warranty!

Apple is too full of themselves! but, thats my opinion! love my iphone tho! I just hope i dont sweat too much, and cause the indicator to discolor!!! VOID! ..... sad really!!!!!!!

Good for smokers. I can't stand them, I would hope that all electronics manufacturers would precise in their warranty that smoking near devices voids the warranty. It should teach them a lesson.

Btw my dad smokes near his brand new iMac with brand new wireless keyboard and mouse and ... ugh, I can't use the freaking keyboard and mouse anymore, they're so disgusting. It's unbelievable.

PsykX said,
Good for smokers. I can't stand them, I would hope that all electronics manufacturers would precise in their warranty that smoking near devices voids the warranty. It should teach them a lesson.

Btw my dad smokes near his brand new iMac with brand new wireless keyboard and mouse and ... ugh, I can't use the freaking keyboard and mouse anymore, they're so disgusting. It's unbelievable.


Congratulations for your tolerance...

Why don't you just go and buy yourself a keyboard and a mouse for your solely use?

I think you can't prevent your dad from smoking, so you have a a solution but instead you complain about it and insult us.

No thanks. Plugging my own keyboard each time?

I have my own computer for that, in my room.

I'm glad that in Quebec (and Canada), there's so many laws against smoking. It's not just for ME, it's also for you guys that I don't tolerate it. It costs a lot and it's bad for your health, and your clothes smell like crap, so why should I tolerate it? There's no advantage in smoking, but there's so many advantages in not smoking.

PsykX said,
No thanks. Plugging my own keyboard each time?

I have my own computer for that, in my room.

I'm glad that in Quebec (and Canada), there's so many laws against smoking. It's not just for ME, it's also for you guys that I don't tolerate it. It costs a lot and it's bad for your health, and your clothes smell like crap, so why should I tolerate it? There's no advantage in smoking, but there's so many advantages in not smoking.


You said you didn't tolerate smokers, not the smoking habits. You are not forced to tolerate the smoking habit (anyone is) but you should tolerate the people that smoke just many of us tolerate people with distinct habits/vices.

Here is a tip to those who want to stop smoking. Get a expensive macbook pro and whenever u have the urge to smoke, take it out, give yourselves two choices, cigarette or macbook , the cigarette will go back in.

Its common sense to assume that the inside of a PC or laptop would clog up over time if you smoke near it....
Im assuming these people clean the sticky residue from worksufaces, Tvs and everything else in their house?! what makes them think that their laptop\PC (that sucks in the smoke your feeding it while smoking) would be immune!?

At the end of the day, its negligence on the users part.

BigBoobLover said,
Packs in the US are 20. I've never seen any other quantity. I'm not a smoker, but my ex-wife was. Since this story is from the US, it would be more appropriate to talk about the standard size here.

edit: Actually, this gives you a little more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_pack#Package_size


Here in Mexico packs are sold with 20, the majority of them, and 14.

Al Gore must have started this policy. Only a stupid whiny arsed liberal company like Apple would allow such a crooked politician to sit on their board. The only reason he cares so much about the global warming debate is because he has a large financial interest in the firm that will be responsible for brokering the carbon credits that companies will have to buy under the Cap & Trade legislation. In fact, average global temperatures are falling and fractional carbon dioxide levels are rising, hence they are mutually exclusive. As the founder of the Weather Channel put it, Global Warming is the greatest scam in human history and it has been perpetrated by left wing bureaucrats that are hungry for power.

That's a tiny bit far fetched. I don't think this applies to Apple only. If you misuse your equipment little or not companies will give you warranty for your device. Whether smoking voids that warranty or not is what's at stake here. Not global warming...

rafter109 said,
Al Gore must have started this policy. Only a stupid whiny arsed liberal company like Apple would allow such a crooked politician to sit on their board. The only reason he cares so much about the global warming debate is because he has a large financial interest in the firm that will be responsible for brokering the carbon credits that companies will have to buy under the Cap & Trade legislation. In fact, average global temperatures are falling and fractional carbon dioxide levels are rising, hence they are mutually exclusive. As the founder of the Weather Channel put it, Global Warming is the greatest scam in human history and it has been perpetrated by left wing bureaucrats that are hungry for power.


What the hell does Apple refusing to sevice someone's disgusting Nicotine encrusted PC have to with global warming?

Oh wait, nothing.

Good link. I liked the image of the computer that was just over 2 years old... I guess nicotine tar does build up pretty quick...

Give them a pair of vinyl gloves and a respirator mask when you take the machine in.. or sue apple for failing to honor their contract as it doesnt say anywhere that machines of smokers wont be repaired.

Has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are smokers. It has to do with the fact that they smoked AROUND the machine, thereby crapping it up with sticky gummy mess that damaged the machine. It is EXACTLY the same thing as if you spilled soda all over your machine. Would you try to sue the company because they refused to repair it under warranty, which, by the way, covers manufacturer defects not user stupidity.

Think before you post. It's just a great idea.

This is a bit exaggerated on Apple's side. But on their defense, have you guys ever tried cleaning a dirty laptop or a keyboard thoroughly?

You'd be amazed at how much stuff can get clogged in the system and cause it to overheat, or stop functioning altogether. My father's laptop recently started crashing, so I took it home to clean and thought the issue would be solved with a clean install. Nothing prepared me for the horror I saw once I started peeling the key's out. And when I peeked inside it was even worse.

I'm not sure what the impact of smoke is inside a laptop, but I'm guessing it isn't good, even though I don't think 2 years would be enough to cause much damage unless the smoker was a chimney.

For those concerned, the laptop survived the procedure.

I am about to commit a crime against nature, and this may very well bring about the end of the universe. If so, I apologize in advance since I won't be able to afterward:

I agree with Apple.

WOW. The universe DIDN'T implode. Having worked a bench for probably 10 of the last 15 years, I have worked on a LOT of chainsmoker's PCs and I have seen the damage it can cause. The machines are disgusting yellow and everything has this tacky feel to it. It causes the fans to freeze up. Everyone knows how important THEY are. I consider this abuse and abuse is never covered under any kind of warranty.

It is easy, carry your lazy smoker ass outside and light up like anyone with a shred of common sense. But then, if you had a very much common sense you wouldn't smoke in the first place.

Tekzel said,
I am about to commit a crime against nature, and this may very well bring about the end of the universe. If so, I apologize in advance since I won't be able to afterward:

I agree with Apple.

WOW. The universe DIDN'T implode. Having worked a bench for probably 10 of the last 15 years, I have worked on a LOT of chainsmoker's PCs and I have seen the damage it can cause. The machines are disgusting yellow and everything has this tacky feel to it. It causes the fans to freeze up. Everyone knows how important THEY are. I consider this abuse and abuse is never covered under any kind of warranty.

It is easy, carry your lazy smoker ass outside and light up like anyone with a shred of common sense. But then, if you had a very much common sense you wouldn't smoke in the first place.

I can agree with this. Citing the health concerns they cited was a bit extreme though.

NeoTrunks said,
I can agree with this. Citing the health concerns they cited was a bit extreme though.

I agree with you as well. Their concerns seems a bit far fetched.

NeoTrunks said,
I can agree with this. Citing the health concerns they cited was a bit extreme though.

I am a little confused by this, what health concerns? Unless you mean where I expressed my opinion that smoking is a dumb ass move. If so, well, so be it. That is an opinion that will never change, and one that will get posted on occasion. I am not some anti-smoking gas bag, but occasionally I feel the time and circumstance is right for me to express my opinion, and I do so.

Tekzel said,
I am a little confused by this, what health concerns? Unless you mean where I expressed my opinion that smoking is a dumb ass move. If so, well, so be it. That is an opinion that will never change, and one that will get posted on occasion. I am not some anti-smoking gas bag, but occasionally I feel the time and circumstance is right for me to express my opinion, and I do so.

Not at all. I'm referring to Apple claiming that nicotine is on their list of hazardous chemicals that they are not required to work with. What's the most surprising is that hydrogen peroxide is on that list. I'm no doctor, but I had no idea that was harmful to us.

I agree 100% that if the components are simply damaged by any said chemical, they should not be held responsible with repairing it. They actually do state this later on. This is something they really need to put out there on the AppleCare terms.

This goes to show how destructive smoking is.

NeoTrunks said,
Not at all. I'm referring to Apple claiming that nicotine is on their list of hazardous chemicals that they are not required to work with.

Reading comprehension failure on my part. "They" instead of "You" should have been a dead giveaway that you weren't directing that part at me.


NeoTrunks said,
This goes to show how destructive smoking is.

I will forever be amused by the fact that smokers can sit in a cave smoking it up, turning everything this disgusting sticky yellowish brown color, including their PCs, and they never seem to make the connection to what it MUST be doing to their poor lungs. Or, maybe they just don't care.

Tekzel said,
I am about to commit a crime against nature, and this may very well bring about the end of the universe. If so, I apologize in advance since I won't be able to afterward:

I agree with Apple.

WOW. The universe DIDN'T implode. Having worked a bench for probably 10 of the last 15 years, I have worked on a LOT of chainsmoker's PCs and I have seen the damage it can cause. The machines are disgusting yellow and everything has this tacky feel to it. It causes the fans to freeze up. Everyone knows how important THEY are. I consider this abuse and abuse is never covered under any kind of warranty.

It is easy, carry your lazy smoker ass outside and light up like anyone with a shred of common sense. But then, if you had a very much common sense you wouldn't smoke in the first place.


So, any dust or cleaning chemicals when mopping your house can't affect the fans right?

One thing is that people may find working of smokers computers disgusting (as yourself) and one totally different is that nowhere in the clauses of void warranty is listed the nicotine residue.

ajua said,
So, any dust or cleaning chemicals when mopping your house can't affect the fans right?

Are you seriously going to compare regular household dust, or cleaning chemicals (most of which aren't in aerosol form, and those that are don't drift around like smoke, and you aren't sitting in the CHAIR in front of the machine while using them) to smoking cigarettes while using your PC? Really?

ajua said,
One thing is that people may find working of smokers computers disgusting (as yourself) and one totally different is that nowhere in the clauses of void warranty is listed the nicotine residue.

I had some difficulty deciphering this particular part, I can only assume (and hope) that English is not your first language. I THINK you are saying that nicotine buildup isn't listed as a cause of warranty invalidation.

If so, my response is that they couldn't possibly list every event that could void your warranty, so they just clump them into a single group: Things that dumbasses do that damage their equipment that isn't a result of manufacturer defect. IE: User neglect. You will always find one of those in there, and smoking around your computer is indeed user neglect.

Tekzel said,
Are you seriously going to compare regular household dust, or cleaning chemicals (most of which aren't in aerosol form, and those that are don't drift around like smoke, and you aren't sitting in the CHAIR in front of the machine while using them) to smoking cigarettes while using your PC? Really?

I had some difficulty deciphering this particular part, I can only assume (and hope) that English is not your first language. I THINK you are saying that nicotine buildup isn't listed as a cause of warranty invalidation.

If so, my response is that they couldn't possibly list every event that could void your warranty, so they just clump them into a single group: Things that dumbasses do that damage their equipment that isn't a result of manufacturer defect. IE: User neglect. You will always find one of those in there, and smoking around your computer is indeed user neglect.


Well, any dust (in a household, at work, etc) or dirt and whatnot can clutter any electronic device internals. However, warranties are honored anywhere even when the users bring cluttered equipment.

About the part you found hard to decipher, well, English is not my native language but I think I wrote that clearly enough.

I agree that manufacturers can list every event that could lead void a warranty but dust or any other particles than can clutter equipment should be listed if, in this Apple, consider that it may pose a health concern or a clear case to not honor the agreement with the user.

NeoandGeo said,
Are you saying that tar stained innards of a PC are comparable to dust?

Exactly. I think people fail to realize that dust is very easy to clean and only harmful to components in extreme amounts.

Oh jeez... lol That's surprising though. I thought any situation where the computer got wet was never covered under warranty. I know Dell doesn't cover much. In fact if they don't think it's covered they just stop responding to you. LOL

Damn, that technician actually worked on a computer with kitten pee?!, I'd tell them to **** right off.

Unless your joking, which I think you are.

acnpt said,
Damn, that technician actually worked on a computer with kitten pee?!, I'd tell them to **** right off.

Unless your joking, which I think you are.

Not joking. It was dry by that time

acnpt said,
Damn, that technician actually worked on a computer with kitten pee?!, I'd tell them to **** right off.

Unless your joking, which I think you are.


I take it you don't do laundry. ;?P

NeoandGeo said,
The most important question is, why is anyone smoking near their electronics in the first place?

The most important question is, why are you asking such dumb questions? Its like asking why would someone eat or drink around their electronics.

Xilo said,
The even more important question is, why are people stupid enough to smoke in the first place?

Why are people so stupid that they think their decisions are always the smartest ones?

Glendi said,
Why are people so stupid that they think their decisions are always the smartest ones?
Because were not the ones dying of lung cancer, enjoy your smoke.

TSO said,
Because were not the ones dying of lung cancer, enjoy your smoke.

If you only knew that lung cancer not only affects smokers. A greater percentage of lung cancer patients are treated for other causes.

To the person asking why people smoke near electronics: Because we (at least me) can and/or want. It isn't a factor for electronic failures or all the manufacturers would include a clause for smokers on their warranty.

Apple is just not honoring these people's warranty and making the nicotine residue as bio hazard an excuse to do so. Plain and simple.

Don't know (or care) if this was the right call from Apple, but I have had a computer brought to me because it wouldn't stay running more than 2 minutes (the guy was blaming Windows), and after opening it up I found the CPU heatsink totally caked with a smokey-dusty mix, much different from the typically dusty PC inards...

Seems fair to me. Second hand smoke over a period of time is very obvious and very gross. Though to be fair, going a year without popping your fans and heat stinks with a can O air should void their warranties too. Nothing lasts forever without care.

I had brought this up at my work about our plans we sell because I was tired of getting sick to my stomach working on machines that I had to put on vinyl gloves to touch. The manage [Store Level] said we could not tell people what to do and I said were not we are telling them that smoke & tar damage their computer and it was not covered. I will print this and continue the fight.

Buttus said,
They should sell a type of extended warranty that just covers smoking 'damage'....


Yeah for 2x the price of the unit because with a smoker it's going to be 100% in need for repair.

Buttus said,
They should sell a type of extended warranty that just covers smoking 'damage'....

You mean another "Apple Tax" right?

Must be that great Apple Customer Care Apple fans rave about.

I find it "funny" that Apple doesnt mention this in the Apple Care Service agreement.

If they are forcing me to breath in their smoke, I agree with you 100%. This however I see as different. Perhaps Apple just got tired of having to clean these computers out?

I think there is a difference when

X cause Y damage = denied warranty
X is not the cause, but used as an excuse to deny warranty.

Be curious about what happened in this case.

Yes, I agree. But even then, it needs to be stipulated in the terms. That's the law in this case. If it isn't mentioned, I can't see how they can void the warranty legally...

As for if the smoke does damage, it is acidic, so I can't imagine that's a good thing to have in your computer. I'll defer this to repair technicians that might be on here, but I would tend to believe that nicotine tar on the surface of the motherboard and other internals would over time cause some problems...

They should fix it behind a glass screen, with robots or gloves going through the wall then.

Why can't they do that?

I'm a mac user

have you ever seen inside a smokers computer? its horrible, all the dust gets stuck in the sticky tar residue from the smoke. IMO apple are right on this one. i can easily see how fans and optical drives jamming up is not a manufacturing defect. However, i disagree with the statement that working on a smokers pc affects your health...

How much have they paid for posting this (About the 'right' decision of Apple)?
No hardware has ever malfunctioned in my house after 10 years of smoking.
What's your sector of expertise? Are you a technician or something?
We all can understand you are not a smoker but does that mean you have to hate smokers?

I worked in a copper mine and the computer gets dusty almost every day.

In any case, Compaq never voided the warranty, even when the computer was not cataloged as industrial level.

Also, i saw a old computer that ran 3 years non-stop and without any maintenance.

So, i don't think that simply smoking can void the warranty.


Nicholas P. said,
How much have they paid for posting this (About the 'right' decision of Apple)?
No hardware has ever malfunctioned in my house after 10 years of smoking.
What's your sector of expertise? Are you a technician or something?
We all can understand you are not a smoker but does that mean you have to hate smokers?

Where in the world do you read a statement of hatred against smokers there?

Nicholas P. said,
How much have they paid for posting this (About the 'right' decision of Apple)?
No hardware has ever malfunctioned in my house after 10 years of smoking.
What's your sector of expertise? Are you a technician or something?
We all can understand you are not a smoker but does that mean you have to hate smokers?

how on earth did you infer that I hate smokers from that? i used to smoke myself - not that it matters. FYI I was a computer technician as a teenager and I saw a fair amount of PCs with gunked up internals. IMO apple shouldn't be accused of poor manufacturing because they don't create a tolerance for this (also... I'm no mac fan BTW)

Nicholas P. said,
How much have they paid for posting this (About the 'right' decision of Apple)?
No hardware has ever malfunctioned in my house after 10 years of smoking.
What's your sector of expertise? Are you a technician or something?
We all can understand you are not a smoker but does that mean you have to hate smokers?


I doubt that VERY much. Everyone has things stop working on them the question is did you ever get someone to look at it and tell you why?????

I'll answer, no. No one would get an equivalent of a post mortem autopsy on an electrical device. Also being a smoker and smoking at your computer are 2 different things. Many smokers only smoke outside because they know the damage and staining that can happen to the walls/paint alone. No hate just saying use your head.

Nicholas P. said,
How much have they paid for posting this (About the 'right' decision of Apple)?
No hardware has ever malfunctioned in my house after 10 years of smoking.
What's your sector of expertise? Are you a technician or something?
We all can understand you are not a smoker but does that mean you have to hate smokers?

Hm... I just reread his post, and I don't see any hate for smokers, just some common sense... Do I think it's fair to void someone's warranty when it isn't stipulated in the terms? No. But that doesn't make smoking any less gross... The nicotine tar on everything is quite disgusting, and I do believe 100% that it would cause more damage / involved repairs.

I think some of you are missing the point. They are not saying that smoking caused the thing. They're just refusing to honor the warranty because they refuse to work with nicotine residues.

Nicholas P. said,
How much have they paid for posting this (About the 'right' decision of Apple)?
No hardware has ever malfunctioned in my house after 10 years of smoking.
What's your sector of expertise? Are you a technician or something?
We all can understand you are not a smoker but does that mean you have to hate smokers?

No hardware failures in 10 years? LOL, yeah okay.

Joshie said,


No hardware failures in 10 years? LOL, yeah okay.


Over reacting a bit, thats true and I am sorry Zip for my 'accusations'. I have had loads of component failures and disasters. But I cannot say that my my disgusting habits caused all of these.

I still have my first laptop (a bit more than 6 years old) and still works almost 24/7. I clean all my laptops every 8 moths to 1+ year and dust is my main problem.

Nicholas P. said,

Over reacting a bit, thats true and I am sorry Zip for my 'accusations'. I have had loads of component failures and disasters. But I cannot say that my my disgusting habits caused all of these.

I still have my first laptop (a bit more than 6 years old) and still works almost 24/7. I clean all my laptops every 8 moths to 1+ year and dust is my main problem.

no worries mate, we all have our own experiences.

I've worked in computer shops before, and I can tell you that as a non-smoker, it is VERY obvious when a heavy smoker brings a computer into the shop. The computers usually have a distinct smell, and are often covered with a sticky film. I've seen some computers that had power supplies so clogged with smoke residue that they've burnt up.

Nicotine is horrible. One of my jobs is working with a company that cleans houses that have caught on fire or had pipes burst, etc. One thing they do do on occasion is nicotine cleanup for houses that are trying to sell, etc. It's disgusting. The amber colored nicotine will actually bleed out of the walls and has to be removed before painting as it will bleed through layers of paint as well. It's sticky and gross. With the fan in the computer I would imagine the inside would be rather sticky as well, and would assume that the acid in the cigarette smoke probably works to degrade the machine over time as well...

@Julius Caro, there's some bad pictures on the Internet that look discusting...

I thought it was the tobacco cigarette that burned that caused the trouble. I didn't think Nictoine was bad. Well I know it's bad, but it's a drug that relaxes you. The part that makes your lungs bad is the burning tobacco and other ingredients. So what does Nicotine have to do with causing trouble with computers, I thought tobacco was causing the trouble.

You'd be correct. It's actually just as harmful once they use a blower to clean out any components. Some smokers would rather die before acknowledging the existence of third hand smoke (no pun intended).

It's still a bit extreme though, considering the components making up the battery and probably even the LCD aren't exactly stuff you'd find in a breakfast cereal either.

NeoTrunks said,
You'd be correct. It's actually just as harmful once they use a blower to clean out any components. Some smokers would rather die before acknowledging the existence of third hand smoke (no pun intended).

It's still a bit extreme though, considering the components making up the battery and probably even the LCD aren't exactly stuff you'd find in a breakfast cereal either.

Indeed. Very strange. I'm not a smoker, and hate smoke, but this is very extreme...

all joking aside have any of you tried to blow nicotine off of computer components it like glue so i'm pretty damn sure you not going to get any in your lungs unless you rollin up the fluff bunnies and smokin em... Nicoteen takes iso to clean it off i should know i'm a smoker and ever 6mths or so i clean my pc's fans out so if apple are going to use that excuse they better not be using any iso in their working day either

Thankfully, no, as I don't smoke. I've had to clean it off of other equipment though, such as old radios and such. Never a fun thing to do.

as crazy as it sounds, i could understand why they do this. use more common sense and ask a person who works with computers for their jog description. i was never allowed to eat, drink or bring anything that would contaminate the computer area/room.

Well, you not eating around a computer you're working on is very different from not honoring a warranty because the owner of the machine smokes...

I think he point is if you spilt a coffee of some cake in the computer it would also void you warranty... but no-one would complain in that instance.

belto said,
as crazy as it sounds, i could understand why they do this. use more common sense and ask a person who works with computers for their jog description. i was never allowed to eat, drink or bring anything that would contaminate the computer area/room.

Water conducts electricity. Dry foods, say cookie crumbs do not. Otherwise dust, hair etc can stick to fans & heatsinks, eventually decreasing their efficiency, but unless everyone's in bunny suits & the air's filtered, you're going to get that anyway. That's it. And even then in most cases you'd have a hard time getting any liquids where they could do real damage. Long story short, the reasons for keeping the area or room clean has little to do with a computers longevity, & everything to do with the boss not wanting to pay someone to clean up. ;?P

belto said,
as crazy as it sounds, i could understand why they do this. use more common sense and ask a person who works with computers for their jog description. i was never allowed to eat, drink or bring anything that would contaminate the computer area/room.

So you are not allowed to eat or drink in your home? That's where these computers come from, people's homes, not an Apple interrogation room (where they install the microchips that control Mac users' brains).

leesmithg said,
Well done Apple.

You know those taxes that are put on cigarettes? Those taxes are supposed to help people to stop smoking, but they are not. The health industry is using those taxes to make nonsmokers hate smokers. There weren̢۪t any problems in the 80s up to the mid-90s. People started the "HATE" trend after the cig taxes were in effect. I'm glad I buld my own PC and have a degree in CNIT. I'm my own tech.

jesseinsf said,
You know those taxes that are put on cigarettes? Those taxes are supposed to help people to stop smoking, but they are not. The health industry is using those taxes to make nonsmokers hate smokers. There weren̢۪t any problems in the 80s up to the mid-90s. People started the "HATE" trend after the cig taxes were in effect. I'm glad I build my own PC and have a degree in CNIT. I'm my own tech.