By now, we all know of the risks of what smoking does to our health. But can cigarette smoke really be unhealthy for our contents, especially our electronics? You bet. Like our bodies, electronic devices generate heat and need air to breathe, and in doing so create an environment in which dust can collect in and on the circuitry. Unlike regular dust though, dust from cigarette smoke contains three things which can kill electronics: moisture, nicotine, and tar.
Moisture can condense on the circuit boards, allowing the dust and other elements to gather and stick to it. There is also the possibility of excessive moisture causing corrosion of the metal components on the boards themselves. The nicotine and tar co-mix to basically encrust on the interior components, causing fans to clog and heat sinks to fill with this material. This can cause overheating, and essentially kill the electronic.
Another danger is data loss. The small particles which travel in cigarette smoke, can seep into a hard drive, and cause damage to the platters which hold the information. If those platters become damaged, there is a greater potential the data contained on those disks becomes corrupted, lost, and sometimes unrecoverable.
Finally, cigarette smoke causes a discoloration of the material. The sticky tar and nicotine will cause the color of the material to turn burnt-yellow. Even during restoration, if the build-up is significant, they will always be some measure of discoloration due to the chemical reaction caused between the elements.
The best thing to do is obviously quit smoking. If however, this is not an option, regular maintenance and staying clear of your electronics while smoking will give them a longer life.