Try to put one of the Nicotine patches on it.
..sorry, couldnt resist.
Wow, that's weird... I had the same thing happen when I bought an Audioquest 3 foot stereo-to-mini cable from somewhere in the far East (China or Japan if I recall correctly).
It distinctively smelled like strong cigarette smoke... almost 'ashy'... like the ashes of a burned cigarette. I commented on it immediately when I opened it.
Wipe it down 2-3 times, clean towel each time, with hydrogen peroxide (the common 3% solution from a drug/grocery store).
Follow this up with a few towels soaked with hot tap water as the heat/water combo will neutralize the HP.
Hey, if you want to get cancer from second hand smoke, buy a used guitar amp from a pawn shop. Especially one with a pebbly finish to help trap the chemicals. And one that is a tube amp so that the chemicals are cooked right into it.
On a more serious note, not that my last comment wasn't serious, the smell should go away eventually, but wiping it down like Dekay suggests is a good idea.
Gee, I hate that... Some guy sold me an amp once that was supposed to be "almost mint". That amp stunk so bad of cigarettes it was disgusting. I must have cleaned a couple of pounds of tar out of the amp. Then I told the seller about it and he tried to assert that this was somehow all okay... What???
Aside from that, my advice is to get one of the many electrostatic air purifiers on the market and leave the cable next to the device for a day or so. The smell will likely be gone. Then you can use the air purifier to take allergens, germs, and other particulates out of the air you breathe at home every day.
I had this happen before. I placed the cables in a large, sealable hefty bag with a new open box of Arm and Hammer baking soda. The baking absorbed the odor right out of the cables. Took a couple of days.
Try 50/50 mix of vinegar and water applied with a rag or sponge, use newspaper to wipe off.
If the above responses don't work and there is still a faint smell, try unused coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds are often used to get smoke smell out of cars. It more masks the smell than removes it, but is far more pleasant!
Send it back and be done with it.
Stick it in a box of Kitty Litter for a week and see if that helps.
Wipe it down with a soft cloth dampened with water, peroxide or a mild baking soda solution (as suggested above). You could also use pure isopropyl alcohol, either straight or diluted with water.
Rub it down with cat urine. That will definitely get rid of the smoke smell. Hope this helps.
Try under arm spray deodorant just might do the trick?
"Rub it down with cat urine. That will definitely get rid of the smoke smell. Hope this helps."
Cat urine is OK. I heard that if you buy exotic white tiger urine, that is about the best you can get. I just happen to be selling some by coincidence, too.
Wipe with Isopropyl alcohol and rag, probably more than one time to remove the tar first, then any cover scent you like.
Just a bit of follow-up for those who might be interested. Thanks again for all your suggestions.
(1) 2 boxes of a baking soda in a sealed bag: did not make any difference.
(2) Isopropyl alcohol: maybe cut down the strength of the smoke smell about 10-20%.
(3) Febreze: this actually seemed to make the most difference among the three strategies tried. It was tried after the alcohol. I would say the Febreze both eliminated and masked (it has a fragrance) an additional 30-40% of the odor.
So, some of these strategies were useful, but did not eliminate the odor.
My guess is that the cable jacket is permeated w smoke and you can only really clean the surface. There are strong odor neutralizers that they use in the plumbing trade (you can imagine why). Try putting the cable in a sealed bag w one for a few days and report back.
Maybe you can get some nice clean plastic or rubber tubing and slide it over the cable and tape the ends with clear tape?
Sell it on the 'Gon to some chain smoker that gets off on the smell of cigs. His fingers/breath/clothes/house/car/dog/cat/wife/kids/gold fish all smell like cig smoke so he would pay top $$$ for it. Synergy I would say.
Perhaps try putting them in a sealed bag with activated carbon.
The kind used for aquariums. I think that carbon is suppose to absorb odors.
Just a follow-up for folks. I decided to return the cable to the seller. He was a real gentleman and took it back for full return + one way shipping with no difficulties.
At least his latent suicidal tendencies haven't affected his business ethics. Nasty damned habit: smoking!