Most smoke air purifiers are probably going to disappoint most consumers - that is if cigarette or cigar smoke is your problem. However there are a few models of smoke air purifiers which may satisfy that need.
In this review I will cover the range of smoke problems as well as the technologies which can handle:
1 - Cigarette & Cigar smoke removal
2 - Fireplace smoke
3 - Cooking smoke
4 - Industrial smoke from pollution, factories, etc.
1 - Electrostatic Plates - This includes the washable electronic plates (Oreck Air Purifier, Ionic Breeze), and electrostatic grids (Alive Air). With this technology the air must pass through the unit to be effective.
2 - Negative Ionizers - Negative ionizers which don't use plates will send negative ions into a room and will disable some smoke, although not as effectively as the plate approach.
3 - Ozone Generators - Ozone is probably the most effective means of removing smoke. The downside is that lots of ozone can irritate or damage lungs so it is not recommended that you be in the room during it's use. The primary name brand is Ecoquest (formerly Alpine and now Vollara) however there are several other models available for low levels of ozone.
4 - Active Carbon - while active carbon will absorb some of the smoke and gas the downside is that the carbon will need to be replaced pretty fast.
NOTE: HEPA is not a good choice as it does not disable smoke as effectively and you'll have to replace the HEPA filters frequently. While it is true that a HEPA filter acts like a cigarette filter the tar which builds up in it will make the HEPA smell like smoke almost immediately.
CONCLUSION: Smoke air purifiers with washable electrostatic is your best bet, and most inexpensive way to remove smoke from tobacco products. The "grid" types are preferred over "plates because the plates can create "ozone" that can irritate sensitive lungs. The air purifier I suggest that was especially made for cigarette and cigar smoke is the following model: Blueair 650E GO SMOKESTOP Air Purifier
Cigarette smells are a more serious problem. If you're trying to remove the smell of smoke from curtains, walls, carpets, etc. then you're going to have to find an alternative to smoke air purifiers because they'll only reduce the odor at best. That's because the tar attaches itself to the molecules in the walls and fabrics it will continue to emit smells for years. We're talking about cleaning or replacing carpeting, curtains or painting walls. Even washing carpets often will not remove all cigarette odor. That's how deep tar gets into the molecules.
Even an ozone air purifier (or ionizer) which actively sends ozone (or ions) out into the room will not remove the odor.
CONCLUSION: the best way to reduce cigarette smell from your home is to remove the cigarette smoke with smoke air purifiers before the smoke attaches itself to the walls, etc.
CONCLUSION: For kitchen smoke you'll find most types of smoke air purifiers will clear the air rather quick, with the exception of HEPA filters
I soon realized that the California car traffic was the culprit. So despite living with an ongoing ocean breeze the air was very polluted. I put in an Alive Air Purifier and both the washable pre-filter, washable electrostatic grid, and the HEPA filter showed this black soot every week. Better it than my lungs!
The carbon in the purifier removed more of the gases within the air, while the negative ions re-enlivened the air (pollution often comes with a production of positive ions which can create headaches and reduce energy).
Car Soot - electrostatic, negative ion, ozone, carbon and HEPA
Pollution/Factories - electrostatic, negative ion, ozone
The comparison chart on this website gives you prices and which popular air purifiers have the technology that matches your need.