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How does smoking disable a Laptop?

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If the warranty does not expressly state that smoking voids it Sam's is wrong.
Good luck getting anything back. Sam Walton died along with his policy of just paying the claims his employees said were just and that policy has been replaced with a policy of fighting claims even when video evidence makes it clear they were at fault.
Buying a computer from any huge retailer is a bad idea, you may get a better price but odd are you will also get a "custom" version, a downgrade in the fan , the heat sink ,power supply etc. They have the power to demand the best quality parts but what they end up demanding is low price period. If you buy from a place like Dell tell them it is a business computer and you get a better machine for about the same money.
As a tech I would not blame them for including that clause but as a businessman I would also give them a discount. In other words if I chose not to work on machines that were smoked around I would make that clear upfront and allow them to opt out of the warranty at time of purchase.
Personally I would put in a clause that if it was dirty enough for any reason that I had to clean it that would be an additional charge and if I believed the smoke or whatever fouled it caused the failure it would void the warranty on that particular failure.
I have had a few machines come in that were really fouled by cigarette smoke but much more often I have the problem of people leaving their desktops on the floor which is a disaster.
It has been more than a decade since I smoked so I am sensitive to it but people who are angry and act like it is a major and very common problem with laptops in particular I find a bit disingenuous. I can't recall more than a few lappies that have been overly fouled by cigarettes.
Take the machine to a well recommended tech and don't mention the problem with Sam's , see if they have a problem , I really doubt it.