No I do not think it is a coincidence.
But I tbink it's absolutely pathetic that it could damage my iMac, when I have 5 other macs throughout the house that show absolutely not signs of damage.
I have a MacBook pro that has been here much longer, and has actually spent much time in the room where I do allow occasional smoking, and it has accumulated nothing. I recently opened it to upgrade the RAM, so I did an inspection of fan and heat sink, and using compressed air I only found dust to blow out--no goo or gunk.
It's a shame. I really love this iMac. It's the center or my media creation studio and is consistently used for business. I'm just disappointed that it is so succeptible to envornimental contaminants. It spent a couple weeks on my dining room table when I purchased it--possibly 16' feet from kitchen--and I'm curious if that could really be where it picked up so much environment contaminants.
Again, there is not heavy or constant smoking in my home, and no other machines have picked up any contamination.
It's as thought this 27" iMac tries to work as an air purifier/cleaner that has no filter installed!
it could be simply a matter of placement.
your iMac was in a location that it was able to collect the smoke. Air vent in house, smoke from your clothes and you have a fan/AC in said room that circulates air... smoke in iMac.
and like others said, you can smell the smoke from a distance. I work with a guy that chain smokes and even before i see him... i smell him coming.
The Apple Support Communities are an international user to user technical support forum. As a man from Mexico, Spanish is my native tongue. I do not speak English very well, however, I do write in English with the aid of the Mac OS X spelling and grammar checks. I also live in a culture perhaps very very different from your own. When offering advice in the ASC, my comments are not meant to be anything more than helpful and certainly not to be taken as insults.
They likely have test strips that they wipe across the inside and if it tests positive for the contaminants in tobacco its and open & shut case, No Warranty.
Back to the OP, if a reseller is honoring the Apple warranty as you state, then they are likely eating the case because it's doubtful that Apple is reimbursing them for the repair/parts. From my every day association with the AARP here in Monterrey, I know that Apple is very strict on the AARP's and its reimbursement.
I have had this iMac 27" I was describing earlier, serviced in my home. I live two hours away (~102 mi) from nearest Apple Store, and the machine was/is mission critical. So they had a service tech come and replace components on-site. Wish I had done that THIS time, perhaps could have gotten things done more quickly.
The Genius bar still has the machine and is stress testing before finishing up replacing power supply, logic board and video card.
If I had to recommend service to someone who fears their service will be denied due to environmental contaminants, I would recommend they take the machine to a friendly Apple authorized service location rather than the genius bar.
I am still quite annoyed that I can't see, with my own eyes, the damage they claim I've caused. Like I said, I've asked for photos/and or a detailed narrative, and so far have been denied.