npr edvertisers
visitors movie times

Santa Barbara Weather: 72.1°F | Humidity: 25% | Pressure: 29.97in (Rising) | Conditions: Clear | Wind Direction: ESE | Wind Speed: 3.6mph [see map]

Free Newsletter
  login You create the news! Send items of interest to ed@edhat.com
    17871 Subscribers
      544 Paid (3.0%)
     89 Commenters
     272418 Page Views

Buy Edhat Shirts
Buy Edhat Shirts
Buy Edhat Bags
Buy Edhat Bags
Advertise on Edhat
Advertise on Edhat
Buy Edhat Hats
Buy Edhat Hats
News Events Referrals Deals Classifieds Comments About

more articles like this

Stop Smoking, Please
updated: Mar 04, 2014, 4:45 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

For the edhat community - what is the appropriateness of asking a neighbor to stop smoking near my door (I have a kid).... Would LOVE to get feedback.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 499908 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 04:52 PM

Totally appropriate to ask nicely. Maybe she has no idea her smoke is bothering you.


 COMMENT 499910 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 04:58 PM

A polite conversation should do the trick. You could even say your kid has asthma or something and the smoke triggers it. They would have to be pretty heartless to still smoke near your door after that.


 COMMENT 499913 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:01 PM

Here's advice from a 30+ year smoker who just quit....we smokers can't smell anything. We may try to be contentious about our smoke but the fact is that we do not really understand how little smoke it takes to be a bother to non-smokers.

This person who is smoking right next to your door either is continuous and has no idea about how the smoke is affecting you or doesn't care about you and your kid.

Suppose it's the former. Then your neighbor will welcome the feedback, assuming your approach is straight forward and neighborly.

If it's the latter, then you need to go into family defense mode and threaten your neighbor. If you are a single woman, get a man friend to be with you when you confront the neighbor.


 COMMENT 499917 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:15 PM

Certainly appropriate to ask nicely.


 COMMENT 499918P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:16 PM

Absolutely. Be nice but be firm and ask them to smoke elsewhere. Your health and especially your kid's are at stake, so don't let a smoker put your family at risk. Research pours out about the dangers of second-hand tobacco smoke; none about its innocuousness. Then assuming you're renting and the neighbor doesn't cooperate by respecting your right not to breathe their poisons, let the manager/owner know about. Responsible multi-unit complexes are rapidly becoming non-smoking properties; those that aren't will soon have to face serious liability.


 COMMENT 499919 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:19 PM

Wishing you good luck.


 COMMENT 499921 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:22 PM

Since you're asking for consideration it may be wise to give some too.

Commiserate with them about the inconvenience it must be for them to be asked constantly to go somewhere else to smoke. And then let them know that even with the door closed smoke gets into your apt and that you worry about the health effects it might have on your kid, never mind the smell. Don't think of it as a confrontation as much as rapport building.

Good luck.


 COMMENT 499922 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:23 PM

Just go have a nice bbq with your family in the backyard. I wouldn't worry to much until the government stops allowing States to sell them. That's when you should be worried. A smoker should respect your rights. And you should likewise respect theirs. Every park etc you put off limits to them you should allow a park etc. for them to smoke at.


 COMMENT 499923 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:26 PM

You get more harmful stuff driving on the freeway. Shut your window/ front door.


 COMMENT 499926 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:31 PM

Don't listen to 923. It's bothering you and might be a health risk. Do as the other non-923 commenters have said. Especially the thoughtful comments of 913 (and congrats for quitting, 913!).


 COMMENT 499935 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:46 PM

Both of my parents smoked in the house and I'm 54. Chances are something else will do more harm to your kid.

Andy Kaufman died of lung cancer and he never smoked and was a vegetarian.


 COMMENT 499937 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:48 PM

Is it an apartment or house. How far should they walk away? With a slight breeze in your direction it may not help much. Good luck but beware, smokers in cali cant catch a break.


 COMMENT 499938 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:49 PM

All us smokers that aren't totally brain dead know we are not welcome many places. Simply asking nicely (with me , anyway) should work. If not, well ,Good luck.


 COMMENT 499939 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:50 PM

I'm a smoker and love to smoke on my front porch. If I found out it was bothering my neighbors, especially their kid, I would immediately find another suitable spot.

Just be polite and you shouldn't have any problem.


 COMMENT 499940 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:51 PM

Depending on what area of SB you live, for example in the county or downtown SB, then the regs may protect you against secondhand smoke drift. Good luck. Perhaps speak with the property management company or owner and get their support first - they may be willing to support your cause by deeming no smoking on the premises.


 COMMENT 499941 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 05:56 PM

As a former smoker, I agree with the others: just be polite and ask them to move. Don't even go the "regulations" route until you've tried the polite thing first as it comes off as being really on the offense and like you're expecting problems. When I did smoke, I also tried to be super conscientious and if someone said something politely (as opposed to the glares, lectures about health, or comments within my hearing) I was usually mortified and quickly tried to rectify the situation.


 COMMENT 499943 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 06:07 PM

First of all, don't lead with the "my kids health" blah blah.

I'm sure you kid's also suckin' down a coke, sleeping on a mattress, eating TV dinners from the microwave and finding 80 other thousand ways to suck down randomly not approved chemicals.

Get to know the person. It make take some time. Then, when they light up with you or after you've gotten familiar, just ask.

What the 30+ year smoker said is true. But mostly, people look out for their own interests and bias' first and not yours.


 COMMENT 499946 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 06:13 PM

Wasn't that a song?

"Who can it be
smoking at my door,
Go away,
Can't take it anymore."


 COMMENT 499948 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 06:18 PM

Why not take the dramatic approach? If you smell something burning, immediatley call 911 and report it, then run out of the building screaming "fire, fire, fire!" If the smoker doesn't figure out what not to do after a week or two of this scenario playing out just use a fire extinguisher.


 COMMENT 499949 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 06:22 PM

Because then you're abusing public resources and also being an enormous jerk???


 COMMENT 499950 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 06:30 PM

943: What? You're sure their kids are sucking down a Coke and eating microwaved TV dinners?? How the heck to you get the nerve to say such a thing, and belittle this parent's concern for their child's health? At the risk of being deleted, i would respectfully suggest that you STFU (Stop Theories that Forego Understanding).


 COMMENT 499954 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 06:37 PM

948 That is a felony. Great suggestion...


 COMMENT 499958 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 06:54 PM

hate smokers their yellow teeth,stained fingers,odors,butts,ashtrays,fire hazzards,and smoke. however i kind of agree with 955 butt i would not hesitate to say something they have allready proved they dont giv a about you.


 COMMENT 499963 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 07:43 PM

955 is right on! The e-cig bans prove it's all about controlling others' behavior not the actual product (tobacco).


 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 08:16 PM

Gotta agree with 955. It seems in spite of all smokers do to be considerate, folks just seem to want to punish them and literally leave them no place to enjoy their pleasures.


 COMMENT 499981 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 08:37 PM

Are they picking up their butts while they are at it?


 COMMENT 499989P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 10:02 PM

gaack! thought that was "at", 981, not "up"!


 COMMENT 499991P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-04 10:26 PM

Most smokers (like most people) respond well to polite requests, especially when reasons are given.

(My brothers smoke. They are always stunned when I tell them I can smell it in their homes or their cars, as they make an effort to smoke only outside. A friend of one brother, who is also a smoker, smells like an ashtray 100% of the time, even when he hasn't had anything to smoke that day. The smell sticks to clothes, walls, furniture...)


 COMMENT 499994 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 06:17 AM

Who says it is a female smoker? Ask the smoker politely to please move on, adding the smoke triggers your allergies.

However - only if you are considerably bigger than the smoker!


 COMMENT 499995 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 06:32 AM

We had a similar issue with neighbors who'd light a BBQ with lighter fluid near our back door. We discussed it with them and they nicely moved their BBQ away, and have been doing so ever since.


 COMMENT 500006 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 06:56 AM

Is there some place to dispose of the butts? I'd suggest making something available in the area, but far enough from your door. As a former smoker I can appreciate what a hard addiction it is to quit. But dirty smokers are a pain. Kindness and understanding will get you further. It is still lega,l unfortunately


 COMMENT 500013 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 07:38 AM

I had a similar issue with a neighbor who bbq'd daily, had kerosene tiki torches, and a fire pit 10 ft away from my windows. When I talked to him about the issue, it turned into a major confrontation and ended up in court. He finally was slapped with a restraining order and moved soon after. Then rejoined the army and went to Iraq.

Maybe I am not the most diplomatic guy, but people sometimes get really mad about not being able to create fire at will.


 COMMENT 500023 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 08:17 AM

Take a long term view of your goal. A polite approach has a reasonable chance of success. A threat has a very low chance of success.


 COMMENT 500024 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 08:18 AM

AUNTIE S.... it doesn't sound like anyone is trying to force the neighbour to give up his/her pleasures, only take them a little further down the way so it does not cause undue displeasure to the OP in his/her home.

If it was your neighbor who's got a thing for fixing up his house starting in the wee hours every weekend. Does his pleasure for remodeling override your pleasure for peace and quiet on a saturday/sunday morning or vice versa? This goes a bit deeper than simplistic political labels.


 COMMENT 500025P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 08:19 AM

500007 - Oh, please. That was true in 95% of cases. Where it was not true, was with people who has signed up for junk insurance offered by insurance companies, and those policies would not have covered much.

Instead the 3-5% could sign up for better policies, where they were free to choose what level of coverage they wanted, where they were free from worry if a family had a pre-existing condition, free to keep kids on a family policy until they are 26. But most of all free from sudden, unexpected huge costs that could bankrupt them - where most personal bankcrupticies before ACA were because of medical costs. It also frees up emergency rooms, that were being used to treat the uninsured adding increases to premiums of those that did pay.
Imagine that, the richest country in the world having to pay more for medical care by those who could afford it, but 40 million could not afford it - that is not freedom in my book.

I am so tired of the facile, childish false equivalencies and nonsense about something that was designed to help Americans and also the economy. If medical costs were allowed to continue as they were, it would have had serious consequences for the economy


 COMMENT 500050 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 09:15 AM

Really depends on what kind of individual you're dealing with. Rational minded people when spoken to with respect and kindness will most likely oblige. It's the irrational person (generally with mental health issues) that no amount of reason or kindness will persuade and must be confronted with differently.


 COMMENT 500068 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 09:49 AM

Funny how smokers stick butts in their own faces.


 COMMENT 500089 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 10:50 AM

25 ft is considered the reasonable distance to prevent smoke from entering an open window, vent, or door based on Washington data. But I can't find any CA regulations about this for residences. Local jurisdictions can ban smoking in multi-family units, and also in their common areas. Carpenteria has this kind of ban but not SB.

Individual apt owners can also enforce this ban if they want.

So you can more to Carpenteria or find a non-smoking apt complex.


 COMMENT 500091 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 10:54 AM

I also have a situation where I am forced to breath my neighbor's cigarette smoke. I'll skip the details for the sake of brevity. I found some ideas at: smokefreeapartments.org/
In addition to first and second hand smoke there is also third hand smoke, which is the filth left on smokers and their environment. Those chemicals contaminate others who come in contact with them as well. Imagine for a moment, handing a newborn over to a heavy smoker and you'll get the picture.
*Electronic cigarettes are inhaled-exhaled tobacco products and are not benign.* I agree with those who tell you to be polite and direct about the issue. That's worked best for me. Education is sorely needed on this topic. There's no point in rationalizing how other things that children do might hurt them so "who cares" about the smoke. It's damaging long term and the results show up decades later.


 COMMENT 500098 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 11:02 AM

Being polite goes a long way. :)
This has happened to me and when I informed my neighbors that I could smell the smoke and it was going into my child's window they were super apologetic and told me thank you for telling them. I hope you have the same experience.


 COMMENT 500100 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 11:04 AM

To 499923:

Secondhand smoke drifts in through light fixtures, electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures, walls, ceiling crawl spaces, shared ventilation systems, and from balconies and patios through doorways and windows.
It is known to cause cancer.


 COMMENT 500107 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 11:14 AM

Tell them it conserns & bothers you and ask if they could smoke somewhere else, that it stinks up your house coming in the door, if they don't then talk to the landlord if renters. Do anything you can to make it uncomfortable to smoke near you if they don't have consideration for you. If there's more conflict that's created and they get worse behavior then maybe it's time for an interim beat coordinator unfortunatly. Take their butts and throw them on their front porch. Copy the article and responses here and put on the door.


 COMMENT 500114 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 11:27 AM

go to your neighbor with the peace offering. you can purchase disposable e cigarettes for 5 bucks. They have the nicotine that the cigarette smoker needs and craves but they don't have the tar and they don't create smoke that smells. I have several friends that come over to my house that smoke and they have to go out into the street by the mailbox. I have given each of them in EC garette now they can sit right outside my back door and smoke and it doesn't bother me and they get there nicotine fix.its a gosh darn win win situation!


 COMMENT 500143 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 12:27 PM

If they are smoking on your property, then you can say something. If they are smoking on their property, then you have no right to demand they do or not do anything on their property however, you could ask and I'm sure they will do what they can but they have rights too.


 COMMENT 500150P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 12:39 PM

Carcinogenic second-hand smoke does not respect property lines. Don't be intimidated by the lame "smokers' rights" canards or accept that your family must be victimized by a nicotine addict's huffing and puffing. Of course try being nice and hope the smoker isn't also mentally ill; but in any case, get the second-hand smoke away from your kid. You willing to gamble your kid's future health on a known risk? It's their smoke invading your space, not the reverse.


 COMMENT 500163 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 12:55 PM


That's not proof, it's an example of extreme motivated reasoning -- believing what one wants to believe and seizing on anything at all in support of it.


liberal is a synonym for "good". The opposite of liberal is bad, evil, sociopathic, bigoted, ignorant, and dishonest. To quote JFK, If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."


 COMMENT 500187 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 02:06 PM

sue them


 COMMENT 500191 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 02:25 PM

You have an egocentric neighbor. Good luck.


 COMMENT 500197 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 02:39 PM

It's amazing that people still smoke cigarettes - especially in the case of people who start the habit in an age where the facts about (the lethal effects) of tobacco smoke are out there, after so many years of suppression by the tobacco companies and the media.


 COMMENT 500200 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 02:51 PM

Get a hose and squirt the area and cigs.


 COMMENT 500274P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-05 05:54 PM

Just mention casually that it's making you cough while you're cleaning your gun collection and you'd appreciate them moving.


14% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


*** 5 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.



Comments on this thread are only open to Community Members.

# # # #

Add Your Comments

Edhat Username



Don't have an Account?

Don't know if you have an account?

Don't remember your account info?


ENJOY HAPPY HOUR! ... Between 4:00pm & 5:00pm only happy comment are allowed on the Edhat Comments Board.

If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all.

Hide Your Handle, but show paid status (paid subscribers only)
NEW - use verified name and picture (contact ed@edhat.com to be verified)
Find out About Becoming A Paid Subscriber
NOTE: We are testing a new Comment Preview Page. You must hit OK on the next page to have your comment go live. Send Feedback to ed@edhat.com.

get a handle   |  lost handle




  See more articles like this

# # # #


Send To a Friend
Your Email
Friend's Email

Top of Page | Old News Archives | Printer-Friendly Page

  Home Subscribe FAQ Jobs Contact copyright © 2003-2015  
Edhat, Inc.