Indignant Smokers

This may be the rantingest rant I’ve ever ranted. So help me, today I HAD HAD ENOUGH AND I DON’T CARE WHO I OFFEND. A warning, I am using expletives.

We live in a townhouse with units on either side of us. The only windows in our place are at the front and the back. The woman on one side smokes, mostly in the front. About a year ago when I had my baby, my husband and I moved our bedroom to the back side of the house to avoid the smoke seeping in at all hours of the day and night. My daughter was still sleeping in our room and I couldn’t have her breathing in that stuff under an open window (which we couldn’t close because it was uncomfortably hot last summer and fans just didn’t cut it). I woke up very early in the morning days later to smell smoke in our room. Alarmed, I stuck my head out the window and saw my neighbour smoking in her backyard. I was irate. We had MOVED OUR ROOM to get away from her smoke.

Pissed off, I wrote a letter. Yes, I took the pussy way out, but I don’t care. Because, you see, smokers should know that their smoke carries much farther than they think. My neighbour should be especially privy to this given that every time she lights up she must hear the SLAM! of our windows sliding shut. So, I didn’t think I owed it to her to talk to her face to face. Plus, I didn’t think I could keep my cool.

I asked her if she could relegate her smoking to the front of the house only. I told her that I had moved our bedroom because of her and that I couldn’t have my infant daughter breathing that in. Surely, she understood. And so I thought she did. She never mentioned it, but to my knowledge she didn’t smoke in the back again.

Until today.

I’m sitting in my living room at the back of the house and I smell the telltale odor. I run over to shut the window. I look outside and see my neighbour, smoking in her backyard. What the hell?

Oh, did I mention that last week we got new neighbours on the OTHER side of us and the man of the house smokes out back, too? So, I can’t open my windows in the front OR the back of my house? In the middle of summer? I’m getting that crap in my house all day every day from all sides? This is BULLSHIT.

My husband is not put out like I am. Like most former or current smokers, my husband either can’t smell it or it doesn’t bother him. Plus, he doesn’t think it’s all that bad to breathe in when it’s so dispersed. After all, people used to smoke around their children all the time, back in the dark ages. I was clearly making a big deal out of absolutely nothing.

So I wrote a letter to both neighbours asking them both to kindly only smoke at the front of the house. I will, with great annoyance, surrender the use of my windows at the front SO LONG AS THE BACK IS FREE AND CLEAR OF THAT DISGUSTING SHIT.

I should NOT have to suck back somebody else’s bad habit in the comfort of my own home. Several people have told me that I’m in the wrong because it’s a smoker’s right to smoke on their property. Well, smart asses, I also have a right NOT to be subjected to smoke. My neighbours are FORCING me to smoke. So whose right supercedes whose? MINE DOES. I wish caps could emphasize just how loudly I’m making this point. You have the right to shoot a gun, too, but not AT me. What about my right not to suffer ill effects from your poor choice?

I understand it’s hard to quit smoking, but that’s not my point here, so don’t comment about how hard done by smokers are, or how terrible it is that they can’t go anywhere. I also don’t dislike smokers. My position is that smokers need to be considerate of the people around them and stop having such an indignant entitlement complex that tells them they have a right to impose noxious fumes on me and my baby daughter.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Indignant Smokers

  1. Shawna

    I COMPLETLY agree!!! You have the RIGHT to fresh cancer free air!!! Someone with a disgusting habit does not have the right to take that from you. I don’t care what people say. Smokers do NOT have the right to smoke where it affects others!!! This includes sidewalks, parks AND Their home!!!! ( especially if it affects neighbours)

  2. I think that having a ‘smoking area’, when people live in close quarters, is reasonable. Totally.

    This might be something worth discussing with the strata. After all, smoking is not just a health risk, which is why they ban it in parks during the hot summer months. If you can keep it contained to an area where butts are not likely to be in contact with flammable materials, it’s in everyone’s best interests.

  3. Tanya

    I’m putting myself in the shoes of the smokers and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask them to smoke on only one side of the house – especially when you already moved your room to get away from the smoke, which I hope you mentioned in your letters. When I was a smoker I was incredibly aware of who my second hand smoke was affecting. If there was a sign that said to stand 30 feet away from doors, I’d stand 40 feet – but that’s just me. If I received the letter I might be a little indignant but would probably comply. Thankfully she’s not smoking in her house as you’d likely smell that seeping through the walls! I hope you are able to get some kind of resolution.

    • It’s good to hear the perspective of a former smoker. I did mention that we’d moved our bedroom, and I never once treated her with disrespect or approached her in rudeness. I feel like I’m a pretty reasonable person and it disappoints me that she was so defensive that she couldn’t see that. So frustrating, and unnecessary.

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