Advice on living peacefully with heavy smoking neighbours?

By 10 December, 2013 23

I’m a non-smoker living in a low-level apartment complex. I’m on the ground floor and have a fellow non-smoking flatmate. Occasionally we have friends around who smoke outside, which makes it hard to complain about other smokers in the complex.

However, new people moved in upstairs about three months ago – two couples, with a toddler each. All four adults smoke heavily (eg from at least 7pm when I get home from work until midnight, and then again from 6am). That wouldn’t be so bad if they smoked together in the same location. However, the women smoke on their front balcony with the toddlers, while the men smoke out the back. I can’t have any windows and doors open as the smoke funnels straight downstairs.

I have no desire to make the complex non-smoking. I have nothing against social smoking and don’t want to have a society where smokers are confined to their bedrooms under a rug with a cigarette machine and a gun a la Denis Leary’s No Cure For Cancer routine.

Just need some advice on what would be a reasonable proposal to put to the neighbours. EG agreeing that they only smoke on one balcony? And I restrict my bad music choices to one side of the apartment?

Please login to post your comments
23 Responses to Advice on living peacefully with heavy smoking neighbours?
#1
OverLord8:42 am, 10 Dec 13

If they are the kind of people who happily smoke around their own offspring, I don’t envy your chances of convicing them to change their actions. Good luck anyway.

#2
Madam Cholet10:07 am, 10 Dec 13

Obviously this info below is in relation to NSW, but the ACT is starting to catch up to banning smoking in areas where others don’t have much choice. You could raise the issue with your strata managers. There was a case not too long ago where a resident succesfully sued his downstairs neighbour after he got cancer. The courts obviously believed that his neighbours were at least partly to blame. It’s going to be a really big issue in the near future. It seems as if they are ruining your peaceful enjoyment of your lot and causing you a nuisance. You may however have to direct your friends away from the building in future if they want to ruin other peoples enjoyment. Good luck.

http://www.flat-chat.com.au/strata-smokers-face-5500-fines/

#3
BimboGeek10:25 am, 10 Dec 13

How about a dedicated smokers’ corner? If you can get some informal agreement before it goes to a body corp meeting then it should pass easily enough. Even an informal smoking arrangement gives everyone a basis for “polite” smoking without necessarily punishing people whose buddies come over and don’t know the etiquette.

Works pretty well on campus. People still smoke pot in their rooms but at least the majority of combustibles will be in the agreed area (and many people are happy to look the other way if smokers corner is more giggly than usual because at least it’s away from everyone else).

#4
pptvb11:14 am, 10 Dec 13

OverLord said :

If they are the kind of people who happily smoke around their own offspring, I don’t envy your chances of convicing them to change their actions. Good luck anyway.

This.

#5
Alderney11:33 am, 10 Dec 13

There is no such thing as peaceful living with smokers (heavy or otherwise).

This is because smokers are self-centred arse wipes who not only expect you to pick up the tab for their future health care but couldn’t give a toss whether their smoking is impacting on your or anybody else’s enjoyment of your home.

Have a nice word to let them know the impact. Then take it up with the community association. Go to the CA armed with precedents.

If that doesn’t work, buy a smoke machine (one that stinks) and fill their flat with it. Maybe leave metho bottles around so it stinks out theirs. Host farting parties where all you guests stand outside farting. Ban your guests from smoking when they visit you.

The possibilities could be endless.

Just remember, if you’re smelling it you’re smoking it. It’s doing you damage.

#6
Blen_Carmichael11:49 am, 10 Dec 13

Alderney said :

There is no such thing as peaceful living with smokers (heavy or otherwise).

This is because smokers are self-centred arse wipes who not only expect you to pick up the tab for their future health care but couldn’t give a toss whether their smoking is impacting on your or anybody else’s enjoyment of your home.

Have a nice word to let them know the impact. Then take it up with the community association. Go to the CA armed with precedents.

If that doesn’t work, buy a smoke machine (one that stinks) and fill their flat with it. Maybe leave metho bottles around so it stinks out theirs. Host farting parties where all you guests stand outside farting.

But what if this softly softly approach fails?

#7
voytek31:08 pm, 10 Dec 13

The ridiculously petty first world hilarious things that insular Canberra people complain about here always makes me laugh. “oh my god……..cigarettes……and around children too…..this must mean the end of the world?”

#8
eatthatfrog1:09 pm, 10 Dec 13

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’d suggest letting the neighbours know the effect it’s having on you before you go to them with proposals. Because:

1. People are generally self-centred and they may be genuinely be unaware it’s filtering down to your apartment
2. Any proposals for change are better to come from the people themselves, rather than your suggestions
3. You don’t actually have any evidence that they are not reasonable human beings (yet)
4. I and most people I know generally respond to polite interaction rather than something that’s evidence backed. Most places in this earth do not require you to provide a mountain of evidence to back up an opinion.

And if it doesn’t work, then go up the escalation path.

#9
A_Cog1:17 pm, 10 Dec 13

pptvb said :

OverLord said :

If they are the kind of people who happily smoke around their own offspring, I don’t envy your chances of convicing them to change their actions. Good luck anyway.

This.

Yep. This. And that:

Alderney said :

There is no such thing as peaceful living with smokers (heavy or otherwise).

This is because smokers are self-centred arse wipes who not only expect you to pick up the tab for their future health care but couldn’t give a toss whether their smoking is impacting on your or anybody else’s enjoyment of your home.

#10
Madam Cholet2:00 pm, 10 Dec 13

voytek3 said :

The ridiculously petty first world hilarious things that insular Canberra people complain about here always makes me laugh. “oh my god……..cigarettes……and around children too…..this must mean the end of the world?”

Seriously?

I don’t think it’s a Canberra thing. I believe it to be part of most people wising up to the dangers of smoking.

#11
Barcham2:16 pm, 10 Dec 13

Let them know, but be friendly about it.

Smokers put up with a lot of crap about their habit, and are used to being attacked for doing something they perceive they have the right to do. Due to this they may already be on the defensive when you bring up the conversation which won’t help you.

Be super nice about it, what you’re asking doesn’t sound unreasonable.

#12
Watson2:20 pm, 10 Dec 13

Alderney said :

There is no such thing as peaceful living with smokers (heavy or otherwise).

This is because smokers are self-centred arse wipes who not only expect you to pick up the tab for their future health care but couldn’t give a toss whether their smoking is impacting on your or anybody else’s enjoyment of your home.

Have a nice word to let them know the impact. Then take it up with the community association. Go to the CA armed with precedents.

If that doesn’t work, buy a smoke machine (one that stinks) and fill their flat with it. Maybe leave metho bottles around so it stinks out theirs. Host farting parties where all you guests stand outside farting. Ban your guests from smoking when they visit you.

The possibilities could be endless.

Just remember, if you’re smelling it you’re smoking it. It’s doing you damage.

Because judgemental a***holes like you are so much better to live with.

#13
MrLinus2:38 pm, 10 Dec 13

I had a similar situation once. I’d suggest you drop them a note and let them know who you are and how their smoking is affecting you. If you just lob up on their doorstep they might feel a bit confronted and could get a bit defensive making an outcome unlikely. If they chose to come talk to you about it then you could suggest putting a fan out on their balcony. It worked with my neighbors and the smoke dissipated into the atmosphere instead of drifting down to the bottom apartment. Obviously you could let them know that you will also be mindful of them with your music etc.

Chances are they don’t realise that their smoke is bothering you so if you just talk it out with them then it’s more than likely going to be sorted pretty quick.

#14
Alderney2:40 pm, 10 Dec 13

Watson said :

Alderney said :

There is no such thing as peaceful living with smokers (heavy or otherwise).

This is because smokers are self-centred arse wipes who not only expect you to pick up the tab for their future health care but couldn’t give a toss whether their smoking is impacting on your or anybody else’s enjoyment of your home.

Have a nice word to let them know the impact. Then take it up with the community association. Go to the CA armed with precedents.

If that doesn’t work, buy a smoke machine (one that stinks) and fill their flat with it. Maybe leave metho bottles around so it stinks out theirs. Host farting parties where all you guests stand outside farting. Ban your guests from smoking when they visit you.

The possibilities could be endless.

Just remember, if you’re smelling it you’re smoking it. It’s doing you damage.

Because judgemental a***holes like you are so much better to live with.

The whole basis of your retort is, in itself, judgemental. Pot, kettle, black (to paraphrase) comes to mind.

The dangers of passive smoking are fact. Your ignorance to this is astounding. Are you a climate change denier too?

Please pass on my warmest regards to Mr Abbott when you two next speak.

#15
sepi2:45 pm, 10 Dec 13

These people are on their own property, so you are after their goodwill essentially.

I would tell them that the smoke gets into your place through the front, and could they please smoke mainly out the back.

If you just say that you dont’ like to smell it when you re out on your balcony, it comes down to you enjoying your balcony, vs them enjoying theirs.

#16
gungsuperstar3:11 pm, 10 Dec 13

I’ve never, every lived in a city where people are so interested in what other people are doing in their homes, and feel as though it’s their right to scold them for it.

Here’s some advice – mind your own business!

I know your type. “I don’t have a problem with smoking, but… I have a huge problem with these people smoking.”

If it wasn’t their smoking you’d be whinging about foot steps on the roof, or about loud music, or about their guests coming and going at times that don’t suit you.

This insistence on dictating people’s peaceful enjoyment of their own premises is undoubtedly Canberras worst quality.

#17
Ghettosmurf873:25 pm, 10 Dec 13

gungsuperstar said :

I’ve never, every lived in a city where people are so interested in what other people are doing in their homes, and feel as though it’s their right to scold them for it.

Here’s some advice – mind your own business!

I know your type. “I don’t have a problem with smoking, but… I have a huge problem with these people smoking.”

If it wasn’t their smoking you’d be whinging about foot steps on the roof, or about loud music, or about their guests coming and going at times that don’t suit you.

This insistence on dictating people’s peaceful enjoyment of their own premises is undoubtedly Canberras worst quality.

It’s not “peaceful” enjoyment if it is effecting the below residents ability to enjoy their own premises. QotB seems to be being very reasonable in that she doesn’t want to stop them from smoking, she just wants to see if there is a way to minimise the effect that the smoking has on her while in her own residence.

You can’t just stink out someone elses premises and then tell them to lump it. That’s what leads to retaliation and stupid situations like Alderney’s idiot ideas where people try and give the other resident a taste of their own medicine.

Good on her for seeking some advice on approaching this in a mature way so that both parties can enjoy their premises. Seeking a compromise is a very reasonable thing to do.

#18
Watson3:29 pm, 10 Dec 13

Alderney said :

Watson said :

Alderney said :

There is no such thing as peaceful living with smokers (heavy or otherwise).

This is because smokers are self-centred arse wipes who not only expect you to pick up the tab for their future health care but couldn’t give a toss whether their smoking is impacting on your or anybody else’s enjoyment of your home.

Have a nice word to let them know the impact. Then take it up with the community association. Go to the CA armed with precedents.

If that doesn’t work, buy a smoke machine (one that stinks) and fill their flat with it. Maybe leave metho bottles around so it stinks out theirs. Host farting parties where all you guests stand outside farting. Ban your guests from smoking when they visit you.

The possibilities could be endless.

Just remember, if you’re smelling it you’re smoking it. It’s doing you damage.

Because judgemental a***holes like you are so much better to live with.

The whole basis of your retort is, in itself, judgemental. Pot, kettle, black (to paraphrase) comes to mind.

The dangers of passive smoking are fact. Your ignorance to this is astounding. Are you a climate change denier too?

Please pass on my warmest regards to Mr Abbott when you two next speak.

Because I don’t believe that people will drop dead from a waft of smoke on the balcony any sooner than if they only breath purified air smelling of roses I must be a climate denier AND an Abbott supporter. Quoting logic like that does not make me more likely to believe something because you say it is fact.

The effects of passive smoking are highly exaggerated but by the time that was formally proven by scientific research, politicians and health experts had gone too far in whipping up the hate for smokers to admit that they’d been wrong.

The studies are there. Spouses of chain smokers who smoke indoors inhale the equivalent of the smoke of 6 cigarettes a year for example. They got similar results in a study on planes where smoking was allowed. The increased risk of cardiovascular disease is negligible and they have never been able to prove a link between passive smoking and increased lung cancer risk in the first place.

Politicians and scientists do no like admitting they are wrong, especially if they were the drivers behind policies that then turn out to have no beneficial effect on anyone. I don’t expect someone like you to either. Because you get your believes from the mainstream media that twists facts any way they want to, you must surely have voted for Tony Abbott.

If you don’t like the smell of smoke coming in through your windows, explain this to your neighbours in a civil manner. But there is no reason to get hysterical about it (which the OP didn’t).

#19
Madam Cholet5:18 pm, 10 Dec 13

Watson may be a smoker. But more interesting are the statements regarding her naysaying of the effects of passive smoking. Regardless of what governments may be saying, the cancer council says exactly the same. I’m not sure I’d doubt them. And the OP is experiencing more than a waft of smoke.

#20
Queen_of_the_Bun7:28 pm, 10 Dec 13

gungsuperstar said :

I’ve never, every lived in a city where people are so interested in what other people are doing in their homes, and feel as though it’s their right to scold them for it.

Here’s some advice – mind your own business!

I know your type. “I don’t have a problem with smoking, but… I have a huge problem with these people smoking.”

If it wasn’t their smoking you’d be whinging about foot steps on the roof, or about loud music, or about their guests coming and going at times that don’t suit you.

This insistence on dictating people’s peaceful enjoyment of their own premises is undoubtedly Canberras worst quality.

They don’t play loud music or have people coming and going at all hours. The kids do have a kind of annoying game which seems to involve bouncing a ball on the lounge room floor, but as that stops by 8pm, it’s not an issue.

I much prefer them to the extremely noise-sensitive woman who lived there before them, who once left a message on my mobile phone telling me she was calling the police because my music was too loud. At the time there was no-one else living with me and I was in Melbourne, so I appreciated her calling the cops. She had my mobile number so that she could ring me whenever she heard the water hammer that no-one else could hear, so that I could tell her what tap/toilet/appliance had just been used. We never did get to the bottom of that hammer.

This is not a Canberra thing. http://www.news.com.au/national/sydney-unit-block-becomes-first-in-australia-to-ban-residents-from-smoking/story-e6frfkvr-1226032417426

I don’t want to go to this extreme.

Thanks to everyone for the positive suggestions. And maybe they are Rioters, because there’s no smoking so far tonight!

#21
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:55 pm, 10 Dec 13

voytek3 said :

The ridiculously petty first world hilarious things that insular Canberra people complain about here always makes me laugh. “oh my god……..cigarettes……and around children too…..this must mean the end of the world?”

Same could be said for retards complaining about peeps driving the speed limit in the right hand lane, right?

#22
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:58 pm, 10 Dec 13

gungsuperstar said :

I’ve never, every lived in a city where people are so interested in what other people are doing in their homes, and feel as though it’s their right to scold them for it.

Here’s some advice – mind your own business!

I know your type. “I don’t have a problem with smoking, but… I have a huge problem with these people smoking.”

If it wasn’t their smoking you’d be whinging about foot steps on the roof, or about loud music, or about their guests coming and going at times that don’t suit you.

This insistence on dictating people’s peaceful enjoyment of their own premises is undoubtedly Canberras worst quality.

Self entitled moron, huh?

As had been already mentioned, if you can smell it, then you are breathing it.

#23
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd10:00 pm, 10 Dec 13

Watson said :

Alderney said :

Watson said :

Alderney said :

There is no such thing as peaceful living with smokers (heavy or otherwise).

This is because smokers are self-centred arse wipes who not only expect you to pick up the tab for their future health care but couldn’t give a toss whether their smoking is impacting on your or anybody else’s enjoyment of your home.

Have a nice word to let them know the impact. Then take it up with the community association. Go to the CA armed with precedents.

If that doesn’t work, buy a smoke machine (one that stinks) and fill their flat with it. Maybe leave metho bottles around so it stinks out theirs. Host farting parties where all you guests stand outside farting. Ban your guests from smoking when they visit you.

The possibilities could be endless.

Just remember, if you’re smelling it you’re smoking it. It’s doing you damage.

Because judgemental a***holes like you are so much better to live with.

The whole basis of your retort is, in itself, judgemental. Pot, kettle, black (to paraphrase) comes to mind.

The dangers of passive smoking are fact. Your ignorance to this is astounding. Are you a climate change denier too?

Please pass on my warmest regards to Mr Abbott when you two next speak.

Because I don’t believe that people will drop dead from a waft of smoke on the balcony any sooner than if they only breath purified air smelling of roses I must be a climate denier AND an Abbott supporter. Quoting logic like that does not make me more likely to believe something because you say it is fact.

The effects of passive smoking are highly exaggerated but by the time that was formally proven by scientific research, politicians and health experts had gone too far in whipping up the hate for smokers to admit that they’d been wrong.

The studies are there. Spouses of chain smokers who smoke indoors inhale the equivalent of the smoke of 6 cigarettes a year for example. They got similar results in a study on planes where smoking was allowed. The increased risk of cardiovascular disease is negligible and they have never been able to prove a link between passive smoking and increased lung cancer risk in the first place.

Politicians and scientists do no like admitting they are wrong, especially if they were the drivers behind policies that then turn out to have no beneficial effect on anyone. I don’t expect someone like you to either. Because you get your believes from the mainstream media that twists facts any way they want to, you must surely have voted for Tony Abbott.

If you don’t like the smell of smoke coming in through your windows, explain this to your neighbours in a civil manner. But there is no reason to get hysterical about it (which the OP didn’t).

You have a source for any of that?

Advertisement
GET PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP
Advertisement

Halloween in Australia?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

IMAGES OF CANBERRA

Advertisement
Sponsors
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.