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Advice on living peacefully with heavy smoking neighbours?

By Queen_of_the_Bun - 10 December 2013 24

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?

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Advice on living peacefully with heavy smoking neighbours?
sepi 2:45 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.

Alderney 2:40 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.

MrLinus 2:38 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.

Watson 2:20 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.

Barcham 2:16 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.

Madam Cholet 2:00 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.

A_Cog 1:17 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.

eatthatfrog 1:09 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.

voytek3 1:08 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?”

Blen_Carmichael 11:49 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?

Alderney 11:33 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.

pptvb 11:14 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.

BimboGeek 10:25 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).

Madam Cholet 10:07 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/

OverLord 8:42 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.

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