No Smoking Allowed or Allowed?

khandiJuly 23, 2008

Do you allow company to smoke in your home, if you don't smoke yourself?

I know people who smoke but not in their own house.

This pass weekend, a neighbour had a lot of family from out of town visit for the weekend. A big argument broke out with the host and his sister (out of towner) because she smoked in his house.

His words were... I told you that I just painted and didn't want anybody smoking in my house. You don't even smoke in your own house but you do in mine! Is my house not good enough for you? Why would you disrespect me like that?

My parents have a sign that says no smoking when you come in their house. One of my mother's friends comes in and lights up right away and starts looking for an ashtray! My mother tells her that she doesn't have one cuz nobody smokes here. Her friend just continues to smoke and flicks her cigarette into the kitchen sink. Now, isn't that rude?!

If you don't allow smoking in your home and someone lights up, what do you do?

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Twenty years ago I would have given a different answer, but nowadays I would probably ask that they take it outside.

It fact, all my friends and relatives that smoke just know to do that without even asking. Now if there were a strange circumstance and someone felt the need to have to smoke inside, I would probably allow it in the corner of my kitchen where there are a lot of windows that I could open up and it sort of sits away form the rest of the house. I don't think one cigarette is going to kill my house, but I do thing nowadys it's common courtesy to go outside if your smoke unless you see "used" ashtrays.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:09AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Under no circumstances would anyone be allowed to smoke in my home. I have several family members who smoke and I would not hesitate to invite them outside, if they asked if they could light up in the house (which they would never do). Ever!

khandi, your mother's friend needs to be told that the ashtrays are outside.

I honestly haven't had anyone light up inside my home for years! Even my smoking friends and family smoke outside their own homes! But, if someone did begin smoking, I'd quickly jump up and remind them that there are empty flower pots filled with sand outside. Gosh, it's hard to image anyone so rude these days.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:27AM
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I don't know anyone who smokes any more....seriously...I don't know anyone who does.
And in Iowa, as of a couple of weeks ago, it's against the law to smoke in a public place. All bars and restraunts are smoke free...all malls, stadiums parks etc. About the only place you can smoke is a casino.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 1:21PM
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If you don't want smoking in your house, forbid it. Period. Can be handled quite politely. However, refusal by the smoker of such a simple request would result in immediate change in the nature of our interaction -- on the spot.

From your description, I think the host could have handled it better. Typically a polite request brings instant compliance. I can only assume there is either more to the story or this smoking-guest was unusually oblivious. Among my friends, I have a number of smokers but all of them are quite conscientious about such expected courtesies. Nobody with a brain lights up in another's home without asking -- and complying if the request is refused!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:01PM
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Under no circumstances would anyone be allowed to smoke in my home.

I don't know anyone who smokes any more....seriously...I don't know anyone who does.

Long ago, when I did know people who smoked, I asked them to smoke outside and provided them with recepticals for their ashes & butts. Inevitably, I'd still find butts littered on the patio. YUCK!

Several years ago I got friendly with a fellow cub scout mom and was thinking of inviting her over but then found out she smoked. That nixed that. At this point, I would not knowingly invite anyone into my home who smokes. Fortunately none of my relatives smoke. But I'm so totally disgusted by the smell of it and the nastiness in general of cigarettes, no way NO WAY would I allow someone to smoke in my house. And if they did want to smoke, in addition to sending them out to the back yard, I'd never invite them over again.

People who smoke smell like smoke. So even if they go outside, they come back in with the smell on their clothes and I'd be able to smell it long after they leave.

Sorry if I've offended any smokers out there but that's the reality of it. And like Iowa, Houston has smoking ordinances that prohibit smoking in most indoor places including restaurants, bars, sports arenas, etc. Most or all companies/office buildings prohibit smoking as well.

I think your neighbor's mistake was getting angry and argumentative over it. He should have simply asked her to go outside and firmly requested that she not light up in his house. No need to go into the personal issues, but since they are siblings, there might very well be deeper issues that got tangled in.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:17PM
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Gosh, lowspark,

I have a very good friend and two close relatives that smoke. I consider it an addiction. They are all very good about going outside; I would never consider not inviting them to my house because they smoke. Granted, I don't like the smell either but Aunt Mildred's perfume can send me into an asthma attack, and Uncle Ned's bad breath can spoil my appetite, but I still allow them.

People have vices; some are more noticeable than others. I think there's a lot worse things people do than smoking especially if they agree to go outside. I think you're being way too judgemental on axing everyone that smokes from being your friend, or it sounds like, even associating with them... probably your loss. The people I know that smoke are probably some of the kindest people I know.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 2:53PM
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A friend of mine did this years ago at my home, we had just spent plenty of time and money finishing our lower level. She clogged the toilet trying to flush her butt down. I don't know why it clogged, but I was not happy, and told her very politely to please smoke right outside the walkout door. I even put a bowl out there for her to use since we don't own an ashtray.

I don't like smoking and am a former smoker (quit 12 years ago). I dislike the smell, and hate the habit because my father and grandmother both have emphysema. I wouldn't not allow someone in my life because they have this addiction, but I wouldn't allow it in my home.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 12:24AM
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I do smoke but not in my house. My DH installed a couple of exhaust fans in our bar and when people are over that smoke I allow them to smoke in the bar.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 1:38PM
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The thing is, right now I don't have any friends or relatives who smoke. And I guess you may find it prejudicial but I'd like to keep it that way. It may very well be my loss but I'm ok with that. I see it just as I see any other personality trait. Someone may be the kindest person but if they have a habit which I find to be extremely annoying (and that's how I see smoking) then why would I want to spend time with them?

Clearly we all choose our friends based on SOME set of criteria. If someone is always late for example, or someone who spits when they talk, or someone who always talks about their children and nothing else, etc., we may choose not to pursue that friendship. These very people may be the epitome of kindness, but kindness alone does not make enough of a basis for friendship.

Everyone's criteria will differ. Mine happens to exclude smokers. I don't think it's any more judgemental than any other criteria that any of us have for deciding who we want to be friends with.

There's no question that there are those who do not wish to pursue a friendship with me based on their own criteria. And that's a-ok with me! I have lots of friends and am fairly good at making new ones so I don't need to be friends with everyone I meet - no one does.

I will state that if I did have relatives or old friends who smoked I would be tolerant and work around it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:42PM
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Everyone seems just to go outside without discussion. there aren't many cigarette smokers, but a few cigars. I never see anyone light up indoors, even in their own homes.

But I agree with the other posters that the host in the original post was rude, and needlessly so, to his guest. He didn't have to turn it into a battle over respect.

So to answer the OP's question: I would say, as gently as possible - because you don't ever want to embarrass a guest - "Oh, I'm so sorry, I'm afraid we don't have smoking in the house. Here, let's bring an ashtray out to the porch and sit there for a bit." (I can simply sit upwind, and I can provide a saucer for an ashtray.)

I would NOT lecture my guest about smoking or disrespect.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 12:33AM
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I see lowsparks point even if someone smokes outside or not that often they still smell like smoke it's worse when they try to cover it with perfume. The smell lingers after they leave- yuck- not only do I not want them in my house, I don't want them in my car and I don't want to go to their house or in their car so it does limit a friendship.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:28AM
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We entertain quite a bit, and everyone asks if they should smoke outside. I say yes, and that's it. If someone was rude enough to just light up in my home without asking, they would be sent outside immediately. But that has never happened, nor do I expect it to happen. The few smokers we know are very courteous about it.

A friend of mine had a couch burning party once. You'd be surprised how quickly your average sofa is reduced to a pile of springs and ashes. It's fast enough to ban smoking in your home!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 6:22PM
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Like several of the other posters, I do not know a single person who smokes. I think it is considered very poor etiquette to smoke in someone's home. I'm surprised that this is even being discussed!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:18PM
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****One of my mother's friends comes in and lights up right away and starts looking for an ashtray!****

Friend?? Doesn't seem like she's much of a friend.

I have a couple of family members who smoke and one friend. We are fortunate that we have a 25 ft. long covered and screened patio area and at the very end there is a table & charis with an ashtray for those who need to take a smoke brake.

I can't imagine anyone being rude enough to light up when they know there's a no smoking inside policy. Oh wait.....actually I can.

After the birth of my son we lived up north and had these bizarre storm windows that didn't allow us to be able to open the windows in the winter. I posted a "no smoking please" sign on the front door because at that time (25 yrs. ago) we had lots of friends who smoked and I knew would be coming to see the baby. My father-in-law was a heavy smoker and my husband (now EX) couldn't say no to him so the two of them went into the dining room and both lit up. I went through to get something for the baby and was pretty surprised/angry but I simply said "listen BOYS, you either put those out right now or take them outside" and kept walking.......... I heard something mumbled in the distance about seeing who wears the pants in the family....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 11:31AM
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