Is there any way to protect against secondhand smoke?

My dad died of cancer. I don’t know if that was due to secondhand smoke. I haven’t died. I often get nasty asthma attacks though,and have struggled with chronic asthma due to repeated low-lervel exposure.

Someone was smoking outside the apartment door. I have a cotton breath mask, but didn’t bring it outside today. I have three air filters, but they aren’t always enough.


I’m sorry.

How close were the smokers to your door? Was it in a common area inside the building or was it outside? Is it possible to ask them to not smoke right in front of your door, because it inflames your asthma?


About 5 paces away, open walkway, no wind today.


Get one of those draft blockers for the bottom of your door. You can even make one really easily for almost no cost at all.


What @chgoliz said… also, if you can, maybe ask them to move away from your door. That’s pretty close. Maybe put a sign on your front door asking others not to smoke outside of your place?


Most smokers try to be courteous and conscientious about that, after having been so marginalized and banned from so many places. Chances are they think that they’re being polite and that 5 yards away without a wind blowing toward the doorway is plenty, but they’re not thinking of athsma or other sensitivities.

I’d suggest asking them, but when you do mention that you can see that they’re trying to be polite, smoking outside and away from the door, and you appreciate that, but with athsma even a little can set it off. Depending on your setup, try asking them nicely to go out the back door instead of the front, or around to the side of the building or something. Make it clear that you’re not demanding that they leave the property (hike a mile through the wilderness in inclement weather) or anything, just find a spot farther from the door.

I say this as a smoker with a neighbor who is more sensitive to smoke than most. We thought we were doing the right thing by being outside and away from the door. But since we found out that it was still close enough to bother her, I stay on the far side of the building or walk a little ways away from it. During bad weather, we go out a different door (that she never uses) on a different side of the building.


A relative of mine stopped smoking 30 years ago and now even a slight whiff makes him feel ill. He had trouble at work because two smokers were courteously going outside to smoke… and standing right under the air vent that went straight to his office.

Once he pointed out to them their strategy was backfiring, they were happy to move.

I had a similar issue with my next-door neighbour (thankfully she seems to have quit before I felt I had to say anything). The nasty thing about cigarette smoke is that it spreads everywhere (well, it’s smoke) and it really reeks. It’s like smokers need to be both courteous and meterologists.


I caught a whiff of it, no one around, earlier today. I’m thinking of making a sign for the door saying “Allergic to tobacco smoke.”

P.S. Known about this for some time, but tobacco’s effects can be disturbing:

1 Like