To complian about neighbours smoking cigarettes and smoke going into my house!

(50 Posts)
LumpishAndIllogical Sat 28-May-16 12:01:04

So my neighbours smoke cigarettes ALOT. Me, DP and DS live in a terraced house on the end of a row. My neighbours are right next door and we all have a little terrace out the back. Big enough to sit/have a BBQ.

However my neighbour's smoke on their terrace and with the back door open. The smoke drifts into my living room, even with my patio doors closed. I am also 38 weeks pregnant and my 5 year old DS also said it's hurting his throat. The smell is horrible and I worry if there is a passive smoking risk?

So I don't know what to do?

I am not on good terms with my neighbours as a few weeks ago they decided to have a lot of people at their house with music from 2am to 8am (not the first time but haven't done it in a while), I politely asked them to turn it down (honestly very polite) where they told me to 'go fuck myself'. I felt very upset by it (probably not helped by pregnant state). So I told the council who had a an informal meeting with them regarding anti social behaviour. Note: They rent the property privately but it's an estate managed by council as it's a mix of council tenancies, privately owned and rented.

So AIBU to complain to council? Is there a genuine health risk?

wheresthel1ght Sat 28-May-16 12:11:02

Not sure there is a lot you can do about it to be honest. They are on their own property and honestly they cannot control which way the wind is blowing.

I totally get it is unpleasant for you but in reality they aren't doing anything wrong. Sorry

Teresalosingtheirleaves Sat 28-May-16 12:34:20

It's annoying but I can't see what you expect them to do. What would you suggest as an alternative? Yanbu to be annoyed, cigarettes smell disgusting so yanb to want them to refrain. fuck off some else

Aliasnumberone Sat 28-May-16 12:43:35

Oh god I feel your pain, I'm so sorry it's awful! We're in a row of terraces. We have a little paved area at the from of our houses with a low wall and gates. Pur next door neighbours smoke ALL THE TIME at their front door sitting on the step. Sometimes there's five of them sitting on the step and the wall and leaning against the gate. The smell is terrible. If anyone opens out front door while they're out their it wafts up the hall and stinks. When I was pregnant we paid to get new double glazing in the try to cut the smell down as before even with the windows all closed I could tell when they were smoking from the kitchen in our house as the smoke just seemed to seep in. I have no advice I'm afraid. We dithered with trying to raise it with them but they have no where else to smoke if they don't want to smoke indoors ( they look after their grandkids sometimes so I get why they smoke 'outside' albeit with their front door lying open)
We decided it wasn't worth the upset. Only problem is though I'm now worried that my children will see smoking as something everyday and normal, and also we'll be selling our house soon to move and I genuinely think it could put prospective buyers off if there's a large group of heavy smoking unhealthy looking people hanging around the front door (the dad also sunbathes in a kitchen chair with no t shirt on in nice weather drinking beer...)

LumpishAndIllogical Sat 28-May-16 12:43:44

I think I read somewhere that it can be classed as an environmental health issue if it's excessive.

Not sure I will actually complain but I am genuinely concerned regarding health implications of being exposed to passive smoke every day. I thought I would at least be able to escape cigarette smoke in my own home sad

CecilyP Sat 28-May-16 12:45:09

As people are still allowed to smoke in their own homes/gardens, it would be ridiculous to complain to the council and would mark you out as the problem. As your neighbours don't seem very nice, it is all the more important to pick your battles.

blackbirdmilkshake Sat 28-May-16 12:47:59

it's not hurting your son's throat hmm

WorraLiberty Sat 28-May-16 12:48:28

I genuinely can't see some cigarette smoke drifting from next door in the wide open air, being a health risk.

An annoying smell, yes but not a health risk.

Well no more than car fumes and all the other crap we breath in from outside.

LumpishAndIllogical Sat 28-May-16 12:48:37

Alias it's so horrible isn't it. It irritates my throat and stinks.

When I had a smoke reading done at my 11 week midwife/booking in appointment I got an unusually high reading (for a non smoker) and now I wonder if this is why hmm

TheWindInThePillows Sat 28-May-16 12:50:05

I really don't think there's a passive smoking health risk, usually the risk (and this is debated) is from a lot of exposure, in a concentrated area, over a long time period. Sharing a house with a 40 a day smoker would come into this risk, having the odd waft of smoke which is dispersed in the air wouldn't. If you took a carbon monoxide reading from yourself, I'd bet it would be close to zero.

That's not to say it's not unpleasant or anti-social, but I don't think the risk aspect is there.

WorraLiberty Sat 28-May-16 12:50:11

Yes, also I'm not sure about it hurting your son's throat any more than BBQ smoke might?

LumpishAndIllogical Sat 28-May-16 12:50:54

I hope you are right Worra!

I don't know what levels of passive smoking are considered 'safe'

L1ttlelady Sat 28-May-16 12:52:20

I totally get your worry about you smelling smoke in your own home, its your right to not smoke, but they also have every right too smoke, they were rather rude telling you to 'go fuck yourself' that would upset me too. Try not to let it become an obsession-as you will only wind yourself up, they aren't doing anything wrong or breaking any laws, and as much as u may dislike it, not sure you can make them stop 😳

DonkeyOaty Sat 28-May-16 12:52:47

(Anyone else imagining a Smoke Reading performed by a Native American woman like Boob Lady in simpsons MOvie?)

OohMavis Sat 28-May-16 12:53:21

I don't think there's anything you can do, but this would have me moving house. The smell is disgusting and it clings to everything, not to mention being a major trigger for asthma (for me at least).

Since they don't seem to be very nice people, telling them about it probably won't go down well. Is there any way you can prevent it coming in? Look at your door/window seals?

LumpishAndIllogical Sat 28-May-16 12:53:46

The wind, carbon monoxide reading at my 11 week appointment midwife appointment was far from zero! sad

I don't know if my neighbours could explain it though. But I haven't smoked a cigarette since I was a teenager

kittybiscuits Sat 28-May-16 12:55:09

'It's not hurting your son'so throat' - not necessarily true! Many people have a significant reaction to cigarette smoke. My daughter and myself are very mildly asthmatic but both find catching a faceful of cigarette smoke causes us to wheeze and to need to use an inhaler. It is much more than just a rank irritant.

LumpishAndIllogical Sat 28-May-16 12:56:56

I don't think the close proximity helps much either. It's like someone sitting outside my back door, smoking heavily all day. Doesn't make much difference with door shut (also it can get hot with windows and door shut).

Really not sure what to do. Can try to ignore but it's difficult

WorraLiberty Sat 28-May-16 12:57:31

You probably need to check the carbon monoxide levels in your home.

Plus, I take it the MW explained that traffic fumes/pollution affect the levels too?

OurBlanche Sat 28-May-16 12:58:03

Did you walk to your appointment? Do you live in an urban area? Exhaust fumes can raise CO levels.

I once asked a lady who was trying to quit if she had had a sneaky fag. She was angry. Turned out she had started walking to improve her fitness levels... she walked alongside an inner city dual carriageway to get to me shock

DrasticAction Sat 28-May-16 12:58:37

Op there is a contingent on MN who fiercly defend smoke and smokers.

However, whilst its true, of course smokers are allowed to smoke on their own property, its not right, that as a result you are suffering on a very regular basis and your right to enjoy the fresh clean air of your own home, is being trounced.

Yes, of course you can complain and try and do something about it.

We all - all all ALL, have a right to enjoy our own homes, smokers, and non smokers.

In which case contact EH, and you may be asked about diary's. At the very least they can chat with your neighbours about the smoke, ask if there is any way they could change their position ever so slightly and so on.

Often having a third party to intervene can help enormously.
Whilst people are telling you its not possible, it IS op and I know because I have done it.

We had smokers on both sides and it was over whelming.

On both sides I asked nicely if they could change their smoking position, one side very kindly did so, ( they literally moved their table a tiny bit which made all the difference as the smoke often blows the other way now) the others however were rude and offensive.

So I contacted EH, and they had a word, which was enough for them to also - mostly just change where they sit a tiny bit to give the smoke a chance to move elsewhere.

Its farcical isn't it, we cannot enjoy the interior of our own homes, because the smoker wants to preserve the smoke free environment of theirs.

Perverse confused

I am an ex smoker op, and I still have the odd one, but far away from other people and esp their WINDOWS.

I just couldn't enjoy the rare time I have one, knowing I was causing someone else - upset and distress.

kittybiscuits Sat 28-May-16 13:03:39

Sounds like a nightmare for you OP. I don't think you have much chance of doing anything about it - they obviously wouldn't make any changes out of consideration for you and your baby. Are you renting?

LumpishAndIllogical Sat 28-May-16 13:11:15

Thanks Drastic

Kitty they are privately renting. But the whole estate is managed by council, with a mix of private owners and renters and council tenancies. The council are very good with ASB and environmental health issues. There is even an office on the estate.

Also, Midwife didn't mention pollution as my reading was that of a light smoker. It was a bit concerning

Hodooooooooor Sat 28-May-16 13:19:11

Someone smoking in their own garden is not an environmental health issue, and there are no real health implications for you. They are outside, the smoke dissipates, its such a small amount in the air.
There is nothing you can do about it.

HowBadIsThisPlease Sat 28-May-16 13:21:20

Great post, Drastic

"Its farcical isn't it, we cannot enjoy the interior of our own homes, because the smoker wants to preserve the smoke free environment of theirs. "

This is what bugs me about it - if smoke was completely ok and we are all just being precious, why don't you smoke in your house?

There is a very defeatist attitude on mn on this issue and I think it's unrealistic. As a society we are moving away from tolerating smoking and this kind of thing is going to be the next zone of change.

OP - I think it is worth investigating, because it is unreasonable that you have to put up with this, and the neighbours swearing at you will not identify them as dulcet doves dealing with a cranky neighbour - rather the other way around.

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