... To tell my neighbours?

(55 Posts)
WhoNickedMyName Sun 16-Jun-13 12:47:57

We've lived in our house for 4 years and in all the time we've lived here I go outside to smoke, round the side of the house where my DH has built me a little smoking shelter grin.

Last week, during that little burst of lovely weather, my neighbour knocked to ask me to stop smoking round the side of the house, as their conservatory and back bedroom smelled strongly of cigarettes. I was a bit hmm that this had never been a problem before, and smoke from my 3 cigarettes a day was floating across our two gardens (there is probably about 20 metres between our houses) and making its way into their house but agreed that unless it was raining, I'd go to the bottom of our garden for a cigarette in future.

I've just been hanging washing out. The neighbours car isn't there so I presume they're out somewhere. As I walked down the side of my house I could see their daughter through the gaps in the fence, standing at the side of their house, puffing away. She is about 12/13 years old. Their conservatory windows are open. She is no more than a couple of metres away. This is clearly what's causing their house to smell.

Whilst I don't want to drop her in it, I don't want my neighbours to think I've ignored their request, and if it were my DS I'd want to know.

Would you tell them?

Oldraver Sun 16-Jun-13 12:50:24

I hate smoking and hate the smell of it. I wouldn' tell a neighbour not to smoke in their own garden. Therefore yes I would tell them the culprit

delilahbelle Sun 16-Jun-13 12:51:01

Tell them! She's still a child, and could be doing so much damage to her lungs. And this way they'll know not to blame you for the smell as well.

hurricanewyn Sun 16-Jun-13 12:51:11

Yep. I'd def want to know.

Whilst I don't want to drop her in it - She's only a child, don't be concerned about this

cfc Sun 16-Jun-13 12:51:40

Tell them it's her.

What Oldraver said.

NatashaBee Sun 16-Jun-13 12:52:59

Yes, i'd tell them.

squeakytoy Sun 16-Jun-13 12:53:33

I would take a photo of it otherwise the daughter will deny..

EyesCrossedLegsAkimbo Sun 16-Jun-13 12:54:52

Will they believe you?

I can't understand this, if they are sensitive to smoke why on earth can't the smell it on their child?

Damnautocorrect Sun 16-Jun-13 13:03:03

Yes take a pic they won't believe you. Tell them your very sorry but its not you.
I still think its cheeky they were telling you where to smoke.

ihearsounds Sun 16-Jun-13 13:07:31

Take a picture. THey won't believe you. They will think you are just making excuses because you want to use your shelter and the weather is rotten again. Their dd will deny it. She will give them the puppy dog eyes. She will put on the water works. She will promise and swear dearly that she doesn't smoke and never has done. She will tell them her friends smoke, hence they smell smoke on her.

Justfornowitwilldo Sun 16-Jun-13 13:10:05

12/13? I'd take a picture/video on your phone as proof and tell them ASAP. If she's stinking their house out it's not a one off sad

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sun 16-Jun-13 13:10:30

I would definitely tell them (and show them a photo). She is 12 they have a right to know and I'd expect an apology too. Good news is that you can go back to smoking in your shelter smile

apostropheuse Sun 16-Jun-13 13:15:27

Tell them. You could help prevent another person getting lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease or other smoking-related illness.

She's still a child, using a substance which can potentially kill her. Her parents ought to know this..

Delayingtactic Sun 16-Jun-13 13:16:42

Take a picture and tell them. It's not like she's 18 and visiting parents and sneaking a crafty one. She's a child and her parents have every right to know. I say this as a smoker who started at that age to fit I'm with my mates.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 16-Jun-13 13:19:09

I still think its cheeky they were telling you where to smoke.

I dunno, they're pretty good neighbours, our paths don't cross all that much and I always take the view that if it's got to the point where someone is complaining, then it's usually about something that's really bothering them. I did wonder whether they'd put up with it for 4 years and if so, why not say something sooner.

I'm surprised too that they can't smell it on their daughter. DH and DS can't stand the smell which is why I go round the side of our house that has no windows. As soon as I come in I wash my hands, spray deodourant all over myself and brush my teeth - and they still sometimes complain that I smell.

I'll keep popping out to see if I can see her smoking again and try and get a photo but tbh I can't be arsed being on 'smoke watch' for days grin. I'm going to knock and tell them as soon as they get back today and if they don't believe me then hey ho.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 16-Jun-13 13:22:22

Yes speak to the parents by all means, it's up to them whether they believe you or not.
Taking a photo though?
It a bit stalkery and creepy IMO

Josie314 Sun 16-Jun-13 13:27:18

I would tell them.

And you sound like a great neighbour. :-)

WeleaseWodger Sun 16-Jun-13 13:28:31

Or if you can't take a photo, take note of what she's wearing. She probably will either change clothes and stuff the smelly ones into the laundry basket or overdouse in perfume. But they should still be able to smell cigarette smoke (and perfume).

JuliaScurr Sun 16-Jun-13 13:29:54

why can't they smell it on her?

I would tell them, you sound like you get along

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Sun 16-Jun-13 13:39:22

As creepy as it is, id take a pic before you tell them or they won't believe you and you'll always be "that neighbour who tried to blame her smoking on a child" which could affect future relations.

Flossyfloof Sun 16-Jun-13 13:41:03

I don't think you should take a picture - it could land you in some trouble I think. I wouldn't mention it - they won't thank you for it and will blame you for mentioning it. Surely they will find out soon enough? I do think they were bloody cheeky though and stupid - how could your smoke invade house and how can they not smell it on their daughter?

helenthemadex Sun 16-Jun-13 14:09:09

I'm surprised they cant smell it on her but then its easy enough to say I was at xxxx and their mum/dad smokes

i would tell the parents you have seen her smoking, I would want to know if it was one of my kids

mamalovesmojitos Sun 16-Jun-13 14:10:31

No way would I take a photo but I would definitely tell them. Up to them where they go from there.

SavoyCabbage Sun 16-Jun-13 14:18:17

When they smell her smoke again, they will think its you. So you will have to tell them.

I think you're going to have to tell. The daughter will fucking hate you though grin

raisah Sun 16-Jun-13 14:45:39

tell them, take a photo & if possible knock on their door the next time it happens & ask them to come round to see their dd smoke from your garden.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 16-Jun-13 14:53:21

Get DH to waylay them on their way in and ask if their hedge is on fire or do they know their DD has been smoking.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 16-Jun-13 14:59:50

Definitely tell them!!

Like the idea of a photo too.

If they have been smelling it often, it's no wonder they have been getting miffed with you grin

janey68 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:01:04

I wouldn't take a photo; I think that puts you on dodgy ground and things could turn nasty. I'd be most unhappy if a neighbour did that with my kids.
But by all means mention it- though I'm surprised they haven't smelt it on her yet. Smokers usually smell awful to non smokers (even after they've been liberal with the old body spray... It doesn't get rid of the stale smoke smell, just kind of blends into an equally unpleasant aroma!)

trackies Sun 16-Jun-13 15:02:35

yes tell them

Nancyclancy Sun 16-Jun-13 15:05:07

If my 13 yr old was smoking, I'd be very grateful to be told. Although I'd probably smell it on him anyway.

Take a photo but don't show them, they'll probably believe you if you've had a good relationship. If they don't believe you and her arsey then show them!

Raum Sun 16-Jun-13 15:05:40

Take a photo but don't say you have it until she denies it. Neck even claiming you have one will probably enough.

livinginwonderland Sun 16-Jun-13 15:07:26

I would take a picture and show them. I smoked for a bit at seventeen and covered it up by saying it was my best friend (who did smoke and my parents knew).

Oh please update us once you've spoken to your neighbours OP.

<nosy>

grin

Kooza Sun 16-Jun-13 15:12:14

Well if the shoe were on the other foot, I would WANT to know if my DD was smoking at that age. So yes, you should tell them.

Agree that a photo may not be the best approach, you tell them and then they need to decide what to do about it. Once they're aware of it she will have a pretty hard time masking the signs if they're looking for them.

Silly girl!

LadyFlumpalot Sun 16-Jun-13 17:19:55

Tell them. Maybe keep an eye to see what she does with the cigarette end. That could provide enough proof that it's her unless she's chucking them in your garden

Cheeky mare, you need to tell them!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 16-Jun-13 17:30:44

I'm another one saying 'tell them', but I'd phrase it really nicely as this is a conversation that might not go very well...

I'd want to know if it was my DC. Grass her up, it's character building getting in deep poo with your parents'.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 16-Jun-13 17:36:20

Tell them, I'd want to know if it was my dd.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 16-Jun-13 17:48:47

Don't take a photo. It's creepy.
Go round and say this ' I'm just coming to let you know that I have done as you have asked and stopped smoking at the side of the house and have been using the area at the bottom of the garden. When I was there I saw ( name of daughter) outside your house smoking. You might want to talk to her about it. I just wanted to let you know. '

dubstarr73 Sun 16-Jun-13 17:53:06

Also i find people asking you to curtail your habits in your own garden weird.I dont smoke my neighbours do,id look like a sap if i asked them to stop smoking in their own garden.

CheungFun Sun 16-Jun-13 17:54:14

I'm with the not taking a photo group, but I think you should definitely tell them their daughter is smoking! She will get caught out at some point, so better sooner rather than later.

ParadiseChick Sun 16-Jun-13 17:56:07

Chheky gits! Tell them.

WafflyVersatile Sun 16-Jun-13 18:00:00

Tell her to shut the conservatory windows from now on and use your smoking shelter instead!

If you are going down the bottom of the garden now they will soon suss that the smell of smoke isn't from you. Or if they don't and mention it again just explain that it can't be you and they need to think a bit more laterally. Then wink at them.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 16-Jun-13 18:01:09

All's well that ends well - for me anyway.

I knocked after they arrived home. The DD had gone out. Just said that I was telling them because if it were me I'd want to know, that I'd seen their DD smoking earlier and the conservatory windows were open, so that could be the cause of the smell. Turns out she's 14, and they're having a "dreadful time" with her at the moment.

They were really sweet and seemed a bit naive actually - they were bewildered as to where she could be buying cigarettes from and why they didn't guess it was her in the first place - her bedroom is the back bedroom that reeks of smoke. They thought they'd only just noticed it and that it was me because it was really bad last week when it was sunny and all the windows were open.

Mrs Neighbour couldn't apologise enough and was terribly worried that I thought they were awful neighbours and the worlds worst parents. I told them I'd give them a knock for some advice when my DS reached his teens and we ended the conversation laughing about "bloody kids" and grey hair... Well I was laughing grin

The DD is probably sticking pins in an effigy of me right now.

KitNCaboodle Sun 16-Jun-13 18:05:46

I started smoking at 14/15. It's the biggest regret of my life. I'm pleased you told them and I hope they manage to persuade her to stop.
You both sound like thoughtful reasonable neighbours btw

WhoNickedMyName Sun 16-Jun-13 18:09:07

And I am Mumsnetting right now from my smoking shelter whilst having a fag and a glass of wine <classy> grin

WhoNickedMyName Sun 16-Jun-13 18:13:06

Kit me too - started at 15 and wish I never had. I've stopped a couple of times but always restarted again. I'm down from 10 a day to 3 a day but just can't quit.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 16-Jun-13 18:18:40

Glad you told them! Great result for you grin

Cheers wine

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 16-Jun-13 18:34:57

Ah good for you ( and them, they sound nice) wine cheers!

BoundandRebound Sun 16-Jun-13 18:40:23

So glad you didn't take a picture, if it was me I'd have found that really creepy

Kooza Sun 16-Jun-13 19:15:38

Aw, poor them. They sound like lovely neighbours and you must have handled it really nicely for it to end on a friendly note. smile

My DD is approaching 9 and I can see the attitude brewing already. Teenagers are tough!

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