New Neighbor is Smoker Seeping into my Apartment Advice?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by livin4him, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. livin4him

    livin4him New Member

    I live in an apartment building and a new neighbor just moved in next door. He must be a smoker because I smelled it right after he moved in. First, just in a bathroom and around the hot water heater. Now, when I run the a/c unit, I smell it all over.

    It's that second hand stinking smoke smell. I have asthma and I hate the smell.

    Any advice? Would a air purifier help?

    It's just not fair that I have to smell someone else's smoke. I feel like putting some literature about it on his door.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    If you live in an apartment you have a landlord. Tell them about this because you don't have to live with it and shouldn't. You're right, it is coming in shared air ducts which you can't very well seal off and still get return air necessary for heating and AC.

    Air purifiers are thought to be only somewhat helpful and not usually with cigarette smoke.

    Putting literature on his door won't help because, as you know, he's a smoker. lol That is, he has a habit he's not going to want to break but he probably will feel guilty which will result in him resenting you and giving you the evil eye a lot - all the while still smoking. Just talk to your landlord. Mr. Smoker should be in a building with other smokers. Some apartment complexes have smoking buildings, so to speak, but it's expensive to segregate and in some states, illegal.

    Good luck with this! As a former property manager, I know this is a big problem for all.

    Marta
  3. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    you can very easily get out of your lease due to your athsma...dr. note..

    ask if they could please not smoke in their home because this is what is happenining....


    smoke outside...tell them i have tons of friends that do that...even in the rain because of the secondhand smoke is deadly...


    jodie
  4. livin4him

    livin4him New Member

    yes, when I moved in here there was no one that smoked. It has been that way for the whole time I have lived here (almost a year). And unfortunately, this person moves in right next door to me.

    I think I will put some literature on his door just to make him aware that it is bothering other people. I do wish he would just go outside to smoke, but probably won't.

    I'm not in the health position to move and neither should I have to. Just next time, I think I will move into a house where I can control these issues.

    I think I will try an air purifier just to see if it will help.

    Thanks again to everyone. It really is annoying to walk in the front door and smell stale stale smoke.

  5. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I lived on the second floor of a three-story apartment building. We'd get all these weird smells -- collard greens cooking, and LOTS of cigarette smoke. It was particularly strong in the bathroom.

    I think what you'll find is the the mechanical chases for your apartment building are not well sealed at each floor. In fact, our unit had a grill on a wall in the living room. It was there to provide an easy way for a plumber to reach the pipes for the bathtub, which was on the other side of the wall. Well, both the apartment below and above had the same arrangement and the same grill. So any time our downstairs neighbor smoked, it wafted up to our unit.

    Once we sealed the opening, the smoke stopped. We also repaired the caulk around the tub spout and valves.

    If you do some poking around, or get a look at the building plans (hopefully your apartment maintenance office would have a copy), you may discover where this chimney effect is coming from and can get the complex to do some additional caulking or other type of amelioration. My guess is that you're sharing opposite sides of a mechanical chase, and the positive pressure from his side (or the negative from yours) is pushing his smokey air into your space, being sucked into your air return and circulated in your apartment.

    In the meantime, DEFINITELY get air filters!

    When the problem is fixed (which I truly believe it can be), change the filter in your AC unit and buy a bottle of Febreze -- or whatever you are not too sensitive to -- and give your place a good airing.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/27/2006]
  6. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    here. I am a smoker and always try to be considerate.

    I would be offended if someone slipped anti-smoking material under my door. Trust me those of us who smoke knows just how bad it is and are usually the first to tell someone not to start.

    Now that being said and before anyone gets upset. I would be much more willing to work with someone if they just came to me and told me the situation and I think (and hope) most people would.

    If I lived in an apartment complex and my neighbor came over and said "Hi I am having a problem. Do you smoke? Well for some reason the smoke is coming into my apartment well I have asthma and it is really making me sick. Do you think we could work together and come up with something that we both could live with.?"

    Something like that would get more out of me than some literature left under my door. Sorry but that would just make me mad IMHO.

    I wish you luck with the situation and hope you get lucky with a cooperative neighbor.

    Just trying to put another spin on the situation. Wishing you the best :)

    Thanks,

    Karen
  7. getfitat40

    getfitat40 New Member

    I live in a vintage 2-flat and it is really vintage. I have lived there over 12 years and have had many 'smelly neighbors' and I hated it too. I tried everything from Febreeze to ionizers to get rid of the other person's smells - from cigarette & pot smoke to cooking orders like sausage and cabbage.

    It does stink (literally and figurativly)but I caution you about how you handle it. My advice is to NOT leave literature on their door, but instead knock on their door and welcome them to the building. Then talk about the smoking. People can be so vengeful and depending on their disposition they could turn around an do something worse (smoke in the hallway or something.

    The other suggestion is a smokeless ashtray - I used to date a smoker and my apartment would reek for days after he left (yes I should have made him smoke outside). I bought a smokeless ashtray and it really helped. Not sure if giving your neighbor one...hint but sublte.

    Good luck...and trust me I wouldn't move either. Nancy
  8. reckabek

    reckabek New Member

    we have the same issue here, and its particulary strong in bathroom as well. It makes this place smell so bad...how can people put that in there bodies. I find even when they step outside....its often worse, cause we like to have our windows open...so its a lose lose situation here.....i seriously wonder if a DR.s note will get us out of this 2 yr lease...HMMM.... we hate it here also..hehe..well best to u!!! beck
  9. tamimm

    tamimm New Member

    I am a former smoker and have asthma myself. Although, I never had anyone complain about my smoke, I know that it must have traveled to other apts. I know this, because I had to live with the smell of some type of cured fish everyday, twice a day coming through the vents. And I was there first. Big deal you might say, because it's not second hand smoke and fish smell doesn't kill. Well, it was killing me. It would set off my asthma everyday. I didn't feel that I had a right to complain to someone because their way of life affected mine. I just had to make sure that I was away from home when the cooking begain. and use tons of air freshener. In the meantime, I had to find another place to stay. I could argue that it wasn't fair. I was a single mother with two kids and times where hard. But what else could I do? Demand that the fish cooking stopped? Or leave literature about the effects of smoke and odors on an asthmatic? I just had to remind myself that this was my problem and the solution had to be mine. We all paid rent to live in this apt.
    I hope this didn't sound mean. It wasn't meant to be.
  10. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ...to introduce yourself to the new neighbor, discuss your health problem & the smoke, and ask if you both couldn't try to work together to try to find a solution.

    I personally don't like the idea of leaving "no smoking" literature, or even a note---no matter how nicely it's worded, it's not the same as a face-to-face encounter where you can meet, welcome him & speak personally about the situation.

    It may not go the way you want---on the other hand, let's not assume all smokers are insensitive jerks---this new neighbor may not realize how this is affecting you, may not know how much you can smell it in your apartment. He may be very reasonable about it.

    This is a timely topic, since just yesterday the surgeon general released a scathing report on how dangerous second-hand smoke really is & how it travels---that the idea of restaurants, for example, having "non-smoking" and "smoking" sections is ridiculous & completely ineffective. So you are very justified in feeling that this second-hand smoke you are breathing isn't doing your health any good.

    I just feel you should speak personally, and not in anger---I know I'd be receptive to someone who welcomed me warmly, and calmly discussed concerns. Granted, everyone doesn't react in the same way, but it's worth trying.

    And good luck, I hope the situation gets better for you.

    Hugs,
    Pam
  11. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member


    I've lived both sides of this. I am a smoker, but only outside, and I find second hand smoke in any bldg pretty gastly and harmful too. I'm also very chemically sensitive and I'm worst off w/ any perfumes and esp. air freshener, incense, scented candles. They've been the bane of my existence for years and caused me to move many times. As an MCS person, I can tell you the various perfumes are much worse for me.

    There are some ways to seal up your apt. and make it more bearable though. YOu got some ideas above that I've done and you can also weather strip your door all around w/ the peel and stick foam and get a rubber door sweep for under the door, lots of air comes in there. you must have central heating if using the a/c brings the smoke in worse. I guess is you want a/c, you'll need to get your own window unit. But you are going to have to have heat in the winter, so that's tougher.

    Not sure if you signed a lease, but I had just signed a lease and found out right after that the apt. had forced air vents (biggest thing I have to avoid). I had to seal up all the vents and use space heaters and my oven all winter, and they are long and cold in Canada. Needless to say I only stayed 13 mths, but thank goodness all hydro and heat was inclusive w/ rent, so it didn't cost me. And boy did I take lots of long hot baths. You have to take your perks where you can, hehe.

    In the long term, you need to find another place w/ a private entrance that does not share a furnace where you have vents that share the air w/ other apts. YOu need electric or radiator heating.

    I totally agree leaving literature is presumptuous and preachy and will only tick them off. Smokers are treated like lepers and it really isn't fair. I wish I could have all the perfume and airfreshener crazed people I encounter, everywhere, all the time, feel like that, just so they know. But that's not fair either. People don't realize how inappropriate and preposterous it is to be so preachy and judgemental w/ smokers. Can you imagine going to an obese neighour and leaving literature about the dangers of donuts and diabetes and such? Its pretty much the same thing.


    Jeanne
  12. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    The surgeon General just said yesterday, and got spanked by
    Bush, for having the balls to say it, that SECOND HAND SMOKE IS AS DANGEROUS AS SMOKING.

    CONTACT THE LANDLORD, BY LETTER, WITH CERTIFIED RETURN, and tell him of what is happening, and tell him THAT YOU ARE SICK ENOUGH, AS IT IS AND HE MUST DO SOMETHING.

    MOVE THE OTHER PERSON TO A SMOKING BUILDING OR MOVE YOU AND PAY ALL THE EXPENSES AND PACK, UNPACK, MOVE, DO EVERYTHING.

    This is a health issue, AND LANDLORDS HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM OR ELSE.

    Don't contact the person face to face, BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY CRAZIES OUT THERE.

    Have you considered that this person may be SMOKING MARIJUANA OR COOKING METHAMPHETAMINE OVER THERE?

    ABSOLUTELY FORCE THE LANDLORD TO CHECK NOW.