29 answers

RUDE Smokers!

I don't have a problem with smokers. Heck, both of my parents and my fiance smoke. (he isn't allowed to smoke around me or baby, or in the car... and he has to wash his hands when he's done. I am working on getting him to quit. :P) Many of my closest friends do as well (again, not around my baby.) What I have a problem with is when they are rude about it! Example: The other day I was waiting in line at redbox, with my 5 month old daughter, and the woman standing behind me was smoking and blowing it towards us! (Not like she was intentionally aiming at us, but not even turning her head to blow away. I could VERY strongly smell the smoke...) I turned around and said "I'm sorry ma'am, but I'd appreciate if you could aim the other direction... I don't really want my baby exposed to secondhand smoke..." and she completely flipped out! She started going off on how it is her right to do what she wants with her own body and if I don't like it I can go somewhere else, and how smokers are discriminated agianst... yadda yadda yadda... A couple of other people who were in the line next to us (there were 2 redboxes next to each other) backed me up (yay for the kindness of strangers!) so the woman made a big show of taking "one last drag" of her cigarette and then putting it out, then very huffily picking out her movie. (I let her go ahead of me because I didn't know what movie I wanted, and I tend to take a while picking one out...) Then my fiance joined us in line. He had gone to the other end of the parking lot, AWAY from any other people to smoke HIS cigarette. Of course, she had seen him smoking, and when she realized he was with me she threw another fit, saying "OH! so HE can smoke but I can't... " and being very confrontational about the whole thing. I pointed out that he had been on the other side of the parking lot, where there were NO people for his smoke to bother. She kept going on and on, so we just loaded up without a movie and went to a different location.

How do you handle people who are blatantly rude about their smoking habits? Would you have handled this situation the same way, or what would you have done differently? I THINK I handled it pretty well, even though the woman got pretty pissy... but I am just curious about what others think... Also, if anyone knows off the top of their head what the smoking laws are in TX... I know that in Idaho, you can't smoke within 20 feet of the entrance to any public building...

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I wouldnt even let a smoker hold my baby i was so weird about smoke (Im an ex smoker). Yeah, I angered a lot of family members- they can get over it.

You had a right to ask her to point away. The only thing is that now a days people flip out over the smallest things- and people now adays carry guns, knives, etc. so you have to be careful.

3 moms found this helpful

Unfortunately, the tobacco laws that are on the books in Texas only apply to indoor areas i.e. hospitals, theatres etc. It is normally up to the business to set the rules on where a person can/cannot smoke. There are some counties/cities that have enacted more strict smoking bans but again its not statewide.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you handled it great! I'm anti-smoking myself and probably a pill about it. You know when you're heading into Target, etc. and the smokers huddle right outside and you have to walk through their smoke screen? I'm the one that waves my hand across my face and mutters "Uggh!" or "PU!" I'm terrible.

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I didn't read any of the other response but I would have done is moved myself and my baby. It is my responsibility to take care of my child...not someone elses...if I don't think the environment is safe for my child (second hand smoke) and it is in an open/public area, then it's on me to correct it...not to force others to change for me.

I do agree with you that the woman was way out of line and not being respectful or curtious to others around her....but unfortunately you can not always expect others to act respectful or curtious...because many people are just NOT!

8 moms found this helpful

I am going to be in the minority here...

Before I got pregnant I was a big time smoker. During pregnancy and breastfeeding I was a non-smoker. Now, I toe the line between casual smoker and occasional smoker. When I smoke, I always go outside and stay away from my own kids. If I am in town or around people, I will move to a less populated area before I light up and I avoid children like they have the plague. I smoke cigarettes that do not include any chemical additives (I know they are still VERY bad for you and result in nicotine and carbon monoxide. They don't include lead, formaldehyde, cyanide, etc.) If for some reason I didn't notice a baby was near me and the mom asked me to move I would without question. So, by no means do I think that womans reaction was kind, respectful or mature.

That said.

I understand the link between "third hand" smoke and SIDS, as well as the more substantial link between first/second hand smoking and cancer/lung disease/SIDS/heart disease. When I was a non smoker and my babes were little tiny ones, I asked that people washed their hands before holding her. My partner had a "smoking jacket" that he would wear only for smoking and take off before holding her. It's important, I think, to make sure that we do what is possible to make an environment as "clean" as possible.

But did I sweat the person on the street who is smoking? No. I figure, if spending a couple minutes (outside and occasionally) around a smoker is going to hurt my baby - we are in trouble. Besides. I still take my kids to town on a regular basis. We wait at traffic lights for five minutes next to four lanes of traffic. You know what's coming out of your/my car? Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Polycyclic hydrocarbons, etc. Hmmm, sounds a whole lot like what is in second hand smoke, doesn't it?

6 moms found this helpful

I don't know what the laws are where you live and I have never even heard of redbox, but I'm assuming this person was smoking outside.
Some people are very sensitive to cigarette smoke, but sometimes people carry things too far. I'm not saying you did and I think for the most part, the smokers I know are quite polite about not being too close to other people. But, some non-smokers can be quite rude. They tend to think that they should be able to walk down the street and not smell someone smoking in their own front yard. That's carrying things too far. One place I worked, a client complained that she would take her business elsewhere if anyone wore perfume or scented hair conditioner or we used Lysol to clean surfaces. She claimed it made her ill. You can't expect everyone to conform to your tender sensibilites all the time is all I'm saying. She was the only person to ever complain.
Shake this off and next time, just give up your place in line without saying anything. She might have been a very nice person who just wasn't thinking at the time and then to find out your fiance smokes, she likely thought you were being a hypocrite.
You'll probably never see her again so just let it go.

You think that's bad? I had someone ask if I minded if they smoked pot before getting on the bus the other day. I walked away so I wouldn't smell it or smell of it. We drug test as a condition of my employment at a hospital and I was afraid I'd ingest some. Silly, I know.
In California, people can smoke it for medicinal purposes so I chose to mind my own business about it. No point in having a confrontation.

Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful

that's not about smoking. you had a lunatic on your hands. despite what some would say most smokers are just normal people. in fact many would love to quit, and don't even like it that much. none i know would want their habit to affect anyone, especially someone's baby. don't let it bother you another second. she was crazy. the exception, not the rule.

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edited: ladies there is no need to jump on the "smoker haters" bandwagon. i am a former smoker, and i quit, on my own, with no drugs or patches or anything, for my child. it has been a year and a half. hope to god my son will never equate that smell with his mother. so i, if anyone, should know that it is possible to quit if you want it badly enough. but i would never be as hateful and judgemental as so many of these answers are. why is it always the people who have never experienced something (or have only experienced one small facet of the thing) that feel their opinions are the most important and "right". if you've never been addicted, for example...you have NO way to form an accurate decision based on fact. NONE. you're basing your opinion simply on hearsay and conjecture. way to go moms. teaching our children to be hateful and rude where we will not speak up is not good parenting. it's not cute. it's just hateful and rude.

3 moms found this helpful

I wouldnt even let a smoker hold my baby i was so weird about smoke (Im an ex smoker). Yeah, I angered a lot of family members- they can get over it.

You had a right to ask her to point away. The only thing is that now a days people flip out over the smallest things- and people now adays carry guns, knives, etc. so you have to be careful.

3 moms found this helpful

I hope my story gives you some ammunition against the "I have a right to smoke" smokers. When I first joined a corporation as middle management, smokers so polluted the air in some of our meetings, they had to call a break so they could clear the air so we could see the slide presentation and they could go on with the meeting.

I am the only non smoker in my former family. Former family? My little brother died of smoking (cancer). My father died of smoking (cancer). My mom died of smoking (my father's second hand smoke). My grand parents died of smoking (cancer).

Growing up, I always had sinus problems. It wasn't until I moved away to go to college that I learned that I was allergic to cigarette smoke. It only takes 3 or 4 minutes exposure to smoke to block my sinuses for hours or days.

My father and brother would smoke at the table after they finished eating. If the smoke blew our way and we waived our hand to blow it away, my dad would get really mad. I finally told him, "You like to smoke?" Yes. "Smoking gives you pleasure and makes you feel good, right?" Yes. "The smoke is the residue of your pleasure and when you smoke, I have to breathe it and it gets all over my hair and clothes and food. Well, I like 7-Up. It gives me pleasure and makes me feel good. Urine is the residue of my pleasure when I drink 7-Up. Since your smoke lands all over my hair and clothes and food when you smoke, how about my standing on this chair and I'll piss all over your hair and clothes and food so you can enjoy the residue of my pleasure like I enjoy the residue of your pleasure?"

My brother put out his cigarette and LOL. My dad did not put his out, but from then on he at least blew his cigarette smoke over his head and moved his ashtray so the smoke didn't blow towards one of us. If we were outside, he would move from up wind to down wind. He only stopped smoking when he was 2 or 3 weeks from dieing when he was too weak to lift a cigarette or light it. He never asked me to light a cigarette for him, although he did ask my little brother.

Just a thought/day-dream . . . what if you went over to the soda fountain and got a coffee cup and put some lemonade in it, just a half an inch in the bottom, and pretended you had just come back from the bathroom. If you showed it to the smoker, If they were still smoking, and say, "residue of my pleasure, wanna share?" ;-)

Have a good day. Good luck to you and yours.

3 moms found this helpful

I agree that you should ask her to blow the smoke the other way. Then, even tho I'd feel like arguing with her, I'd consciously not say anything at all to her. Responding to her rude response only unnecessarily lengthens the confrontation. When your husband came to join you and she started in again, I'd still ignore her. Arguing with her just isn't worth it, in my mind.

That's not to say, I wouldn't have liked to give her a piece of my mind. Sometimes, I just blurt out a response and that's OK too. Just remember she's the rude one. Perhaps imagine her as a clown and smile to take the tension away for yourself.

3 moms found this helpful

I think you handled it fine. Honestly, I can't stand smokers at all. I get very sick from the smell of cigarette smoke. If someone wants to give themselves cancer and a host of other diseases, that's fine, but I don't want it. I approach it in the same way, you did. I tell them nicely, that I don't want second hand smoke. I've never had anyone treat me, like the woman treated you. Most people just go somewhere else, or put it out.

I would definitely encourage your fiance to quit smoking. Smoke soaks into clothing, hair, and skin. You can get second hand smoke from him, even if he smokes outside. He may not be actually smoking around the baby, but he is still exposing the baby to he smoke.

3 moms found this helpful

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