Thank You for Not Smoking (in My Apartment)

Cigarette smoking is still a very common habit in the U.S. According to the latest findings from the American Lung Association nearly 480,000 people die each year from tobacco use and exposure. Given that, it’s little wonder that more people are giving up and keeping their apartments smoke-free.

So what does this have to do with you?

Whether it’s summertime, the holidays or spring break, it’s likely that you’ll welcome visitors into your apartment. Whether they’re staying for a day or a week, you may run into a very uncomfortable issue: how do you ask them not to smoke in your apartment?

You should not feel intimidated in your own home. Your house, your rules! If they can’t deal with not being able to smoke inside, they can find somewhere else to crash.

If being blunt isn’t your style, here’s something to consider. Even if you’ve never lit up yourself, you would still be in harm’s way as secondhand smoke is also a killer.

So, what can you do?


  • Remember that smoking is an addiction, one that cannot be stopped cold turkey at your convenience.
  • Find out your apartment community’s smoking policy. Some apartments are completely smoke-free. Others have designated outdoor areas for smokers. Even if you have a patio, that’s not always the best place to send a smoker since the fumes will travel to your neighbors.
  • Let your guests know about your anti-smoking policy as soon as possible, even before they arrive at your place. Letting them know your expectations up front will prevent them from feeling caught off-guard.
  • Even if the smoker is courteous enough to step outside, the odor will no doubt linger back into your apartment. If possible, leave windows open to air out the funk.
  • Be prepared to launch a cleaning campaign upon their departure. Lingering smoke will likely make it into your furniture, bedding and clothing.


  • According to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), 80 percent of smokers say they want to quit. But addictions are hard to break and only 20 percent of smokers actually stop. Don’t bother getting on your soap box, lecturing about how smoking causes cancer and other health problems. Everyone already knows that.

  • No name calling. Referring to your guest as Smokey or Puff the Magic Dragon, though funny, doesn’t really help the situation.

All it takes is a little finesse and open communication to keep your apartment from turning into the smoldering speakeasy.

How do you tell visitors not to smoke in your place?