DH smokes, I don't, add kiddo = problem

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Bella2010, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Jun 14, 2012

    Hi All,

    DH has smoked off and on the entire time we've been together. He's quit about three times, the longest period lasting almost two years.

    Smoking has been the cause of 99.9% of fights we have had. He started back up a couple of months ago after some stressful situations at work. He said that he didn't plan on quitting, but that he wasn't going to smoke at the house, around me, or DS. Well, I didn't believe that he wasn't going to smoke at the house for a hot minute. I didn't tell him that, but I was expecting that to fall out.

    I did, however, expect the part about not smoking around me or DS to stick. He's been getting really lax about it the last couple of weeks. He'll go around the corner of the house to smoke, and if DS follows him he lights up anyway. When I see it, I go over and get DS and take him somewhere else. Tonight, we were outside. DS was playing in the yard, about 15 feet away, and I was sitting next to DH when he lights up. I got up because it was blowing in my face and moved to where our son was, and I could smell it over there. I really don't even want DS to see him smoking, at all.

    He is so defensive about this!!! Even when I approach it in a dimplomatic manner, it turns into a fight. It's our son, and it needs to be addressed, and it will be. I was just looking for input from people who smoke/have smoked as to how I might address this?? I am asking because he always throws the "you don't know what it's like to be addicted to them and you don't understand" in my face.

    Beth
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Is he willing to go to a doctor and get a prescription to help him stop smoking?
     
  4. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    This last time he quit, he went to the doc and asked about Chantix. DH's employer won't let him take it because he's in law enforcement and it has all kinds of mental health possible side effects. The gum makes him sick. All the times he's quit, he's done so cold turkey. When he started up this time, he said he was going to smoke until the rough patch at work was over and then he'd quit again. I was hopeful but didn't believe it. I mentioned it and he basically told me he didn't plan on quitting because he enjoyed. This attitude after my uncle passed away a couple of weeks due to COPD attributed to 30+ years smoking.

    Beth
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I hate this for you all, your husband included. I have no advice...it's not something I could or would tolerate. Best wishes, truly!
     
  6. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    We had conflicting schedules when we were dating, so we were not "around" each other very much. I honestly never thought this habit would get on my nerves so bad. If I had known it, we would have hashed it out before hand, lol. I just want to shake him and ask him if he knows what he's taking away from his son??????? He always just rolls his eyes when a PSA for smoking comes on . He says that they're dramatized that smoking really doesn't cause all that. Hello?? His brother had a heart attack a couple of years ago, and the doc told him it was attributed to smoking. His dad had kidney cancer, and the doc told him it was attributed to smoking. It's ridiculous. Really??? How much evidence does a person need???? I am long past nagging. He basically told me the more I nag the more he wants to smoke. He can be such an a-hole. :mad:

    Beth
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sad. :(
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    My late husband quit after being diagnosed with cancer.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    This might be mean and over the top, but if I were in your shoes, I would give an ultimatum: it's either your smoking habit or me and your child. Pick one.
     
  10. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    That's crossed my mind, trust me. I think he'd be so p***ed if I threw that out there that we might as well split. He stopped smoking last time after we had a big blow out over money. He gets a certain amount of money out of his check when he deposits it. I noticed he was using his debit card to buy lunch because he was out of money. It was a big blow up, and he sent a mean text to me that made me bawl during my lunch break. Grrr... Anyway, that's what made him quit last time. He always tells me that if he's going to stop he's going to have to decide for himself and that all the nagging I do isn't going to change that.

    And...he says he holds a lot of resentment toward me because I never griped about his smoking until AFTER we got married. True, I didn't; however, like I mentioned above we weren't around each other enough for me to know how much I would hate it. :mad:
    Beth
     
  11. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Maybe marriage counseling?
    That sounds like a strange suggestion considering the issue is your DH's addiction ... but, the therapist might be able to share some insight with your DH that doesn't come across as nagging.
     
  12. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Sounds like this one issue is threatening your marriage. Have you considered seeing some kind of neutral third party to help you work it out? Like a mediator or counselor perhaps? He shouldn't be sending you mean text messages. :\

    Edit: Whoops, KU posted after I had loaded this page.
     
  13. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    As a former smoker (several times :blush:), I can attest to the fact that it's very hard to quit and very easy to start again. The health aspects fall on deaf ears. It's not that he doesn't know that already, but it's an addiction. Logic isn't a factor.

    Rather than push him to quit again, I would push your agreement that he not smoke around you or your son. He agreed to it, so he should abide by it. If that means he has to go to the garage or for a drive every time he needs a cigarette, then that's what he does.

    Good luck to both of you. I know it's hard for both of you.
     
  14. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    My parents both smoked when I was a kid. I never even knew that constant headaches were not just the normal way of things until I went to college because I'd had them all my life.

    It is very unfair to do that to a kid. My parents also got defensive and insisted it was all my imagination or whatever. My parents have always been very considerate people, but when it came to smoking, that was all that mattered.

    My dad no longer smokes but my mom still does. she gets very angry and defensive about it. I can't be near her after she smokes unless I want a migraine from her hair, clothes, etc. She chooses to take that as a personal attack, but I just don't much care for losing my vision for an hour or so.

    Good luck resolving this.
     
  15. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Might as well add my own experience. My mom smoked when I was little and quit at my insistence. I would always tell her it was very bad, thanks to the brainwashing at school. It's been decades now, and she hasn't picked the habit back up. Before quitting, she was probably a smoker for about 25 years. Many other people in my family smoke. Aunts, uncles, etc. I didn't pick up their habits or anything. Never been interested in cigarettes except maybe one or two as an unruly young teen. I would just make sure to keep talking to your kid about smoking being undesirable and protect him from the health risks.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 15, 2012

    I've never been a smoker. My dad smoked a pipe when I was young, and the smell of Half and Half always smells like comfort to me.

    But they say that addiction to nicotine is among the hardest to quit.
    http://www.altcancer.com/smoking.htm

    For me, just losing five or ten pounds is a struggle; I can't imagine trying to kick something like a nicotine addiction.

    Best wishes to both of you as you struggle with this.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dh smoked before we had kids, but he knew I didn't want to have kds in a smoking household...so he quit.
    Just as the smoking isn't good for your son to be around, neither is the stress and fighting. Not good for your relationship either. Counseling could help.:love:
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Has he considered the electric cigarette? I have been around people who used it and there's no second hand smoke to breathe in.

    ETA: People seem to be the most defensive about cigarette smoking. My neighbor just died from lung cancer and his wife has almost no income so is now selling off personal possessions to pay for her smoking habit. She keeps forgetting she needs to buy FOOD too. Her kids try to help her but she doesn't want to hear anything about her smoking. It's so sad.
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    You knew your husband was a smoker before you married him. I understand you weren't around it very much while dating, but that doesn't change the fact you knew he smoked, so you accepted him as a smoker when you married. Now you want him to change. One of the counselor's where my mom worked once said this is the biggest mistake many women make....dating a man with habits they don't like and thinking they will be able to make him change once she marries him. It rarely works that way.

    You've seen for yourself that your arguments with him do not motivate him to stop. In fact, they have the opposite effect. He also told you he will quit when, and if, HE wants to, not when YOU want him to. This is very true. Nobody can make him quit. He will have to decide to do that on his own. Until then, every effort to force the issue will just result in more fights and more resistance on his part.

    He did agree not to smoke around you or DS, so I agree you should ask him to keep that promise. But even that has to be done within reason. Going for a drive whenever he wants a smoke is unreasonable. After all, it is his house just as much as it is yours and home is the one sanctuary we all have where we should be able to do what we want and just be ourselves. There are many restrictions on where and when he can smoke away from home already, so it isn't completely fair to place even more restrictions on where he can smoke at his own home as well. Just imagine if you were the one with a strong addiction and were told you couldn't indulge that addiction at your home as well as anywhere else.
     
  20. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    He has an addiction. A very powerful addiction
    Nagging as you pointed out does not work. He obviously would like to quit because he's tried and failed
    I think you need to be practical and work with what you have. He won't smoke around you or your son. So make him a comfortable place to smoke outside. This place is his. Neither you or your son go to this spot. My friend did this with her husband. His space is in shed in the back yard. He has a chair and an old fashioned milk can filled with sand as an ashtray. Your husband really does understand that smoking is bad for him. But, he is correct,he has to be the one that wants to quit. I feel for you I really do.
     
  21. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Yes, he's tried it. He said it didn't feel the same. *sigh*

    Thanks to all of you for the advice, I really appreciate it and understand what you guys are saying. He never smokes in the house or in my car. He smokes in his pickup, and I hate that since DS goes places with him sometimes. I just don't want it around my son. Period. I know he's going to continue, he's made that quite clear. :rolleyes: I just need to find a way to diplomatically tell him he's been getting lax about it. I need to find a way to word it so that he can't say I'm making him feel like a bad parent. I can really see the conversation heading that way.

    Beth
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    A person's "right" to have his home as a sanctuary especially when there are restrictions on smoking elsewhere (for very good reason!) is completely trumped by the health of his son.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  23. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    bella, I know your pain. I really do. I hated that my husband smoked since we were dating. I hated that he smoked in the house, or around my son. I agree with several things: nagging him to quit won't make him do it, you and your son have the right to be in a smoke free environment, and that smoking is a powerful addiction.
    That said, my hubby finally quit after he coughed up blood for the first time. (he had smoked for 25 years). He just quit-cold turkey. He also talked to his doctor about other ways to relieve stress. One does not have to be medicated to relieve stress. He also watched our savings account increase due to his quitting. Money can be a powerful motivator when someone is trying to quit smoking. He also used suckers to replace the urge to have something in his hand. He did gain some weight, but the doctor told him it is easier to manage weight loss than to battle cancer.
    I wish I had better advice to give you-but you most definitely have my prayers. I know how hard this is.
    On a side note, he has been cigarette free since December 2004, and, according to our doctor, has added 10+years to his life. :)
    My MIL passed away last spring from lung cancer. She finally quit when they told her that she had 6 months to live. Sadly, she made it only 3 months...
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My aunt quit the minute her 8 year old son said, "Mommy, I don't want you to die like Daddy did" (his dad had died of a heart attack a year earlier).
     
  25. BettyRubble

    BettyRubble Rookie

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    Does he understand just how awful second- and third-hand smoke is? I mean, beyond knowing it's bad, does he grasp just how much he is putting his child at risk for health issues (nevermind himself!).

    I would feel the same way you do in your position. I feel awful when I see all my neighbors smoking outside next to their young children. I don't even like when their smoke blows into our windows where my child is! I think counseling might help a lot. He also needs to find new ways to manage his stress. It will not only help save your marriage, it'll help save his life.
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I do think that the OP is within her rights to place more and very stringent restrictions on where her husband can smoke. His "sanctuary" is also his son's sanctuary. His son has a right to be safe in his own sanctuary, no? Second-hand smoke has very serious effects, especially on children. I think that it's the OP's right and responsibility as a parent to protect her child and ensure his health and safety, even at the expense of the other parent.

    Some addictions are unsafe. It is unsafe to "indulge" in those types of addictions in any setting, even at home. Smoking when there are non-smokers in the area is unsafe. He has got to go somewhere else to smoke, somewhere where his smoking isn't going to impact his loved ones.

    With all this having been said, I do feel for this guy and am sure that he's not smoking around his child just to be a jerk about it. Addiction is a powerful thing. Quitting something that you've been addicted to isn't a matter of willpower. Although we all know of people who quit cold turkey, that really isn't the norm and shouldn't be the expectation. Most people with addictions know full well how dangerous their addictions are and would quit if they could.
     
  27. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Quitting smoking is the only thing in my life that I have failed over and over. The only thing I have not tried is hypnosis.

    If your husband is anything like me, he is instantly put on the defensive anytime someone mentions smoking. He's already geared up for an argument. There's not much you CAN say that will not make him upset.

    Now, I understand you don't want smoking in your home or around your son. There's nothing wrong with that - BF and I choose not smoke in our home. We go out on the porch. But as much as you don't want him smoking in the house, it is is home, too. Can you suggest a designated "smoking" area for him? Help him to set up some kid of "man-cave" type area outside where he can go to smoke? Comfy chair and ottoman around the side of the house?

    As for your son, I'd start the conversation with, "I know you aren't going to quit smoking right now. I accept that. But you've been getting a little lax about smoking in front of DS. How can we make sure he doesn't see you?"
     
  28. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    For me, while the second-hand smoke is a huge issue, what is even worse is the example he is setting for his son to be much more likely to grow up and smoke.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And men date women before they become mothers...things change,people change, needs change....
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Absolutely, cza!
     
  31. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My mom smokes. I believe it is because all of her siblings have smoked since like they were 13 (My grandfather smoked, they occasionally steal a cigarette from him and hopefully not get noticed doing so. My grandfather quit in the 80s, and died in 2005 of cancer that started as lymphoma, but moved to the lungs). My mom stopped when she was pregnant and didn't smoke from when i was born (1990) until around when I was in second or third grade (so 1997-1998). She smokes outside on the porch. When she goes out to smoke, she tells us (and has always done so, as I am allergic to cigarette smoke).

    Perhaps you could figure out an area for him to smoke in, and something for him to say (maybe "I'm going to the lounge" or something) so both of you know that he is going to go smoke.
     
  32. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    It's a lot like weight loss and a variety of other things. It really doesn't happen to the point of sticking unless the person is truly motivated from within.

    It's a hard place to be in but I do agree with the fact that you knew he was a smoker before you married him. It's hard to change someone. They have to want to change for themselves and sometimes everything in the world can be staring them in the face but it doesn't happen or it doesn't happen until something clicks. People know the facts. That alone is often not enough to motivate.

    For your child, I would continue to make that a point. You may not be able to stop your child from ever seeing daddy smoke. That may be a bit too much but you can remove yourself and your child from the situation when possible. But that's all you can really do.

    Counseling might be helpful but in the long run you are going to have to realize, this is an addiction for him and until HE is ready to quit, he's not gonna be able to successfully do it. And like any other addiction, sometimes the trying doesn't take.

    He's being a lot more respectful than my mother was. I couldn't get her to at least not smoke in my bedroom. It's her house and she felt she could smoke where she wanted. It might be helpful to give him some credit where it is due.

    As for getting lax, give him credit for where he is consistent and try building on that. Instead of telling him to quit, help him see that he is being respectful in x,y,z times. Thanks. Then later say, I don't mind if you do it in X place but do you mind not doing it right here then offer a solution.

    This is out of my element in some ways because my husband even told me when we were dating that he refused to date someone that smoked. It was that important to him. Because of my mother, I was the same way. But life happens and sometimes we don't know how we will feel about things so you just have to work it out in a way that is respectful to you both.

    Good luck.
     
  33. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Becoming a parent is a natural extension of most marriages. Changing personal habits or addictions isn't the same.

    Both partners agree to take the other person "for better or worse" and "in sickness and in health". If you know your partner is a smoker before the marriage, you are accepting him/her on those terms.

    The post from cutnglue explains it best so far. I think the best solution is to create or designate an area where DH can smoke. The "man-cave", garage, certain area of the yard or porch, etc. A person should have a right to do as they wish in their own home (as long as it is not illegal or immoral). The best solution here would be for both sides to respect the perspective of the other. DH should respect the objections of DW and the health concerns for DS, while DW should respect that DH has an addiction that cannot just be turned off.

    I especially like cng's suggestions of complimenting the positive steps DH takes to be considerate of DW and DS. The more pressure that is put on DH, the more defensive and resistant he will become. The less pressure put on him, the more likely he will be to consider quitting on his own.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  34. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I grew up in a household with both parents smoking. Because of it, I developed asthma as a young child (I didn't know what I had was considered asthma until I was older and my husband-- who suffered from it as a child-- told me the symptoms were asthma) and extremely bad allergies. I lived with them until I was 18 and that's when my asthma was at its worse-- using the inhaler at least twice a week. When I finally moved out, my asthma cleared up (though I still have issues if I've been laughing for too long or the cold air will cause issues) and my allergies are starting to be under control (I've been out of the house for almost 5 years now). I can over their house for just a few hours before I start wheezing and sneezing. :(

    So please tell your husband-- for the sake of your child, if he smokes in the house, it may cause health issues for the child. Too many studies show the effects of second hand smoke and your child DOES NOT need that around while his body is still growing and developing. It can effect his whole respiratory system and everything else in his body. I wouldn't want anybody else to have to go through a lifetime of breathing and sinus issues because a parent wouldn't stop smoking. :(
     
  35. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I am not going to read it all but was he a smoker when you got married?
     
  36. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    He was. I know. :rolleyes:

    Beth
     
  37. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    What she can tolerate has changed. Whether it's good, bad, better, or worse, she now has a problem with her husband's habit/addiction. That has be to be considered, too.

    And it's too bad that even if he smokes away from the child, the child is still at greaker risk at losing his dad to several diseases. I was always so worried about my dad, and I still am. And his house probably smells of smoke, even if he doesn't realize it. It makes me sad when literally individual papers from notebooks smell of a student's smokey home. If the papers are aborbing that, just think...
     
  38. emb382

    emb382 Rookie

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    Unfortunately, I was just in a similar situation. Looking back, there were a lot of underlying reasons for his behavior-not the smoking behavior, but the need to justify it all the time! It basically boiled down to rebalancing our relationship. It was, and still is, suuuper hard. As with any problem in a relationship, I sometimes wonder if it's worth it. We don't have any children (just dogs), so I am truly sorry you are in this situation. I think counseling would be a good idea.
     
  39. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Thanks for all the thoughts and advice. I've come to the realization over the years, epsecially with this last relapse, that he's only going to stop when HE wants to. I am really tired of suggesting, etc. He's a big boy, and it's his decision. I honestly think there will be some lightbulb moment when he decides it's not worth it. When that will be, I have no idea. :rolleyes: Like my OP said, my main gripe right now is that he said he wasn't going to smoke around DS and he is. At least he agrees not to smoke in the house, I guess.

    It's nuts because the last time he quit he remarked about how much money he had left over, how he didn't have a constant cough, etc. IDK - it's crazy. I understand that I accepted him as a smoker when we got married. No excuse, but I was young, in love, and naive and thought if I was honest about his smoking we'd fight, so I didn't mention it. I am non-confrontational, even worse when I was younger.

    And...I see some peoples' point of how it's his home too. My POV is this: what he's doing is harmful. Me sitting in my front yard isn't. Harmful should be inconvenienced, not me.

    Beth
     
  40. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Her toleration for his addiction has changed. In other words, she has now decided his smoking bothers her a lot more than it used to.

    I can't help wondering if Bella were the smoker and DH was the one that suddenly decided he could no longer tolerate it if you would be giving her the same advice - she needs to take his newly developed lower tolerance into consideration.

    Marriage is a 50/50 proposition. Bella's concerns, especially for DS, are valid and should be taken into consideration. However, DH's addiction is also worth understanding and considering as well.

    Yes, it is too bad the dad has a habit that is also harmful to his health. He knows it is bad for him, but the addiction is too strong to overcome that at this point in time.

    As for the house smelling like smoke; as long as he smokes outside, that will be kept to a minimum. If he has a designated space inside the house, that area will smell and the rooms around it will have some of the smell, but not as much. If he washes his clothes daily (and his work clothes as soon as he gets home), that will reduce the spread of the smell as well.

    The "smoking smell" only permeates the residence when the occupant(s) smoke throughout the house regularly. Even then, they generally have to be heavy smokers. Unless someone is extremely sensitive to the smell, it won't be that noticeable if the house is occupied by a casual smoker.

    I worked in home health for 1.5 years, mainly delivering oxygen to patients. I've been in apartments that radiated the smell before you got to the door. I've been in homes where every piece of furniture was saturated with the smell. I've also been in homes where only 1 person smokes and they usually do it outside. Inside the house, there was no detectable "smoke odor" at all.

    Both of my parents were smokers. My dad smoked inside all of his life. Their current house still only had a detectable odor in the room where he smoked. He passed away in 2007 from a combination of health problems. None of them were directly related to smoking, although smoking probably increased some of the effects.

    My mom still smokes, but only outside. I can smell the odor when I come onto the porch, but there is no odor at all inside the house.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Yes, that is what I said (or at least intended). And I find that to be a very valid point.
     

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