Ask LH: How Can I Ask A Smoker To Move On?

Ask LH: How Can I Ask A Smoker To Move On?

Hi Lifehacker, I was sitting outside on a bench to myself, enjoying my lunch and the sunshine, when a stranger comes and stands around three metres away from me. The problem was when he lit up a cigarette. I didn’t want to get up and move, I had a nice spot and was there first. This has happened a few times since. How can I get this bloke to move along without appearing like a petty goody-two-shoes? Thanks, Smoke Got In My Eyes

Smoker picture from Shutterstock


Whenever you’re dealing with a smoking stranger, a direct but impeccably polite request is usually the best course of action. However, the outcome will largely depend on the individual’s personality.

If you’re lucky, he could be a reasonable person who appreciates the irritation second-hand smoke can cause. We wouldn’t hold our breath though. (Actually, you should probably still hold your breath.)

Unfortunately, many smokers have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to this sort of thing. They’ve been turfed out of every indoor venue in the country, which can make them extremely protective about their right to smoke outdoors.

Asking him to move on might leave him feeling persecuted and marginalised; kind of like a chain-smoking Rosa Parks. The fact it’s a filthy habit that can affect the health of innocent bystanders is apparently irrelevant.

The only way to discover whether this stranger falls into the militant ‘pro-ciggie’ camp is to ask him to stop smoking. If he angrily refuses, you’ll be left with two options: pathetically backing down or launching into a heated argument. Neither response is likely to get you what you want.

Alternatively, you could break into an open-mouthed, hacking cough for the duration of his smoke. While he might not care about your discomfort, it could prove sufficiently annoying that he takes his smoke-breaks elsewhere — especially if there’s spittle flying about.

Now, we’re not saying you should intentionally spit on a smoker, but refusing to cover your mouth while coughing is a justifiable defense-mechanism when having dangerous chemicals blown in your face. So forget social mores and let the phlegm fly!

We’d like to throw this question to our smoking readers. How do you react when a stranger asks you to stop? Are there any responses that work better than others? Let us know in the comments section below.

See also: How Effective Are E-Cigarettes At Helping You Quit? | Quitbuddy Is A Stop Smoking App | What Research On Habit Formation Reveals About Willpower

Cheers Lifehacker

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].


  • If you said excuse me, would you mind standing further away as I am eating lunch. Then I would move. If you are eating in a strange spot though don’t expect me to be so nice (outside train station\pub etc)

    • Given that the inconsiderate smoker was sitting, not sure he/she will be that keen to give up a good seat at the request of a wowser non-smoker.

    • Thank you! I no longer smoke, but with the few places left it is aggravating to see people ask you to move from a space you’re entitled to smoke in. Maybe be considerate and accommodate us

      • Yes you exhaling and spewing foul smelling chemicals on to, around or in my direction on top of making it difficult for me to breathe is OBVIOUSLY just a whinny annoyance. ( Huge % of people are asthmatic)

        Australia should adopt the stance of smokers that get cancer don’t get treated.

        • This is why people don’t take kindly to being told not to smoke. You’re having a massive over reaction. I’m not a smoker, I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke and I don’t particularly enjoy being around a stranger who is smoking, but it’s not the huge deal you’re making it out to be. You’re acting as though they’re holding you down and cramming tobacco down your throat.
          It’s not going to kill you it’s going to make you uncomfortable. When you approach a smoker with a rational ‘hey buddy, can you do that somewhere else, I really hate the smell’ you get a much better reaction than when you throw your arms up in the air and claim they’re raping your lungs.

          It’s like starting a fight with someone who is wearing too much cologne.

          • I’m an ex smoker, thankfully for a long time now, and as is common with a lot of ex smokers I can no longer stand smoke.

            I don’t worry excessively about the health impact, as second hand smoke will be nothing compared to the smoke from car exhausts, but I do massively object to the unpleasantness of the smoke, and the danger of flying ash. I could go on and say the danger of idiots flicking their dog ends in my direction too. The unsightliness (and environmental impact) of dog ends littered across the streets.

            I don’t think kingpotato needs to refer to his medical condition. Smoke is an unpleasant annoyance without any medical considerations.

            And having half a dozen people gather around a street corner – be that outside of a pub door, or wherever else, isn’t particularly pleasant or convenient for others either.

            I personally think that smoking is massively selfish and should be discouraged. In public, anyhow.

          • I’m not against being against smoking* and I understand if you really don’t like it. I also think smokers should be polite about it. I just think people like Kingpotato need to dial it down to a more reasonable level or else all he’s doing is provoking a fight.
            He’s essentially saying I hope you all get cancer and die. How does he expect people to respond to that?

            *As long as it’s not the insane nanny state ‘you can’t even smoke in your own home/car/with consenting adults’ crap, it’s already gone a bit far with no smoking in bars regardless of the owners wishes, because as someone who likes a drink with dinner after work I’m pretty sure I’m next on the list.

          • I love the no smoking in bars thing. I used to be a security guard and after work my clothes would just stink from cigarette smoke.

            It was a really pleasant surprise to walk into a club a few years ago and smell fresh air. So much better than they used to be.

          • It was a really pleasant surprise to walk into a club a few years ago and smell fresh air. So much better than they used to be.

            Fresh air and night clubs don’t really go together for me. I’ve never been in a club that smelt better post-smoking ban. I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke but I don’t think a blanket ban in all bars is the way to go. I’d rather sit in a smoke free cafe, and some bars I’d definitely rather were smoke free, but I think that call should really be left to management at the specific venue.

            I just find that so many bars are smoke free to please people who have zero interest in going to them. To satisfy people who have a drink or two at a hotel bar when they’re out of town the gross night club I go to has to ban smoking. The people who do go there and the people who run the place had no real say. It’s like banning obnoxiously loud techno music. I’m all for the places I go not playing it but it’s a decision that should be left up to management.
            Plus forcing people out on the street to smoke was just stupid. Two different style clubs within a block of each other pushing irritated half drunk patrons out so they can stand out front in the cold for10 minutes while people going to/leaving from the other club walk past is just going to lead to fights.

          • Smoke from car exhausts are not good but they are no where near as harmful as tobacco smoke.

            By-products from a combustion engine (assuming petrol) include: oxygen, water, unburnt hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

            I would hazard a guess to say tobacco smoke has more chemicals harmful to your health than the ones coming out of vehicle exhausts.

          • How many car exhausts are you exposed to when you walk down to the shops? Dozens. Hundreds.

          • You’re exposed to ‘dozens’ to ‘hundreds’ of smokers on any busy night out on the town as well. What’s your point?

          • Maybe you should google that then? They’re both pretty bad but I’d have a smoke before I’d suck gas out of an exhaust pipe.

            You know, if I really had to choose.

          • No that is the perfectly adequate reaction to a toss pot dick head( i.e the people i actually commented to) who thinks its their right to plague people with their harmful, wretched chemicals just so they can get their next junkie hit, circumstances be damned.

            It’s not like in the OP scenario i would tell the smoker to go get cancer, no i would do exactly as the article suggest. only i would start something if they didn’t F off.

            And trying to say im having a massive over reaction, when i can’t physically breathe and the junkie thinks his next hit takes priority over said breathing, is ridiculous to say the least and indicates YOU need to get your priority straight. ESPECIALLY considering figures from 2007 indicated 10% of the population is asthmatic.

            We should also take our laws much further, and just ban smoking in ALL public places. If you want to smoke you can politely poison yourself in your own homes.

            PS. if you were a severe asthmatic that smoke really does rape your lungs.

        • Just make smokers and their related diseases not covered by health insurance and Medicare.

          • This would be a good start, only to be fair you would have to include obese people get the appropriate diseases, alcoholic related things, people who “OD” on their party drugs.

            You would get people complaining if it didn’t treat them all equally. But I’d be all for it to be as serve as possible, if people want to live a certain way they can pay for it themselves instead of on taxpayer dimes, just because they lack self control.

          • We absolutely should require smokers and obese and alcoholics all to pay for their own medical. Screw our supporting their unhealthy habits.

      • If you’re ‘entitled’ to blow toxic chemicals into the air I breathe, then no doubt you’ll agree that I’m ‘entitled’ to break a few stink bombs in the close vicinity of your feet, or empty my drink bottle in your general direction.

  • I had my last cigarette just over a year ago, but I can tell you that in my 15 years of smoking, if someone was polite about it and simply asking me to move a short distance, I’d normally be ok with obliging them. Then again, I generally tried to stand downwind of people and was mindful of where my smoke went (though circumstances mean I could always take such courtesy).

    That said, there’s a lot of arseholes out there who take even the smallest most polite request or notification to them with great offense, who just want to get angry for any reason no matter what you say to them. It’s not necessarily someone “militant ‘pro-ciggie’” as you put it. Often it’s just someone who’s angry and looking for any excuse to lash out, someone who’s just a selfish arsehole anyway.

    I’d highly recommend against the hacking cough, waving of your hands and greasy look. If someone did those to me I usually made extra effort to return the lack of courtesy and blow as much smoke in their direction as I could.

    Keep in mind that smokers don’t realise just how pervasive their ciggy smoke is. As a smoker your sense of taste and smell is diminished so you rarely smell the smoke on yourself let alone other smokers you’re right next to. They don’t realise non smokers can generally smell it 3-10 meters away, sometimes further, and they don’t realise how bad it is to a non-smoker as to them its generally a relatively nice smell. That’s just the affect the cigarettes have on the senses.

    • who just want to get angry for any reason no matter what you say to them


      someone who’s just a selfish arsehole anyway.


      Personally I wouldn’t ask a smoker to move because even if they’re 6 feet away it’ll annoy me. I’d rather just move on myself.

      They don’t realise non smokers can generally smell it 3-10 meters away,


      For some strange reason, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the billion dollar tobacco industry and the cash cow of tobacco taxation, but smoking has been accepted as a perfectly legitimate activity for decades – or centuries. Of course smokers think they’re doing nothing wrong because all of the marketing that goes into brain washing them into this activity tells them that they’re doing nothing wrong – or even that (in a rebellious kind of way) being wrong isn’t so bad after all.

  • There are nice people and there are jerks. This is the same for tobacco smokers.

    If I was the first at the bench then it’s my cigar smoking party zone but if you were there first I’d probably get some distance and even if I failed if you asked politely I’d happily move.

    That’s if it is a reasonable request. If you are well away and it is outdoors and you are just doing it because you are a militant anti smoker I’m probably not going to be as obliging.

    If you were a jerk or gave me a lecture I’d just be a jerk back.

    However, if the smoker is a jerk you are screwed because dealing with jerks is a hopeless situation.

    Either way, my suggested approach would be for you to affirm their right to smoke but politely ask them to give a bit more distance as you personally have a distaste for the smoke. It’s probably the highest probability approach. Being nice is usually the highest probability approach in most things.

  • Taking the extreme, militant standpoint, the sooner that Australia bans the smoking of tobacco everywhere, the better;)
    It’s coming – maybe not here first, but it’s coming.

    • I absolutely LOVED the idea that was proposed but never approved in Tasmania a few years back – the 2000 rule. Anyone born before 2000 could legally buy cigarettes, born in the year 2000 or later couldn’t. That way the minimum age would constantly go up, it’d be piss-easy to see on ID’s and they’d get phased out bar those who obtained them illegally, without undue impact on those already addicted.

      I have no idea how this didn’t get approved. I had been wanting to quit for over 7 years prior to when I did quit, numerous extremely painful and difficult failed attempts until I tried the medication route. I dreaded any attempts to make things more difficult for me because I had already tried & failed miserably so many times. Stopping new people from taking it up and leaving those who were already unable to beat the addiction alone was my preferred route.

      • Prohibition doesn’t work. You’d just end up with black market tobacco with funds going to criminals instead of taxes.

        I’m not a smoker, never have been, but I believe people should be allowed to do what they want as long as nobody else comes to harm.
        So when it comes to smoking, the furthest I’d go is banned in public places the way alcohol is, but then you’d have legions of irritable workers everywhere (or a huge pay day to those Nicotine patch companies).

        • I tend to agree with what your saying, but banning it would at least get them out of public spaces. This is what I really want. It’s a totally obnoxious habit.

        • Prohibition does work, it’s just not absolute. Even during alcohol prohibition in the United States, the amount of alcohol being moved and consumed was significantly lower than prior. Prohibiting tobacco wouldn’t be implemented with the naive goal of shutting tobacco down altogether, but it would make it progressively more difficult to obtain, and reduce availability and overall consumption across the whole population. The health benefits of getting even 10% of current smokers to quit would be worth it.

        • I disagree with this.

          When you’re a smoker, every time you walk past a newsagent or supermarket you are able to tap into your addiction.

          Every time you meet with a smoker, you’re able to tap into your addiction.

          It used to be, that every time you went for a drink, you could tap into your addiction.

          The smoking ban at pubs SHOULD make it easier to those attempting to give it up, but having smoking areas means that they’re still accessible.

          With prohibition – yes there will still be cigarettes available, but availability would be massively reduced. If you wanted to stop smoking, you’d have a chance to. And that’s very important.

          Personally, I’d like to see tobacco banned and marijuana (and other drugs) made legal.

        • Just because something isn’t 100% effective doesn’t make it a 100% failure. In my humble opinion, and I’ll openly admit I haven’t any figures to back up my claim so it really is my opinion and only my opinion, Stopping those born in 2000 onwards from legally buying it may not outright stop people born in 2000 onwards smoking, but there would be very significantly fewer smoking than there would be from leaving cigarettes as a legal substance.

      • Yeah I tried medication about 7 years ago, It worked a treat.

        I was previously successful on Allan Carr’s book – well worth buying – but I failed twice, after a year each time. I think that book has a flaw which I won’t mention as it may spoil it for others.

        OK I will – spoller alert.

        I felt that the Alan Carr method made you keep on thinking about smoking after you stopped. You thought about smoking in a negative frame of mind (which is good) but you were thinking about smoking none the less and as such (I personally) didn’t quite escape my obsession with the additction.

        The medication route worked a treat though. I can remember the name, but it was prescribed by a GP, was quite expensive if I remember correctly and I think it began with an X or a Z.

    • My idea was to have smoking licensed, just like alcohol e.g. you can’t drink in public, only in licensed premises. That way people won’t be able to smoke at bus stops, train stations, outside the door of workplaces and will need to go to a smoking lounge. Just like if you wanted to drink, you’ll need to go to a licensed bar.

    • Their sense of smell is lessened by the cigarettes. They’ll hear it, but probably not smell it unless in an enclosed space.

  • Is it legal to spray mace in a smoker’s eyes? I can only assume it is if they are allowed to cover people in smoke.

  • As an ex-smoker myself, I’ve been asked to move along. And when it’s polite, usually I’m embarrassed that I didn’t consider the people around me, apologise, and move on. However, if someone is rude about it, I’d probably still move on, but be rude about doing that.

    Now, the above situation is one example. But what about when there are kids involved? A couple of years ago I was up at SeaWorld on the Gold Coast. We had a couple of small kids with us (2 and 4), and we sat down to eat in the food court, which while ‘outdoors’ is undercover. So about two metres away was a group who, upon finishing their food, all lit up. Fortunately we were about ready to move on, but frankly I was disgusted. There were a lot of families with small children around. I’m not usually one to shy away from confrontation, nor one to judge people on appearances, but needless to say it was pretty obvious these were not the sort of people to respond politely to being challenged about their smoking under these circumstances.

    As I said fortunately we’d all finished eating and were ready to move on, but I’m interested in anyone’s opinion as to how you would handle this situation.

    • The sooner smoking is banned at ALL food/drink establishments – indoor AND outdoor – the better.

      Why should I be forced to sit inside in order to enjoy my meal without being subjected to someone else’s disgusting habit?

      • Smoking is already banned in all outdoor eating areas in QLD.

        You can’t smoke in an eating area and you can’t eat in a smoking area.

        • Pig’n’Whistle in Brisbane,Indooroopilly you can smoke on their outdoor eating area. So it’s not banned everywhere. There are still exceptions.

      • I’m allergic to some perfumes, so lets ban those next. My coworker is allergic to eggs, so those will come after that.

        • uhh sure except eggs don’t affect EVERYONE negatively, nor does perfume. smoke, even second-hand, DOES have a negative impact on the health of EVERYONE, not just an individual. sorry but your logic is seriously flawed

        • At the very least with perfume the person isn’t sucking it in and blowing it all over people. Then there’s the fact smoking is harmful to everyone that breathes it in, not just those that are allergic.

          I’m pretty sure your coworker isn’t getting eggs thrown at them by strangers either.

          • Really? I quite often sit on a bench on the side of the road, surrounded by trees as it may be, and eat my lunch heh..

          • Actually, we SHOULD ban those. The burning of fossil fuels is beyond belief – not only is it massively damaging the environment (and I’m not even going to get into the climate change debate, it’s real, it’s happening) and harmful to human beings, it’s an incredibly limited resource that’s not renewable and that we’ve allowed ourselves, as a society, to become intimately dependant upon. Human stupidity at its finest.

        • Firstly, being allergic to something is one thing, being harmed by something to the point that it will give you cancer after too much exposure is another.

          Also, if everyone was allergic to those perfumes, I guarantee it would be banned in public in a heartbeat.

          • See post above about cars, or preservatives, or any other number of things.

            in the end of the day id rather die at 70 rather than 90, but live free of having imposed on me how you want me to live my life…. Not that I’m a smoker, but still.

          • Really? You’d take 20 years less of life just to spite people who’d like you to… live longer, be wealther and happier?

            That sounds like a bad deal to me.

          • Right. Because today it is smoking, tomorrow, who knows.. If you look, you can find people in number, that believe anything you can imagine.

            Who’s correct? Nobody. Living longer guarantees nothing, and infact even then is only a statistically higher chance of living longer, not itself a guarantee. You could still entirely by chance die at 20, 30, 40..

            As I said many times, even in this post, i’m not a smoker.. So the point is moot in relation to me; it comes down to the right to choose. The smoker can choose to smoke, you can choose to move away. It’s also your right to talk to them about how you think they should live.. It’s NOT your right to tell them how they MUST live, around you.

            The only real choice is to live your life however makes you happiest, for as long as you are able to do so.

          • I’m not telling anyone to do anything. I’m just picking the best path for me. And in almost every single case, that’s 20 years more life with my family.

            Hopefully they’ll see it that way too, and are not waiting for me to pass sooner. 😛

            I too think that smokers should be able to smoke if they want to, but I don’t think tobacco companies should be allowed to exist. What purpose does a product serve that kills a huge percentage of it’s customers?

  • Or you could try my (automatic, not conscious) reaction to ingesting poison into my lungs – often an immediate drop of lunch on the ground in front of where I am. And I don’t mean lunch on a plate or in a bag. Literally, I get a vomit reflex often before I’m even aware of the smell, and after I puke, I look around to figure out, “What idiot caused that?” because I don’t even know where it’s coming from.

  • If I’m there first, you’ll just have to put up with it until I’m done.
    If you’re there first, I won’t come within a reasonable range of you out of respect, aim to stand down wind if possible, and if it’s still a problem and you ask nicely, I will move even further until I’m done.
    If there is a child in what I consider too close of a distance, I won’t light up at all, or if it’s a temporary issue such as them walking by, I walk out of the way.

  • smokers are just addicts that dont care.
    a lady was smoking out front of a shopping center. and threw lit but into the grass/dirt. I said WTF lady. her reply was and im not kidding “you don’t know what’s its like to be a smoker” I was like WTF haha

  • I became an ex-smoker on jan 16 2013 via hypnosis ….. it’s always been hard to explain to people who have never smoked.. how it is . I equate it to being a junkie… always thinking about when you can have your next smoke, how long ago was your last one, how many do I have left in the pack, where can I get some more, do I have enough money to get me thru the week etc….. luckily smokers don’t mug old ladies on pension day for a pack of Pall Malls.
    When I was smoking I was always aware of my surroundings and people. I’d like to think most smokers would be happy to move if asked ( even the mulleted winnie blue bogans ).

    sometimes taking the ” I was here first ” stance is always prudent.
    but taking the high road is….

  • correction:

    sometimes taking the ” I was here first ” stance isn’talways prudent.
    but taking the high road is….

  • A chip on their shoulder when it comes to this kind of thing? They’re just sitting outside doing what they do the same as anyone else.. Not that i’m a smoker, but they have reasonable rights to do what they please as everyone does..

    .. Unless someone is forcing you to sit in an unventilated room with one.. which is illegal..

    • Good logic, until you realise that smoking affects other people, so it isn’t just about ‘your rights’. You’re freely allowed to smoke – the second it starts affecting me, you’re no longer exercising ‘your right to smoke’, you’re impeding on my right to be healthy. Don’t use that ‘we inhale car exhaust all the time, so its fine’. No, it isn’t. I barely ever have to ingest car exhaust due to my life choices, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be happy about it.

      Smoke all you want, just don’t expect me to say that you have the right to put that shit in my face.

      • As per my other posts, so does nearly everything you do. Driving a car is thought to be the cause of ever increasing asthma for example.

        I’ll believe this argument when you live in a monastery, and just busy yourself with your daily chores of cleaning (without harmful chemicals) and feeding yourself (with only organic foods free of synthetic pesticides – many of which are the mainly harmful ingredients (purportedly) in cigarette smoke).

        Until then, yes, society will impact everyone within it’s lifespan. No, it’s probably not something you should concern yourself with; especially when you have the choice to move but a few meters.

        They aren’t trying to infringe on your rights, only to maintain their own.. You and many others on the other hand are taking the completely alternative view; that your view is the only way people should be forced to live.

        • How can you have this level of cognitive dissonance? That because of unavoidable things that affect us in our lives, we should just say fuck it and allow anyone and everyone to pollute ourselves.

          Once again, you skew the argument. I have no problem with smokers. But you _dont_ have the right to put that chemical shit on, or in me. It is unnecessary, it is avoidable.

  • Teaching the socially inept the way through person to person interactions 1 person at a time.
    Thanks lifehacker.

  • When I was a smoker, for almost 20 years, (I’ve since quit) I was always very considerate of others.. even in places that I was legally allowed to smoke, I would not if it was obvious that it would cause others discomfort.

    However, if I had in some way been the smoker in this situation, I would have gladly moved along/away if someone had politely, in a friendly way, asked me to move etc. I probably wouldn’t be aware that I was affecting that person. Now as a ex-smoker, though I am probably extra sensitive to the smell as a result, I am well aware of how far the stink of it can travel and how long the stink of it remains on the smoker after they have finished smoking. It’s a long way, further than I would have imagined as a smoker and it lingers a lot longer than you would have thought as well.

    Oh and.. don’t ask them to stop smoking.. that is a bad idea.. wrong approach. Ask them if they could smoke a little further away.. or downwind of you etc.. Respect their choice to smoke, respect their rights as an individual etc and you’ll definitely get better results.

  • Just explain to them that you quit smoking a few weeks/months ago and that you are greatly tempted by the lure of smoke which is why you sit where you sit. Give it a good back story and talk the ear of the smoker with your quitting story. Pretty much can be sure that a smoker will be the first to leave the area if the have to listen to a quitter story. The other way to do it (if the first path wont work) is to say damn I miss smoking but since I was diagnosed with lung cancer I’ve had to find a quiet place to sit and think about how I am going to tell my wife ,kids & family that I only have 6 months to live. Annoyance or guilt will have them avoiding your favourite place of contemplation in no time.

    • I try to be positive on these here websites but seriously? Are you a compulsive liar or something?

      Why not just be true to yourself and give them a real reason instead of making up silly stories that actually takes longer to tell them, and mean that you now have to remember your lies every time they say hi to you from now on?

  • Prohibition does work. Even if it’s not absolute, it will still have a massive impact on public health. I have no problem confronting a smoker if they’re being obnoxious, and sadly, that’s becoming all too often.

    Ban them outright, I say.

    • Er what? No prohibition or substance law has realistically EVER been successful.. And in most cases have cost billions to try and enforce..

      Even so, many people seem to think ‘curing smoking’ is the same as curing cancer. It’s highly likely that most people will still die from cancer, since only a few cancers are directly linked to smoking, for the rest it’s just a carcinogen risk as with many things (most bagged potato chips for example contain exceptionally high levels of carcinogens from the type of oil they use)

      • @michael_debyl

        Incorrect. You ban a substance and make it near impossible to obtain and what do you know – it has an impact.

        Sure, there will be a black market for it, but I already stated that prohibition isn’t absolute. But it will have a major impact. Smoking related diseases are clogging up our public health system. Remove that obstacle and what do you know – maybe our health system won’t be so back-logged.

  • Whenever I am walking down the street and there is a smoker walking ahead of me with their smoke drifting backwards towards me, I speed up and get ahead of them….

    … then fart.

  • i had something similar happen at my local shopping center. i was out shopping with my 18 month old, parked in a parents with prams park (which, for some reason at my local center are closer to the entrance than the disabled spots)

    coming out of shopping and a smoker is witin 1 meter of my car. i asked them to move away from my car (and more importantly my daughter) and was met with derision – unitl the security guard who had been watching the smoker came over and told them to move

  • It’s ridiculous how Australians can be so sensitive and irritated by smokers. There is nothing wrong about smoking outdoors when you are not blowing at someone’s face or pushing your way in.

    The most annoying thing in Australia is how people can be annoying and irrespecutful when they are drunk or high. We should ban these animals from walking the street…

    AUSTRALIA > sort out your drinking and drugs issues first

  • I’m a smoker and don’t mind being moved on.But people do need to remember that’s it’s a very addictive drug and that we can’t help but smoke when we need to. We are not dirt on the end of a stick. We’re just like everybody else. But guess what, I hate the smell of overused perfume and wish I could tell that person to tone it down next time, but I don’t think they’d like me very much. Anyway, as a smoker I would be ok to move on, but you’re right, I would feel horrible that the only place to smoke, being outside, is still not good enough for people. But mind you, I wouldn’t have stood that close to him in the first place.

    • The problem with smokers outside is this: guess what, I like fresh air, outdoor patios, nice benches in parks, etc. Smokers dominate the best places as far as I’m concerned, and that should never be okay. Why can’t you just smoke in your own house ONLY?

      As for those who say that there are other carcinogens, so what? I do everything possible to avoid my exposure to ALL known carcinogens. I eat organic, stopped having a fire in the fireplace, avoid car exhaust whenever possible, don’t eat additives in food, etc. Yes, there are some carcinogens that can’t be avoided. But cigarette smoke is a VERY dangerous carcinogen, and lung cancer is usually deadly. So the idea that anyone can voluntarily expose me to carcinogens against my will is BS.

      It is the height of inconsiderate behavior to expose others, against their will, to seriously dangerous chemicals.

      It doesn’t matter if we “don’t understand” about your addiction. You are still inconsiderate if you smoke anywhere near (within 100 or more feet) of anyone who doesn’t smoke. You might be addicted, and that’s fine. But why the hell can’t you move and not expose others to your reckless and *profoundly* inconsiderate behavior?

  • I smoke and if I’m outdoors and you tell me to stop, I’m going to tell tell you in no uncertain terms to F off and I’ll stand my ground up to and including you calling the police, it’s not illegal to sit on a park bench just because you are sitting on it too. It’s the nanny staters that have already covered the cig boxes in propaganda, forced the prices up to confiscatory taxation levels, and forced us out of bars. Name just one person science can prove was killed by second hand smoke. It’s a propagandized myth hyped by the antismoking zealots. I buy black market tobacco btw, there is not a chance your nanny state government is getting my cig taxes. Not a chance. Cue the morons who think this is their business. And I care not what any Australian nanny thinks of me, I can guarantee you I think even less of them. It’s so obviously pathetic reading this comment thread how quick most Australians are to call for bans and prohibitions. Australia couldn’t tie its shoelaces without recourse to big government meddling. It’s pathetic. Most of the people of Australia are utterly spineless nannies looking to use government to meddle in the business of others, while hand over fist collecting middle class welfare. I tell you what, moron sitting the park, stop putting a gun to my head to work to pay for your baby bonus and your kids 20 vaccines in 20 months, and I’ll walk an extra 3 meters away, until that day, you can suck on my legal smoke and like it. Lighting one up now. Mmmmmm. Gonna empty my ash tray at the traffic lights too. I litter my butts, blow smoke in parks, out front of door ways, and labour to pay for your middle class welfare, so can try complaining to me, but it ain’t gonna move me to anything but barking in your face and me letting you know how much disdain I have for you. Mmmmmm, tax free underground tobacco. Mmmmmmm. Blowing it out of my mouth right now. You know it won’t be long until the sickos that run this country will put photos of diseased hearts on all the coke cans. That’s the authoritarian nanny state most Australians lie down and take, and it won’t be long before ‘ban it’ Australia bans something even you enjoy. You make me sick. I never did mind losing the worst years of my life, the adult nappy years, the dementia years, but dying earlier and being able to get away from the nanny state sickos is just icing on the cake. I can’t WAIT for the next time a smoke hater tries to order me around outdoors. I can’t wait. Bring it.

    • I hope you never have your family, elderly parents, or children with you. Because I will start yelling curse words at the top of my lungs repeatedly at them, around them, toward them, etc. Don’t expect others to be polite, or refrain from doing *whatever they want* since you are such an ass.

  • (smoker hopefully trying to quit soon)

    I try not to smoke near other people who aren’t smoking. Even if I was there first, if people come, I move away or put my cig out. It’s a public space that I’m polluting with highly irritating & harmful fumes.

    That said, I really don’t like when people are rude about telling you to move (I may have forgotten that I’m too close due to lack of sense of smell / familiarity with smoking). The fake coughing method feels rude to me too. I will move anyway, giving them the benefit of the doubt that it is a genuine cough, but if not can you not just talk to me like I’m a fellow human being? I’m not trying to cause you pain, I’m just unaware. Respect that I probably, not being a toddler, will be able to understand that I’m doing something that is causing you discomfort. I will respect your comfort/health, feel bad, wish I didn’t smoke, and then move away.

    I do agree it is a weak and disgusting habit, I’m trying to find the strength to ditch it.

    • This is the most polite response I have seen. I hope you had luck in quitting. I would just suggest that you should know that you are bothering others probably if you can see them. Smoke travels a LONG way. So why wouldn’t you just move anytime you basically can see anyone else, or at least if they are within 100 feet or so? Asking someone to stop is drama non-smokers don’t need or deserve. And you know that your sense of smell might not work. So why not just assume you are bothering anyone within a fairly significant distance?

  • So here… ill turn the tables…

    I will take a shit right in front of you, and in the process get the smell all over you so that you will spend the rest of the day smelling like shit, oh! did i mention that my shit causes cancer? Yeh so there is that for you to deal with as well! Oh and as an added bonus despite ruining your day with my invasive past time, i will behave like a self entitled douche bag by making a big deal out of you complaining about the whole thing…

  • … let the phlegm fly!

    Best advice ever. A few airborne green ‘n’ stickies ought to work… or, get you beaten to a pulp.

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