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Addiction and Substance Abuse




I live in a top floor flat. I have an old man who lives below me and a husband and wife who live in a flat across from me, I smoke in my flat ad am worried that my neighbors can smell my smoke. The flat that is across from me isn’t right next door because there is a hallway and stairwell in between, so I think maybe the smoke couldn’t travel that far, but I’m not sure or if the flat below can smell it either. Can anyone help?


You pose an interesting question. Of course, the best people to answer this question are probably the neighbors you have mentioned. I also presume that you have received complaints from someone, otherwise it seems unlikely that you would write. 

There is increasing concern about exposure to secondhand smoke in shared residential buildings like the one you occupy. Often the smoke travels through shared ventilation, shared stairs and hallways and closely associated window openings. If you ever smell someone else's cooking odors, they are probably suffering from your secondhand smoke. 

Perhaps the more important question is why? Your smoking is probably costing you a great deal of money each year and certainly shortening and worsening your own life. Is this what you want? Are your neighbors the issue, or is it you? You can quit. Go speak with your doctor. Maybe this is just your wake-up call. 

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Response by:

Rob  Crane, MD Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University