Smoking Etiquette: Celebrate Courteously in the Spirit of Giving

By Kim Law

As more and more cities enforce non-smoking by-laws, it

is getting more and more difficult for a cigarette smoker

to find a place to light up. Yes, smoking has become a

dirty word in Canada, the US and in many other


And as increasingly more non-smokers speak

up, smoking has become a touchy subject for all. This

becomes even more apparent when family and friends

gather together indoors for winter celebrations. In the

spirit of the season, consider the following guidelines for

smoking etiquette:


- When in public or private buildings, only smoke in areas

designated for smoking, or in areas where others go to

smoke. Do what you can to ensure that the smoke does

not drift in the direction of others.

- If ashtrays are not made available, assume that

smoking is not permitted and do not request an ashtray.

- Refrain from smoking in the vicinity of pregnant women,

infants and the elderly.

- If smoking is permitted in the venue, refrain from

smoking in the presence of those who are eating. (In a

group situation, wait until after dessert to light up if you

are having a meal.)

- Do not smoke in someone else's car, as there is no

escape for the other person.

- If you have a non-smoking guest in your car, it is

respectful to ask, "Do you mind if I smoke?(Though the

best thing would be to refrain, as the other person may

not be comfortable asking you not to smoke in your own


- If you visit the home of someone who does not smoke,

only smoke outdoors.

- A smoker who has a non-smoking houseguest may

choose to refrain from smoking in the presence of that

person. It is considerate to ensure that the guest's room

Is free of the odour of smoke.


- If you are entertaining and smokers are attending,

arrange for a comfortable smoking area outside if you

prefer not to have smoke in the house. Everyone

deserves to feel welcome. Have comfortable chairs,

appropriate lighting and ashtrays available.

- Do not tell an acquaintance or business colleague that

they should quit smoking in the interest of their health.

This is considered intrusive, very personal and likely

none of your business. Non-smokers should respect a

smoker's right to smoke, as long as it is not done at a site

designated as non-smoking.

- Many people are allergic to smoke or have health

problems like asthma. If you wish for someone in a public

place to stop smoking, ask them very politely to

discontinue - explaining the reason. When the individual

extinguishes their cigarette, thank them sincerely.

During this festive season, whether you smoke or don't,

please consider those around you in this season's spirit

of giving.

Happy Holidays!!!