Asthma UK community forum
9,835 members16,613 posts

New Boyfriend Smokes... Any Advice???

Hi All.

Merry Christmas to absolutely everyone!

As usual I am bringing problems for others to help me solve. Sorry.

I have a new man in my life. He's a sweetheart but there's a snag. He smokes.

Cigarette smoke and my chest simply do NOT get along and I can almost hear other chests on the board coming out in sympathy as I type. We've been together for about 3 months and I'm finding that after we've been in an enclosed space together for a while my symptoms are worse and the following day I feel really rotten. So far I've only shown bad signs of coughing in front of him once and he seemed very concerned at the time. It passed with the use of my Salbutamol inhaler and at the time I thought it might be enough to stop him smoking around me quite so much. Unfortunately he's still puffing away and I'm finding it's bothering me enormously.

I've asked friends what I should do to tackle the problem and have been met with lots of ""Dump him"" remarks which aren't helpful. I don't want to dump him and don't see why I need to at this stage. I need some advice from the wise folk of this forum! I need some diplomatic phrases that won't make him feel over-guilty for having a vice (I have one or two myself) but will be enough to make him a tad more considerate. I'm sure he would be if he knew how much his habit is affecting my health - I just don't know how to put it. I don't want it to get to the stage where only him witnessing me having a nasty attack is the only way to get the message across.

Thanks in advance for any help - I'm sure I'm not the first person here to have this kind of problem.

Big hugs, Fluffy. x

13 Replies

Hi fluffy,

Oooh that's a difficult one. I would tactfully suggest to him each time that he want to have a smoke to step outside the house to do so. Something like ""I don't mind you smoking, but could you please do it outside or with the back door open - as the smoke irritates my lungs"". If you are out with him in a social situation and he lights up, just smile nicely and excuse yourself from his side until after he has finished his cigarette. He should soon clue up that you are walking away each time he does so and hopefully takes the hint.

Failing that I would ask my GP if there is some literature available that simply explains asthma and its common triggers and hand it to the boyfriend and ask him to read it. If he refuses to read it then you have to question really if this man is considerate enough of you and your feelings to keep him.


Have you actually sat him down and explained just what it could do. I honestly don't think that people really believe asthma can be life threatening and can even kill, I think they think we over-hype it.

Explain that everyone has different triggers and if smoke is one of yours, if he had a dog and that was a trigger I doubt he would be offended if you asked him not to bring his dog around so why should it be any different for smoking. Ask him not to smoke around you or in the car. Don't make it a me or your fags issue just explain. Just cos your puffer worked this time does not mean to say it will next time. Be gentle but firm and be clear that you want to be with him. Of course if he offers to give up then you need to dash in there with loads of help and support and be ready to put up with the withdrawal problems and odd falling off the wagon without losing your cool.



It's Christmas, Fluffy. Buy him some patches and a subscription to Asthma UK.


(Ex-smoker for whom patches worked superbly 15 years ago)


This will make you laugh - I told my partner I would not go out with him unless he stopped smoking!!!! We have known each other for years and he only smoked a handful a day but it is one thing I cannot abide, I am so glad pubs are now non smoking because I can go for a meal without feeling ill all the time.

He wanted to be with me so much he quit, just like that. We've been together nearly 4 years now and he hasn't touched one since.

Good luck solving your problem, if he wants to be with you he will respect your illness and either not smoke near you or quit.



I am having the same problem but with my dad. He never EVER smokes around me but i still want him to quit because it is really bad for you. I am sure he already know what smoking does to you, as well that it probably trigges you. Try explaining to him that you know that it is really hard to quit, but that if he really truly cares for you could he at least try quitting? It wouldnt hurt trying out the patches or nicotine gum (or other products). It would end up being a win win situation, and it wouldnt hurt anyone. Just let him know that it is bugging you. Then you could propose to give up one of your bad habits (if you have any), no matter how hard it is because then you would both be in it together and you could support eacother, and that way it is not one-sided.

That is all the advice I could come up with ecause I can imagine how hard it is to give up smoking just from what ive seen and people have told me.

Good Luck and happy holidays!


If he really cares about you then he should be paying attention to your needs and your health and well being. If he's not capable of doing that then is he worth having?

If your feeling is right that he does care for you then he should be able to respect your needs and smoke away from you or even give up.


yeh like the others say he needs to quit to be with you. Often people just don't understand how serious it can be. I find that even the smell of smoke on smokers clothes makes my lungs twitchy. Good luck.



Be brave, give him THE ULTIMATUM, he quits the cancer sticks or you quit him.

If he is serious about you, he will. If not, your health is far more important and you will know where you stand.

It's a hard choice but there is, also no choice as far as you are concerned.


Hi there

I've been in a similar situation myself as my boyfriend likes to go out clubbing and go for outdoor walks and stuff and so do I but sometimes I've just not got the strength and fortunately for me he is understanding and doesn't complain when I'm not there, makes sure I'm with someone to help me, gets in touch to check im ok etc. I think maybe you just need to talk to him and tell him that it really bothers you and could effect your health. I knew my boyfriend for two years before we got together (we were in the same class in college) and he was aware I had asthma but we didn't spend much time together out of college so he never really saw what I get like until we got together. At first he didn't appear interested in my asthma (in fairness I never spoke about it to him) but I got quite bad one night and he was really concerned. We spoke about it after that, and he was really cool about it and said he wanted to know more but didn't want to ask awkward questions and I never used to mention it so he never knew much. Anyway now he knows and he knows all about my symptoms and triggers and inhalers and what to do if I have an attack and it doesn't get in the way at all.

Maybe you just need to talk to him and tell him more about your condition, worked for me!!

Hope you get everything sorted xx



Thanks for all your advice folks - but in the end I couldn't stick the smoke so I had to pack him in. He seemed to take it quite well, he just lit another ciggy and shrugged.

Hey Ho - another one bites the dust!

Never mind. Fluffy is available again to all you lovely NON-SMOKING gentlemen.



Good for you! If he thinks the cigs are more importat than you then he wasn't worth it anyway. Hope you find someone nice who doesn't smoke!


Bumped up for Welsh Andy!


all good advice there but I do believe it could be Cancer sticks or me Job everytime. It is such a difference going out to bars and resturants these days but I went to Cyprus in October and my 3 friends all smoked. I was in a hell of a state after a few days and even got to the point of leaving them in a resturant while I went outside for air. Smoking just doesnt mix with asthma.


You may also like...