Ban smoking in public

Hi there

Silly post I know. I was wondering how to go about trying to, get a petition about smoking in public places that we asthmatics have no choice to go. For instance shop door ways, public toilets, in garden centres, bus q's I know cannot stamp it out, altogether. However if we could limit it . Ended up in A&E because I went to Asda, women decided to have a smoke in the canapé, porch type entrance. I only need a millisecond of smoke then, I'm completely stuffed. Cannot take my son to Ice Cream shop as people smoke whilst waiting in Q outside.

More awareness is needed.

40 Replies

  • is one possibility; publicise it widely enough & it can be influential. If you get enough signatories, you can present it (after the election anyway) to the Petitions Committee. The bar is set high though, so you'd have to work at getting publicity.

  • I would completely support you on this one. It drives me mad! One incident was an event during freshers and I was standing in the queue with two of my friends. And I asked the girl in front of me could she not stand near me and smoke because I have asthma and it was making my lungs spasm and hurt. And she said I have asthma and it doesn't bother me. I replied well it does to me so instead of being reasonable she blew the smoke in my face. It really is antisocial and I'm sorry about your A&E visit. And sorry about the rant it makes my blood boil.

  • I have had this before. Sadly I have type 2 Brittle asthma, even standing next to someone Can send me into status

  • No need to apologise.When your life is at stake.

  • Thank you for your understanding it was two years ago and its still infuriating!

  • No worries, it's awful when your whole life is living worrying about triggers, is it worth going out? In case someone smells of smoke or strong perfume or lynx deodorant. Sometimes don't know about you, but I don't go out for days.

  • Oh no thats so annoying when its limiting like that. It didn't use to bother me. But lately it's got so much worse and everything sets it off, probably because I didn't take the diagnosis very seriously and it was badly controlled or not recognised as actual asthma for about a decade and now my lungs are fed up and rebelling. I think because its downplayed so much as a disease; when you say I've got asthma people just shrug. I think people also believe that oh its just a case of being wheezy and having an inhaler not that you can die from it and people do every day.

  • Oh bless, we need to take it all seriously. One lady on another forum said she ignored her triggers and ended up with copd!

  • Oh crumbs that is nasty! I can see how that can happen. It's so easy to believe you are making too much of a fuss about nothing!

  • To be fair to smokers though the only place they can smoke now is in the open air and not even then sometimes.

    Perfume and traffic fumes affect me most and many others with lung issues. Can we ban them all in public please? Its not fair to just have a go at one group after all.

  • I don't want to ban it altogether but could it not be banned in ques and shop doorways I am brittle asthmatic Even a few seconds of it, could put me in serious danger as it has done several times.

  • I totally understand where you're coming from and yes it might seem unfair to pick out one group but when I go to tescos, I have to walk through the car park which is doable especially as I have no intention of standing behind a car while the engine is running and I can give people with strong perfume a wide berth but as I approach the main entrance, one thing I hate is seeing a small group of workers having their 'fag break' right outside.. They don't even bother going around the corner, we all have to go through a cloud of second hand smoke as we get our trolleys and go to the entrance.. That sort of thing SHOULD be stopped.. Oh, and YES I DID complain.. Just shouldn't have had to..

    Smoking is a widely known damaging habit where even non asthmatics are affected.. It's deliberate and no one near by has a choice but to breathe in the smoke..

    As for car fumes, many towns and cities are trying to reduce this and parliament is debating more ways to reduce pollution so car owners have already been targeted..

    Perfumes and aftershaves are a different matter.. People are not yet fully aware of the damage they can cause but I'm sure it won't be long before it filters through..

  • Couldn't agree more. Just ban it in places where we can't move away

  • Doesn't traffic fumes and perfume upset you too?

  • Not traffic fumes, perfume does

  • I'd love to ban smoking and strong perfumes / aftershaves as they are two of my triggers; smoking particulalry because the stench and effects linger so long after you are away from it

  • Strong perfume affects me too, gave me a serious chest infection, stopped going to Church as the Pastor is smothered in after shave. Can't ban the perfume, wish I could ban the smoking in places I can't move away. Certain washing powders hot drinks, cold air as well.

  • Maybe a petition could go to Parliament to ban strong perfumes? The law actually states that smokers should be at least several metres (can't remember the exact amount) away from buildings. So probably the best thing to do is to speak to the store and remind them of this.

    As for the woman at the bus stop she is just an arse! If you had complained about screaming kids she would have made them scream louder. I have found most smokers are as polite as anyone else and will try and keep their filthy habit away from others. If an idiot takes up smoking then they are an idiot smoker. You get those type of people anywhere and unfortunately there is no legislation against stupidity. I wish there was.....

  • Personally would like to ban a lot of things (trees, pollen, winter/snow, cigarette smoke, strong perfume, smelly cleaning fluids etc etc 😝😅😂)!

    I've found that if it's a place I go regularly (like a particular Sainsbury's/your ice cream shop 🍦🤤 etc) and that I've encountered an issue with the smokers, I've spoken to the manager/customer services (either that visit or the next), who have usually been really supportive when I tell them the issues I have and what the results are (aka trip to hosp...) and they have told their staff to smoke elsewhere (it doesn't look great anyway doing it at the front of shop) or put up signs that they can reinforce requesting other customers not to smoke there cause of customers having medical issues with the smoke (they usually just plaster everywhere with no smoking signs!).

    Once when I was really bad I went straight to customer services during an attack, explained what caused it (whilst I was obs struggling) and got them to call me an ambulance. Embarrassing but 3 months later I went back (was a shop I don't usually use but wanted to stop it potentially happening to others) and no smokers anywhere, and the entrance was plastered with signs (I don't think management liked all the paperwork they had to fill out from the situation - same guy on CS recognised me and came up to ask how I was doing 😳😅). One place I use even have it on the street lamps/posts in the car park, and most smokers are now so used to the ban very few people even think about complaining about it and just except it as a 'place of work' ban I think.

    It's all part of disability access/discrimination (even tho few of us would class ourself as disabled) which means if there's a complaint made, and they don't make what is seen as a reasonable adjustment/adaptation (like more no smoking signs in areas and enforcement of them) they can get into trouble if it happens again and causes you another trip to hospital. Bigger companies usually have fewer issues implimenting change than smaller ones who don't have the staff etc to enforce things, and queues outside they can't really do too much, but they could come up with alternative suggestions...

    Just an idea that in the short term we can all do in places that we frequently visit. (If we all do it eventually big companies will take notice and just start implementing new rules everywhere then no one suffers!).

    I completely understand that most people underestimate how dangerous asthma can be (I think we've all had at least 1 bad experience with intolerance in our lives), but in the shopping environment I often find showing (when I can bear to) the easiest way of demonstrating (tho I can sometimes feel like I side show freak so only on my 'thick-skinned' days!) and they usually go into an over-reaction meltdown (to me whose used to this by now).

    I'm slowly trying to spread the message to friends/family/co-workers by getting them to do the straw challenge (thin straw, plug nose, breathe thru straw for 30 secs), so they understand how the beginnings of an attack can feel then I reinforce that I can feel like that for hours/days/weeks at a time. Now I have a better and more understanding support structure and hopefully they take this understanding into their workplaces and so it will spread (🤞).

    Asthma can be a very frustrating and depressing disease anyway, so people not appreciating/understanding the problem can really pull you down. I now try and use educating others as a way to make myself feel better (if I can get one person to understand, that's one less person who may make a poorly thought out comment to someone else) tho there are times when I don't feel like going into it so I just leave it until the next one...

    I hope this gives people an idea of way we can try and implement change to help with the smoking situation in shop doorways anyway!


  • Awesome post, many thanks

  • Thanks ☺️

    (Tho for some reason my posts always end up really long 😳😅. Must work on that 🤔!)

  • We came out of a pub a few nights ago and there was a man in the doorway with a cigarette. He must have seen a look of panic on my face because he apologised and then I realised that it was not even lit!

    Seriously though, people standing in doorways smoking is awful and I don't think they understand how badly it affects us.

    I try to walk for exercise and sometimes can walk briskly for a few miles but if I smell smoke I just end up as a coughing heap.

    Does anyone remember Sunflowers perfume? Thankfully it does not seem to be in fashion now but it was lethal to me.

  • How do you all cope with wood smoke? Some weeks back we went for a walk in a lovely spot in the country, with loads of wild daffodils about. But it was slightly marred by the wood smoke I could smell in the air, quite possibly from the chimneys of one or more of the few local houses about. I was fine, as it wasn't strong, but it made me anxious. My husband couldn't even smell it.

  • I suppose there are some things we can't really do much about, but I really don't cope with smoke of any description. If neighbours start burning rubbish I have to shut every window in the house because even a faint smell can set me off. I always wonder why people tend to choose the hottest day of the year to burn everything they can think of.

  • I find this topic interesting; as said I am not so badly off by any means as some of you, but in the last year, since my attack that landed me in hospital, smells really have bothered me. Interesting to hear it is so for so many others. I work with people on one to one basis, and I find it anxiety making when I notice their aftershave or perfume, something I never before paid attention to. Luckily, my anxieties so far have been unfounded, and though I would prefer they all ditched anything smelly, I can manage fine. My sense of smell seems to have grown 100% in a year!

    I also find the smell of paint hard. Where I work a few hours per week is being redecorated, using oil based paints. Luckily it has been acknowledged it causes me propblems, so I now get allocated a room as far away from fresh paints as possible. I have considered trying to convey to the works department that maybe they should change to using paints with lower VOCs in the future, but as it is a large organisation I don't even know where to start.

  • Had a similar experience with a wood burner myself. Sadly we can't stop everything, only wish we could but we do need to find ways to, limit our exposure to triggers.

  • Here's the link to - they have a huge mailing list so you never know, you might get it circulated widely. It might be worth asking AsthmaUK to circulate it. You could also try to approach the BLF (a lot of people on their message board are former smokers, so I guess it could go either way there). There's nothing to stop you sticking a link on their board anyway.

    Good luck with it. I'll be signing.

  • My mum is 85 years old and smokes and I am asthmatic. I appreciate it is damned annoying when people smoke in doorways and in fact that is just plain rude but give people like her a break. I would never support such a ban. My mum always goes outside to smoke when she visits our home.

  • Well don't then? That is ok, for some of us even breathing in second hand smoke could kill us, it's just we are annoyed it is our life is at stake. What am I suggesting is they smoke where we can move away, i.e don't smoke in shop doorways in bus que's etc. Only smoke, where we have the option to move away. I cannot visit the Ice Cream shop with my son, as someone always decides to have a smoke in the que.

    Onetime an old man decided to have a smoke in a lift? I ended up going into status and having to call an ambulance. The old man said he was sorry, I ended up having to have high dose steroids for 210 days as a result.

    No one cares if you don't support it, we brittle and severe asthmatics don't deserve to die, for someone's right to smoke, in places where we can't move away.

  • they cant smoke inside now you want to ban outside. Why don't you move? Stop sending me your replies I think you have got a nerve expecting everyone to move for cause far more pollution and you cannot get away from that. You have asthma as I do, move a few feet away and problem solved. What a nerve

  • I think the point here is that we can't always move out of the way. For example, I used to travel in & out of Leeds station a lot. In spite of the signs, dozens of smokers would congregate there & I'd have to walk through all the smoke. Likewise many other spots. It's unnecessary to smoke in public & I completely support banning it.

  • I always move away if I see someone smoking. Unfortunately I can't do that if they are standing in a doorway that I need to pass through. Even at hospital entrances which are always plastered with no smoking signs, I have often had to walk past smokers who can't be bothered to move to the permitted smoking areas.

    Are you saying I should walk away and miss my outpatient appointment? Or not go into the supermarket where I do my shopping? The law already legislates for not smoking within a certain distance of doorways and in some public open areas. We're just asking smokers to abide by that aspect of the law.

  • I appreciate the last two comments entirely but, as I said in my original post that people who smoke in doorways, which is against the law, are rude. Telling me my views are not important is equally rude.

    When I was being admitted to hospital recently I was sat behind a man and woman who kept turning round giving me dirty looks because I kept coughing (thought I had a contagious disease presumably). The woman who posted the original comment reminds me of them. Smokers stood in a queue aren't having a fag because they want to annoy people, they are minding their own business. Move out of the way if it bothers you. Complain to the hospital if there are a few ignorant smokers in your path/doorway.

    Starting yet another petition to stop smokers lighting up in public on the off chance one of us might walk near them, come on.

  • Totally agree with you. 100%. Even hate the vaping too. I am allergic too steam believe it or not. Going to my local hospital a nightmare. Even though banned near the entrance you have to pass all the smokers smoking. Disgusting. Me too causes an attack. So completely understand. You can start a petition on a government site. If you get over a certain amount of signatures the matter will be raised and debated in parliment. Publising is another matter. Perhaps you could contact Asthma UK about this or if you start a petition involve them and this site. I would gladly sign and share on faacebook and all my friends etc.

    Just google government petitions to get the site. I must point out that you do need a lot of signatures.

    I wish you well. If i can help further please contact me.

  • Thanks Mitz. It's not about taking away smokers rights, it's about just stopping smoking near places where we can't move away. I was once in Iceland got a trolley full of shopping, got in the lift to the car park, an old man got in the lift and decided to have a smoke. I started wheezing, by the time the lift stopped, I had gone into full blown status, am=n ambulance had to be called.

    It's not about smoking gets on my nerves, it could kill me!

  • You can't get away. I went out shopping yesterday and there were people in door ways smoking and I could smell it and it was making my lungs hurt and spasm. I ended up in A&e within hours because of an asthma attack. I think it was a mixture of cigarette smoke, damp and mould that is present in the air after a storm and we also have really bad air pollution where I live, top five cities in England I'm pretty sure.

    So I would love it if there was more control on the whole smoking in door ways queues and whatnot. Like others on here have said before there is a limit on how far away people have to stand away from the door but no one ever follows it.

  • Poor you, are you ok now? Gosh I don't think people who come out with stupid comments, like we have a nerve just move away. As you say there is a limit to how far we can move away. All we are asking is for smoking to be restricted to places where we can move away. I think unfortunately, there is this silly idea, that smoking outside harms no-one.

    Also people see asthma as nothing but a few puffs of an inhaler. Going to see if I can get something sorted after the General Election, Two Beaches in Wales have banned smoking.

    Take care of yourself


  • Awww thank you :). I'm ok now thanks. I mean my joints are sore, everything hurts and knackered and lungs don't know whats hit them. I never realised it was so bad after a serious attack until but I guess you won't until it happens to you.

    I completely agree with you people think that its just feeling sore and breathless and under the weather and a few puffs of the inhaler and your fine again but its not. Last night was the first time it really hit me you can actually die quite easily from this. Doctors, nurses other sufferers aren't joking.

    It is infuriating. My cousins fiancé who is lovely but this habit is annoying, when we are watching our local cricket team play she will sit where I am sitting and the rest of the people and chain smoke. I ask her nicely if she will go and smoke somewhere away from people but she doesn't see why its a problem. Second hand smoke is bad but particularly if you have a chronic lung disease. I really don't know what to do about her and anyone else there who doesn't get away. My cousins move but she doesn't.

    Its really upsetting.

    Thanks Gail :)


  • gosh I hope you feel better soon. My next door neighbour stood on my lawn last night, with another neighbour having a smoke, my son closed all the windows. It's so frustrating!

  • I also wish you well, Emilyeagleowl .. Take care..

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