How far does legislation go?

Hi there

I got diagnosed with asthma about 8 years ago. I was an athlete, I could run 14 miles no worries, and deadlift 130kg off of the floor. Then 18 months ago, my asthma went berserk, have had 18 months of non-stop chest infections. I am grieving the person I used to be. I now have fibromyalgia on top and cfs.

I am struggling with constant depression, I am on loads of meds. Howver I get a good period and boom, someone decides to invade my space with cigarettes, which cause chronic lung inflamation.

please do not comment here, about smokers rights or that second hand, smoke isn't dangerous. I got exposed to certain things, the biggest one being tobacco particles, I get very ill, and on several occasions, I have been very ill.

I don't go out much, I try not to go out my front door, I use the back door to avoid my next door neighbour who loves a chat and is a chain smoker.

However, a man banged on my door loudly for directions and blew smoke at me on my doorstep. On Saturday, I was walking my dog in a local park, I saw a woman smoking, I was running away the other side of the park, then my dog stopped to go to the toilet, I was getting out the bags to clean it up, boom, she pounced on me to stroke my dog. Next day I was in a bad way. Same thing happened in a lift an elderly man chose to have a smoke, I don't use lifts, it was only that I had a trolley full of shopping. On this occasion, I went into status and was rushed to hospital. Anytime I try to explain and my 14-year-old does if he is with me. I get I'm sorry dear. However, this turns into another week of steroids.

I do all I can to avoid smokers. I don't annoy them. Why can't they stay in their space I can stay in mine.

Please do not post a comment about I have a nerve, trying to take smokes rights away, I am too ill and depressed for an argument.

How much can I do under current legislation to protect myself?

30 Replies

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  • Not a great deal I am afraid to say.

    I am also badly affected by cigarette smoke, garden bonfires

    AND cats!

  • Don't get me started on cats. Both my neighbours have them, so as I don't my garden is their playground & toilet.

    I feel like Jasper Carrott & his mole!

  • You won't get much of an argument on here about smokers! Probably more so on the BLF page, but I think a lot more of us on here understand the problem smokers (& I include vapers) can cause us.

    The law says that smoking is prohibited in public spaces that are "substantially enclosed". I'm not sure how far this has been tested through case law, but I used to be a manager for an organisation where staff went into houses, & we concluded that whilst they were there, the house became a workplace & therefore smoking was illegal even if the occupant was smoking. That was just an interpretation though.

    If a person in the course of their employment blows smoke into your house, I would complain loud & clear. However, members of the public smoking around your house are not really covered I don't think. My neighbours used to be prolific smokers at one time, to the point I often couldn't sit outside.

    So, I don't think you have any recourse in law to the situations you describe, but probably just have to try your best to manage it & maybe speak to the neighbour if you can about a compromise.

  • The man in question smoked on my door step, it wasn't the neighbour, who only smokes on her premises. The man in the lift almost killed me, but because he was old he got away with it. I am thinking of just wearing a mask out in public, yes I look like a prat but at least people might leave me alone.

  • Can't speak to the neighbour. Annoyed really about smoking on my doorstep, and smoking in a public lift. BLF Facebook page, I got so much abuse when I brought this topic up. I also put a thread here a while back. Again the abuse was awful. Brittle asthmatics are seen as an inconvenience and a nuisance

  • Anyone smoking in a lift is breaking the law; end of story. It's who you tell & what they do about it that's the problem!

  • Thanks sadly, the law is never enforced. Elderly people smoke where they want to.

  • I also get affected by cigarette smoke and cats.

  • If someone is near me smoking it seems to stop my breathing so I always tell them that I would defend their right to smoke but my lungs are b*#+πŸ˜₯ they usually are ok . As for cats my daughter has this hose pipe sensor adaptation so that when one walks past they get sprayed. As the cat cannot see anyone they do not expect it .

    I am not at all surprised you are depressed long term disabilities drag you down but please moan and complain all you need to as when I get depressed I shall be on here having a right good moan . Gentle hugs 😘

  • Bless you. I'm ok with cats but apparently, you can develop more and more triggers/allergies as the disease progresses.

  • Please can I include barbeques. At least this summer has been so poor up north that I've not been bothered by them.

  • going to write ASH anti smoking charity, see if they have any idea's on how we could get the anti smoking legislation extended a little bit

  • I am same with smoke, perfume etc. I go Tesco, doctors and hospital. My life is mostly spent in my safe haven but I have been on oral steroids constantly since 1991. Maintenance is 20mg but obviously it goes up and back down again like a yoyo. Now have meds for reflux, osteoporosis, arthritis, bp, cholesterol and diabetes. I have muscle wastage, thinking skin, mood swings and limited mobility but hey how am still here to nag my husband and sons lol. As said can't tell others not to smoke, wear perfume etc it's a free country, just wish I could have invisible barrier around me to stop them affecting me

  • Ah bless you. I am in the early stages of type 2 brittle asthma, I have fibromyalgia as well. There is no answer to it all. Wishing you well, and gutted for you, I'm nowhere near as unfortunate as you.

  • Thank you, it has helped stopping people smoking in cafes etc (couldn't go in them one time) but it annoys me when attending hospital and they are stood outside smoking despite notices asking them not to

  • I think the problem with perfume is that non asthma sufferers (and even some asthma sufferers I suspect, as perfume is not a problem for all of us) are just unaware of the difficulties it can cause. Perfume isn't a trigger for me, but I know asthmatics who are affected by it. Until public awareness is raised it's going to continue to be a problem.

  • Yes absolutely, those who aren't affected by any of these triggers, see us as a nuisance, and we are being holier than thou!

  • Hey there, I am a brittle asthmatic that lives in Hong Kong. Cigarette smoke is one of my top two triggers that set me off to have and asthma attack. Smoke is only ban at some bus stops over here. There needs to be complete ban erverywhere in the open. Because of this my respiratory proffessor and I tryed different types of respirators that are rated for chemicals and smoke particles. Over mounth of trying these we found that the 3M chemical and smoke respirator to be the very best to stop 99.99 per cent of smoke fumes. The model number is 3301CN. I where this every time I leave my house and it has halfed is not stop me having attacks from cigarettes. At first people look at you like some freak but after a while I give up giving a crap. As my health comes 1st. This could help you too. Tim.

  • Thank you so much, Tim. Will definitely google this. Bless you. I think the government here in the UK won't do anything as they can't upset their precious smokers who pay an enormous amount of tax, no one wins with smoking, the smoker suffers as does everyone else. I am sure that put far more in them than nicotine, that is why a lot of people can't give up.

  • Me, too, even if my problems are not at all as severe as yours, smoke still irritates. My worst type of smoke to date was burning inscence. That can leave me feeling under the weather for some time especially if I cannot get away from it. I also dread burning wood stoves, but have now found that for me it is better to be closer to the fire than under the plume of smoke further away. I am lucky no one turns up here, or nearby, with smoking cigarettes.

    I think on this site you will find plenty of people who understand!

  • Incense is terrible as are air fresheners in toilets.

  • Agree.

  • I went to the hospital for a blood test sat down and realised the lady I sat next too had perfume on stood up explained that her perfume was gorgeous but being asthmatic it was affecting my asthma moved, went to sit down when the next lady had perfume on so landed up standing in the corner.

    It led to a discussion when they said they had no idea it could affect asthma sufferer's and decided if they came to hospital again they would not wear it RESULT yippee πŸ˜€

  • How nice of them to agree to not wear perfume. I had a similar experience with a radiographer at the hospital, she was covered in perfume. However, I had to come back another day. I have to phone my dentist surgery to ask them to put a non-smoking dental nurse, on duty for my appointment.

  • Last time I had a hospital appointment, I was first affected (not badly) by whatever they had cleaned bus seats with the night before. It was early. Then it was the air fresheners in the hospital - I put in a written comment about that. Finally the pleasant, elderly woman waiting at the bus stop who was hair sprayed and scented make-upped to within an inch of her life. I don't get as affected as many of you, but I do find it very uncomfortable.

  • I see the government is proposing a ban on health care workers being allowed to wear perfume. I have written to ash anti smoking group to see if they can help me pester the government, over making smokers move away from shops, buildings, health centers, hospitals etc, and banning smoke on health care workers. I had a bad experience with a dental nurse covered in smoke on her uniform. Also seeing if I can get the government to ban smoking on your property, no I'm not talking about neighbours, only stopping people from smoking on my door step,

  • It is a problem for many people with asthma. Considering every classroom in the UK is likely to have a child with asthma we need to highlight the problem of these potential triggers - cigarrete smoke, bonfires, BBQs, perfume, diesel fumes - whenever we can.

    It is very difficult and some people ignore it or think you are daft, but others do respond helpfully and try to be thoughtful.

    I think it is Canada which includes asthma in their disability legislation and all public employers require staff to be perfume free.

    Yes do use a mask if it helps. I use a personal ioniser when out and about, and a hepa air filter at home and it does minimise effect. You could put a note on the door requesting visitors not to smoke as you have asthma. (I know some people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivies do this).

    It takes time to learn how to live with disabling illness. And some days we need to go "arrrghhh"! All the best.

  • Thanks for your reply, and the advice much appreciated. I did have a sign on my door, when the elderly man, banged on it, looking for directions, my son had a go at him, but he said he didn't have his glasses on, so he didn't see it; no point taking it any further as he is old the law will take his side. Hopefully, if I can talk to the government may be able to highlight other peoples triggers as well.

  • must be awful for you I walk my dog and pass houses with wood burners I have to try and shallow breath until I am past them, they are so green! but it catches my breath, saves the environment so I am told, it makes me bad. Smokers will most likely find out later how bad it is when they are diagnosed with chronic lung decease copd and cannot breath not that it will help you now.

    I hope you feel better keep your pecker up and good luck

  • Got a reply from Ash Anti Smoking campaign, sadly they say there is nothing they can do to help us severe asthmatics Basically society treats us all like nuisances and an inconvenience The anti smoking legislation that is in force is not being enforced at all, no one wants to enforce it and no -one cares Basically we all have to go around with a mask on, or better still hopefully we will all die, and save society the bother and allow smokers, wood-burners, bonfires etc, their rights!

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