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
countries.

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:

Smokers

- 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
car.)

- 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.

Non-Smokers

- 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!!!
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