Smoking Etiquette

How can you politely ask someone to stop smoking?

Trent Armstrong
4-minute read
Episode #120

And unless someone was born and raised on Pluto, they are probably aware of the health risks associated with smoking. They do not need you to tell them. You know that it's bad to crash your car into a swimming pool. Imagine how it would make you feel if you did so only to have someone approach you again and again to tell you what a bad idea it is to crash your car into a pool. You would not be very happy with that person.

Smokers and Non-Smokers Can Share the World

Just because you, the non-smoker, are in a location doesn't make that location "smoke free". Do not tell someone who is smoking in a designated smoking area to stop smoking. Should you, however, find yourself in tight quarters with someone who is smoking, or in a public location where someone's smoking is bothering you, humbly and politely ask them to put their cigarette out. Say something like, "I'm sorry to bother you and make this request, but would you please put your cigarette out? I would be very grateful." Raising your voice and making demands will not get you very far. Also, passive-aggressively hacking and coughing loudly to try and get your point across is not mannerly. It will annoy everyone around you and make you look silly. Oh, and it will probably make the smoker want to light up another cigarette when he or she is done.

How to Ask Someone Not to Smoke at Your Party

I received a Facebook question about how to ask your party guests to not smoke. The best approach is a quick and polite approach. Don't notice your guests lighting up and fret over it for five minutes. Immediately approach your friends and, in a matter-of-fact voice, request that they extinguish their cigarettes. Add a "thank you" and continue on with the party like it was not a big deal. Those who do smoke should never assume that it's okay to smoke in someone's car, home, or yard. Always ask your host, but do so with a humble attitude and be ready to accept no as an answer.


Smokers, be aware of your surroundings. The world doesn't revolve around you. Non-Smokers, the world doesn't revolve around you either. We can each adjust to the situation and treat each other with humility and respect. When each of us makes an effort to be polite to those around us, we will find ourselves in fewer uncomfortable situations. And you never know, our manners just might rub off on those around us.

Thank you for joining me for this installment of The Modern Manners Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Polite Life.

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