3 Ways To Deal With Neighbours Smoking In The Garden

As a non-smoker, inhaling your neighbour’s cigarette can be annoying. Here are your options in what is often a delicate situation.

When a neighbour smokes nearby there are basically just three things you can do. You can talk to the neighbour, alert someone if the substance is illegal or take friendly measures to protect yourself from the smoke.

Snorting smoke when you do not enjoy cigarettes (or weed) can be disheartening. We explain what you can and cannot do.

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Top 3 Things You Can Do When Neighbours Smoke In The Garden

There are plenty of reasons to hate smoking. Perhaps you quit and you do not need the temptation. Others hate the smell of cigarette smoke and most non-smokers are very aware of the health implications of second-hand smoking. So what can you do when that acrid whiff hits your nostrils? 

The truth is that there is no easy solution but we will look at the pros and cons of the top 3 picks below.

  1. Try and talk to your neighbour about their smoking habit (not an inviting thought but bear with us).
  2. Discreetly report the matter if the smoking breaks residential rules or the person is smoking something illegal.
  3. Do not engage in any way but take precautions to keep the smoke at bay.

If you are also struggling with a mysterious pee smell, we researched the top 5 reasons why your home smells like urine.

The Pros And Cons Of Talking To Your Smoking Neighbours

The only positive that you can hope for is that the neighbour will be aware of your grievance and that they are understanding enough to stop smoking in your face. After all, people are not mind readers! Unless they are somehow informed that their behaviour is problematic, most people will not realize it or assume that you are okay with it.


The moment that you read this option on our list, you probably did not experience fuzzy feelings. We all know that people these days tend to be rude, unreasonable, and downright mean as neighbours. A lot of smokers are great guys and gals. A lot of them, however, feel that non-smokers are full of nonsense, over-react or treat smokers like second-grade citizens. This makes them irritable and often explosive when confronted. While it is true that smokers are often treated badly, that does not mean that their habit must be tolerated in your home. 

Here is where things get really sensitive. Should you talk to your neighbour and they take it the wrong way, then you could end up with worse problems. At best, the neighbour ignores you. At worse, they can get really mean and spiteful and turn into the proverbial “neighbours from hell.”

This option is only effective if you know the person well and have a good standing with them. It might work with a stranger if they have a reputation for being reasonable. But at the end of the day, you need to carefully consider if you really want to confront a neighbour on their addiction.

Discreetly Report The Matter If Rules Are Being Broken

3 Ways To Deal With Neighbours Smoking In The Garden

First things first, do not try this if you already spoke to the offending neighbour and they blew up like a volcano. When “somebody” reports them to the relevant authorities or governing body, the first one they will suspect is you. Heck, they will know that it was you. 

The Person Is Smoking In A Non-Smoking Area

Many townhouses or apartments have small balconies or gardens for the residents’ private use. Many have non-smoking policies but of course, there are bound to be smokers who ignore the rules. If you have a neighbour who persistently smokes and it drifts into your balcony or garden, then you actually have the right to complain to the governing body – and to do so anonymously. 

But even then, you might get neighbours who do not like you afterwards. If you would rather not engage with anyone, there are also several things you can do to make your time in the garden smoke-free. We will cover that in the next section.

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The Person Is Smoking Something Illegal

Weed remains a popular smoking choice but in many places, the substance remains illegal to smoke. If your neighbour has a pot habit, you might feel concerned about your family inhaling the mind-altering plant and rightly so. Smoking marijuana has proven health dangers like higher blood pressure and cognitive decline.

3 Ways To Deal With Neighbours Smoking In The Garden

If smoking weed is illegal in your area or complex, then you can consider reporting it to the relevant authorities anonymously. It is not advisable to talk to a neighbour who smokes pot. Rather hand it over to those who know the laws and have more clout in the situation than you do.

Tips To Keep Your Garden Time Smoke-Free

We have to be honest. There is not a lot you can do to banish smoke from your garden should you choose not to engage with the smoker or the authorities. However, we found the best tips for you to consider.

Try To Avoid The Neighbours’ Smoking Times

Needless to say, this will not work if your neighbour smokes at all hours of the day or keeps an erratic smoke break schedule. But if your neighbour is away at work for most of the day and you are lucky enough to work from home, then you can focus on sitting or working in your garden during that time. If your neighbour is a late sleeper and you are an early bird, you might get a few hours in the morning to enjoy your garden smoke-free.

Create A Smoke-Free Zone

This also involves a lot of effort on your end, which can feel frustrating considering that you are not the one doing the smoking. But if you like sitting at your garden table during the summer, you can add a few fans nearby or on the table to disperse the smoke or the smell of cigarettes. 

If the smoke is also getting into your house, the best ceiling fans can also get rid of the smoke and smell.

Create A Smoke-Deterring Fence Between The Two Properties

Depending on the severity of the smoke, such a fence can completely stop the smoke from drifting into your garden or at least reduce it dramatically. The key to a successful fence is two-fold. The fence must be pretty solid and high. A lot of people opt for naturally growing bamboo which creates a great barrier and also looks stunning in any garden. 

A Quick Summary On Dealing With Neighbours’ Smoke In The Garden

  • Second-hand smoke is not only annoying to non-smokers but also scientifically proven to be very dangerous.
  • It can also ruin your time in the garden but there are three main options to deal with a smoking neighbour.
  • If your relationship with the neighbour is strong, you can discuss the matter with them.
  • You can report the matter to the relevant authorities.
  • You can choose not to engage with anyone and instead do things on your end to reduce the smoke in your garden.

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