Not In Our House!: Guests who smoke

by EPI Staff on June 22, 2009

Q: My brother-in-law and his wife will visit us this summer, and I’m concerned because I know he expects to be able to smoke in our home.  I have three young children and won’t allow it.  The problem is that my husband is uncomfortable about saying no smoking and has left it up to me to handle the situation.  Is there anything I can say that won’t get us all into a family feud?

A: You shouldn’t have to say anything more than that you don’t allow smoking in your house or around your children.  I’d tell your brother-in-law before he makes travel plans, so there won’t be any misunderstanding when arrives.  It’s your call when it comes to anything involving your home and children, particularly on a health issue.  If your brother-in-law won’t agree to your request, tell him he’ll have to smoke outside-or find another place to stay.  I hope it doesn’t come to that and that he’ll respect your house rules.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Graceandhonor June 24, 2009 at 10:48 am

It wouldn’t surprise me if your b-i-l blows off your no-smoking rules; if your husband doesn’t take the initiative and defend your home and leaves it to you, this sends a divided message to his brother, and is evidence of a fundamental problem that will continue to manifest in other ways in your marriage.

Barring your husband’s participation, a few weeks before the visit, email your b-i-l and say, “We’re looking forward to your visit and just a reminder that ours is a smoke-free home, or shall we send you hotel info? Love to Sally and the kids!”

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Jasmine August 28, 2009 at 11:38 am

Graceandhoner: I am sorry your brother in law needs to be told there is no smoking. We all know it is not healthy. I smoke and assume there is no smoking. If i want to smoke i go outsid for a walk. I dont when inside at all in other peoples homes unless they smoke or they tell me it is ok to smoke inside.
I think once he/they get to your house, before he can light up in the house, hand him an ashtray and show him where he can smoke OUTSIDE. You are in control and you are directing your guests.

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Brandi November 8, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I grew up in a smoking home. Smoking was always allowed in the home. I HATED IT!!!! When I got out of my house and found a place of my own, I FORBADE any smoking in my home. My mother, who smokes 2-3 packs a day, was offended at first and couldn’t understand why I would make her climb 3 flights of stairs to smoke (I lived on the third floor of a building that didn’t have a balcony). I told her that It was MY home and I don’t smoke and do not allow smoking in my home. She was the only person who had any problem at all with it, but she obliged and smoked outside or kept her visits short. After I had kids, I insisted that she not smoke around them and that if she would like us to visit her at her home, she would need to smoke outside. For the sake of my kids, she obliged there too, and never smokes *even in her own home* around my kids. I think if your brother in law would like to enjoy his visit with you, he should follow your house rules and take it outside.

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