How to Stop Neighbours from Smoking?

It's 1AM and we have this eshay neighbour who is smoking in their backyard and the smoke drift is insane and it fills the room. They are underaged too. I have tried closing my window ASAP as soon as I smell it but usually by the time it has reached my nose there is already a lot in the room.

My current plan is to have a talk with them during the day and escalate legally if things don't work out. I had previously made the mistake of telling them to stop smoking (during the night via talking through the window) but my pea brain neglected to explain that it was getting into our rooms and as you would expect, got told to (profanity) off and mind my own business (the next day I heard them audibly discussing my name and threatened to "put me in a hospital").

I've been trying to think of ways to resolve this in a way that does not worsen things (they are always littering on our front lawn and even dropped a bunch of sequins one time) but I but don't know how to deal with these eshays who are often in trouble with the cops and are what I would consider unpredictable.

Any ideas?


      • +3

        Found the butthurt nicotine addict.

      • +2

        It's not illegal to smoke in your own backyard, it is completely illegal to threaten putting someone in hospital. If you were a landlord, would you want your property becoming the potential location for a fight and crime scene?

        • -1

          Technically also not a threat, they were speaking in the privacy of their own living space. A threat is posed when you say it to the intended person you are threatening. So nothing they have done or said is illegal at all.

          • +2


            Technically also not a threat, they were speaking in the privacy of their own living space. A threat is posed when you say it to the intended person you are threatening.

            Come on now, you really think they were not saying it in such a way that OP would hear it? Do you hear what your neighbours talk about? If they're talking about it loudly enough and in a place where OP is likely to hear, then it is a threat. Can I walk past person X and say to a friend "oh, hey, let's put person X in hospital" and according do you that's not a threat?

            FWIW, I genuinely don't understand why you're sticking up for a bunch of thugs. Even if you don't like OP or what he's done, it doesn't make violence (or planned violence) defensible.

            • @p1 ama: Its not a question of opinion, its just a statement of fact, what you say and do in the privacy of your own home does not constitute a threat to a 3rd party, even if they are yelling it at the top of their lungs. Sure you can call it intimidation but not a threat.

              What your example is comparing are 2 totally different scenarios and not comparable to each other at all.

              I do not know the op, so i am not making any judgements just stating facts.

              • +2

                @garetz: Except what you're saying is non-sensical:

                Threat, criminal threatening (or threatening behavior) is the crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of bodily injury. "Threat of harm generally involves a perception of injury…physical or mental damage…act or instance of injury, or a material and detriment or loss to a person."[2] "A terroristic threat is a crime generally involving a threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to terrorize other."[3]


                If the behaviour is putting OP in fear of bodily injury (true, as they stated they would put OP in hospital), then it is a threat. It does not have to made to OP directly.

  • got told to fvck off and mind my own business (the next day I heard them audibly discussing my name and threatened to "put me in a hospital").

    As your neighbour I would fo the exact same thing.

    I hate smoking more than most, but how do you tell someone to stop in their own house.

    • +8

      As your neighbour I would fo the exact same thing.

      Don't be an idiot - it's one thing to simply not listen to or disagree with someone who is asking you to stop smoking, it's completely another thing to threaten to put them in hospital.

      It's not illegal to smoke in your own backyard, it's also not illegal to ask someone else to stop smoking. It is completely illegal to threaten violence against someone. How have we reached a stage where threatening violence is an acceptable (and empathetic) response to someone else asking a question.

      • It isn't acceptable, but the kinds of people that would do that aren't the kinds of people you want to be aggravating if you can avoid it, for your own health and safety.

        • +1

          Or the neighbour could be full of it. Most people threaten action they have no intention of backing up with action.

      • Welcome to the real world where you mind you own business . Unless its to the point of an emergency don't `^ around with other people as OP is finding out on a little matter .

        • coping isn't the only solution is all I'm suggesting.

        • +4

          What do you mean by "mind your own business"? The vast majority of issues are resolved by communication, most of which have a perfectly good outcome and do not result in threats of violence being made.

          Case in point, I used to live on a busy street and my neighbour who parked kerbside would park too close to my driveway, making it hard for me to reverse my car out of my driveway. So like a civil person, the next time I bumped into them I let them know about the issue, they said they would park a quarter of a car length away from my driveway if they could and since then, there has been no issue.

          This is how adults and civil people communicate and resolve outstanding issues. I'm not endorsing what OP's done, nor am I saying I would have done the same thing, but let's be clear about who's in the wrong and behaving like uncivilised delinquents, and it's not OP.

          • @p1 ama:

            This is how adults and civil people communicate

            These arent adults according to OP… but how do non adults afford a rental?

  • +2

    Close your windows earlier?

  • fly over their house in a crop duster spraying petrol when they spark up

    • According to some in this thread this is totally legals because:

      "private space, where public community areas laws do not apply"

      Then again I assume they have ciggibutt brains

  • If only OP could combine their love of Bacons with the Smoke…

    I'm glad we had this talk. :+)

  • +2

    If they're kids, it's a situation better approached with kindness than demands and threats. Kids don't have a lot of money, but they do have a lot of time and energy and a whole lot to prove, so it's easier to just pay them off than get into a war of attrition.
    On the flip side, you trying to be chummy with them might unnerve them more than anything else you could do.

    Adults, on the other hand.. I have a neighbour who moved in 3 years ago, and for the last 3 years has been burning firewood for heat every winter.
    Every winter, the wind takes that smoke and blows it right into our clothes line, as if it was aiming for it.
    Last year I rewashed my clothes 20 times.
    How do you deal with that?

    I could ask him to stop, but then I'd either be asking for him to have his family go without heat or to pay a few thousand to get a gas/electric heating system installed. I could offer to show him how to use a fireplace properly, but he'd take that to mean he was incompetent.
    It's a minefield. It would be so much easier to pay $100 and just have the problem go away. But to an adult that's nothing

    • The strategy for kids reminds me of Bad Neighbors

    • so it's easier to just pay them off than get into a war of attrition.

      Offering them boiled lollys might not end well either.

  • Smoke activated water sprinkler, in the back yard. You were traumatised by bush fire of 2020

  • +1

    What miracle solution do you expect?

    You either close your window, and leave bedroom door open or take up smoking.

    • +1

      Or leave the window partly open with thousands of Cigarette filters wedged between the window frame and window sill to filter the 2nd Hand Smoke. (Man, that's smooth…)

      Then, when it doesn't work sue Big Tobacco.

      You got an expensive (filter) habit right there.

      You could even call quit line for support for your expensive habit.

    • +4

      I want the neighbours to smoke in a way that does not disturb others.

      I can't think of a way to do it so I ask others to see if I missed any ideas or if it's even achievable.
      Didn't really expect much but it's always good to get some second opinion.

      • How about have another chat respectably but with some serious eyeballing . And I mean staring them down with all the hatred in your heart from the puff of smoke coming over your fence . No tame stuff . I think you have nothing to lose as the threat is already there .

        • 100% I'm getting socked if I look at them wrong. One time I was admiring some bogan's car as I was walking down the street and he got out and started approaching me with swagger like he wanted to fight. Kept asking me if I had a problem… I told him I liked his car and he turned around and got back in his car looking like an idiot.

      • This may be very stupid but how about you buy them a water pipe or bong or whatever they are called. The smoke from that is generally less nauseating right?
        Hopefully they'll take it as a peace offering and maybe you can get on their good side that way. At the same time you could ask them to try and smoke less around that time of day or perhaps at another location around the house? Is there another side to the yard? Surely if you're asking whilst also bringing a gift they won't take offence

        The flip side of that is they might start smoking weed which can often be even worse but at least then you can get the cops involved. You might even get lucky and they could start dealing and then subsequently get arrested for that too. Good luck.

        • Thanks for the advice. I like the idea of bringing a gift to the talks but maybe not a bong aha.

          • @Bacons: Seriously though, from memory they do smell a lot less worse. Not sure what people use but there are sweet smelling ones too. I think water pipes are cheap too right? I could be entirely wrong on that front. Not a smoker, hate it.

            Whatever you bring though it would have to be a meaningful enough of a thing that they would truly appreciate enough to then want to return a favor. Otherwise it's just trash to them and they'll just keep on doing as they are doing. If they were reasonable or considerate I'm sure they wouldn't be doing it in the first place.

            Even if you're neighbors weren't assholes, to get someone, anyone, to try and change what they normally do, they either need to actually care about you in some way or feel that the consequences of not doing said thing somehow negatively impacts on themselves. To them you are, so far, just some (profanity) who complains in the night and interrupts them whilst they are having what is presumably a good time. They care nothing for your sleep, your health, your comfort nor the fact they you could develop cancer. They don't even care if they develop lung cancer.

            Why should they want to do anything for you? Normal human decency obviously isn't it. They probably weren't brought up with that in mind. Figure that out and maybe you'll get somewhere.

  • Escalate things legally?

    Better hope your neighbours can't sue back you for being an annoying busy-body or this might never end… :D

  • +4

    I live with a smoker.
    Give up now on the idea of ever getting them to stop.

    Also remember you are dealing with an addict. People underestimate nicotine addiction.
    Furthermore this particular addict has directly threatened you with violence. Don't underestimate that.

    You will need to keep the windows on the side of your house facing their smoking area shut at all times. Accept this new reality. There is nothing you can do about it other than moving.

    To get fresh air into your bedroom when the door is closed you will need to install a refridgerative air-conditioner in your bedroom.
    I know from experience that split systems filter smoke quite well. Not as confident about the other kind but I have used them at motels and I think they do also work.
    You can set split systems on fan with no cooling, cooling and heating.
    Keep bedroom windows shut at all times
    Then you can get filtered fresh air into a closed room.

    Your other options will be much less effective:

    You can attempt to create negative pressure by placing box fans in the open window blowing out.
    But with the bedroom door closed it will not work very well as all replacement air will have to come under the door.

    Air filter in window would require high air flow speed to cope.
    Air filter in room will require same and will allow smoke in first.

    • negative pressure

      Wouldn't you want positive pressure? So air leaks out of the room through gaps facing the smokers rather than in?

    • Great ideas and I appreciate the slice of experience.

      I think the negative pressure idea is good and I will look to pick up a couple fans or use some that I have laying around.
      I'm convinced if I line my window with fans then the smoke will not enter my room at all.

    • +3

      Split system air conditioners do not pull in air from outside and will have no effect on internal air pressure (apart from creating a temperature differential). They heat or cool the air inside the room by passing the air inside the room over hot or cold coils.

      The only thing they transfer between outside and inside is the refrigerant.

      Unless the particular unit you were using had an activated charcoal air filter or negative ion generator (just as bad if not worse for your lungs than smoking BTW due to ozone creation), I'm afraid to say that any difference you noticed to the smell was purely because you closed the windows and used the aircon to recirculate the air in the room rather than take air in from outside.

      • oh ok i did not know this

        does that mean hypothetically that a person would suffocate if they were in a completely sealed room with a split system aircon on fan, or cool, or heat?

        • +1

          No because no room is hermetically sealed and even if it was, it would take quite a long time for CO2 buildup from exhaled breath to reach toxic levels. This could be days in a standard size apartment, less time if you're in a tiny spacecraft like was what one of the bad things that happened on Apollo 13.

          In a given space with a certain volume of air (78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, and trace amounts of other gasses such as CO2), CO2 buildup would be toxic before the oxygen runs out. It's the buildup of CO2, not a lack of oxygen, that kills first.

          Even in apartments where there's seals around the windows and the flame proof front doors, there's enough tiny gaps in those seals and around the place that you could have quite a few people inside with all the doors and windows shut and there would be enough airflow through the tiny gaps to keep everyone breathing fine indefinitely and no increase to their blood CO2 levels.

          If this wasn't the case, we would have many suffocation related deaths in apartments - particularly those in the CBD where there's regulations on the seals for fire safety, and people keep their windows shut due to noise.

          • @studentl0an: dont they usually have different aircon systems in apartment buildings that let in air?

            • @bargain huntress: No, they are the same (refrigerant heat pump) ones used in houses.

              Heat pumps are efficient, and a huge part of their efficiency is not allowing external untreated air inside.

  • +2

    An air purifier for your room and a huge fan blowing air back to their side.

  • +1

    You might want to put a Barry Manilow song on repeat, overnight; that should drive them away from standing near your property whilst they smoke :)

    • +1

      You are cruel…

  • +1

    I find it interesting the amount of people who think that living next to a sh.t neighbour is best dealt with by just moving house.

    If they are underage, is there not a parent you can speak to? Or speak to them during the day like an adult and see if you can talk some sense in to them?

    • +3

      If the kids are treating him like that, they probably learnt it from the parents…"are you telling me how to raise my kids?" followed by some choice swear words.

      While it may work, from the sounds of it I wouldn't bet on it. So it's a matter of finding a way around the problem or move on

      • For sure, but at the same stage you have to try.
        Not sure if you've seen the sandlot kids?
        Gets to the end of the movie and the old man just says "why didn't you just ask for the balls back?"

  • +4

    Go have a chat with them. If they put you in hospital, you won't have to worry about the smoking smell in your ward at least for a night.

  • +6

    Call the cops and tell them they are smoking weed… When cops arrive quickly throw a packet of weed over the fence.

    • +1

      Calling the cops for smoking weed, in a state with rising violence for the last 5+ years?

      After the cops hang up on your frivolous call they will make jokes to each other at your expense.

      • Weed rarely causes violence.

        Meth - well that's different.

    • +8

      mate had the neighbours from hell… full drug house, hes held his phone over the fence while they are dealing and arranging buys - said to the cop can you hear that
      -cop 'Im the only one here i cant leave'…. this happened weekly… Thankfully the parasite OD'ed and died.

      cops dont give a shit about this sorta stuff. This is not someone doing 3kph over.

    • All the neighbourhood kids - "hey man, that dude up the road is giving out free weed… let's all go smoke there!!"

  • +5

    vote to legalize vaping and make it cheaper than cigarettes

    • +2

      Did vaping become illegal?

      • E-cigarettes are legal for over 18

      • it’s illegal to sell e-cigarettes that contain nicotine, you can buy them otc in Canada and the US instead of cigarettes

    • Seriously are people his dumb. Inhaling any foreign material into your lung repeatedly at high dose will cause damage to your heart and lung tissue.

      Lots of chemicals that are relatively harmless at normal exposure levels on your skin are toxic at high dose when applied directly to lung tissue. Did people not learn anything from what happened to smokers.

  • +7

    Most smokers are scum that don't care about anybody but themselves.
    Can't help you with any idea to keep your window open as we have tried most things but scum neighbors don't care.
    What I have done since we can't enjoy our backyard, have the windows left open, put clothes on the line have the ducted air con on and the list goes on is play by their rules.
    So I have two buckets where one fits into the other with lids on. Then i get the most foul smelling things you can find and fill the smaller bucket (rotten fish in a can from Iceland works good mixed with other things). Put that bucket inside the other one with lids on so you don't have to put up with the stench. Now when you hear them come outside during the day or whenever unleash the beast so they can't enjoy their yard as well. A little fan blowing it through the fence works best. 👍
    They realise pretty quick and will move further away or back inside.

  • When I lived next to smokers, I kept the windows shut 24/7. It was the only thing that stopped smoke coming in.

  • +1

    smokers are scum of the earth, i dont think there is any reasoning with them,.. they dont give a stuff about their life and health, let alone your own! close ur window, put in an air purifier, dont take it up with them direct, ..

    once again, scum of the earth.

    • -1

      smoking on private land and replies like this. I do not smoke however it like alcohol is not illegal so your opinion is worth f all.I think you are scum of the earth for drinking do you give a rats about my opinion towards alcohol?

      • +5

        If the drinking affects you then as a good neighbour in suburbia I would care. Same as if it's music, dog barking, cat pissing on everything, yelling and all the other annoying things. If your a decent human being living in suburbia it should matter because it's not all about you. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

        • champ, i honest think they have some genetic issue,.. i cant think of any other logical reason, can someone please do a phd study in this? im perplexed.

      • +10

        the issue is, when you drink its on your premises,.. if i was splashing my drink all over your house, or while you were walking out the door, they it would be also fine by your logic? see the difference, even if i was throwing my bottles at your house, and the smell of boos was there.

        Smoke, even second hand causes CANCER, my drink even if i did splash it on you WONT…

        See the fact i even need to explain this to smokers, just gives credence to my original point…

        SMOKERS are scum of the earth, i dono what it is about them,. are thy missing some chromosone that just makes them such assholes? or what seriousl question… i actually don't have many friends that do smoke, and those that do, are honestly also big fkwits, no surprise.

        • +3

          And the award goes to

      • +3

        Cannot agree with the scum comment, it just takes the gravity of that word away. Just because they have a bad habit. they’re not necessarily bad people.

        However, as Champstar said, smoking negatively affects everyone and everything around them, no exceptions. Alcohol on the other hand, CAN be taken even while you’re surrounded by others, without affecting them.

        I agree though, they are both legacy issues that the current society struggling to grapple with, despite the obvious issues they create.

        • +1

          perhaps scum of the earth was a bit, but definitely somewhere or the scale, filth at the very least.

  • -1

    Start smoking cigars right at the fence line

  • +1

    For those that are confused why people who smoke are so irrational.

    Ciggy Butt Brain

    Ciggy Butt Brain is when you have been abusing the dangerous effects of nicotine for too long and literally have cigarette filters in your head.

    Darren "You got ciggy butt brain, that's all that they're gonna call you mate; ciggy butt brain"
    Damo "Nuh uh unah nah mate….."
    Darren "Cause you (profanity) been scoffin away on them ciggies all day. All day all night ciggies."

  • Use a drone to lead them to think they're under surveillance.

    If that doesn't work, use a drone to firebomb them?

  • +2

    'How to Stop Neighbours from Smoking? '

    Fire extinguisher.

    • Hehe great thinking :)

  • +2

    Maybe Breaking Bad style with a little of lily of the valley or was it ricin? 😵Just joking🤣

  • Maybe, grow hedge (high enough) around the boundary to the neighbour’s place, though I agree it would take time for the hedge to grow.

    Perhaps high colourbond fence? It may not look good, depending on the view it would block, but seems a probable solution.

  • +1

    Smoked Bacon!

  • +1

    Get some rotting animal corpses and place them near the fence where they smoke…. It will turn them away real quick.

    • I was thinking dog poo or manure, but your suggest is extreme. I have a scarred childhood from a rotting dumped cow, worse smell in the world. I think you put me back into therapy.

  • Make your room positive air pressure.

  • -1

    walk around in a hazmat suit…

  • What could work is a very high tone/pitch around 15000 - 16000hz next to the area/gate. If the age gap between you and them is quite large then a higher frequency (16500) will make it very uncomfortable for them and you won't be able to hear a thing. Also, it is a fair chance that if they complain to the council, whoever comes to check it out won't be able to hear it either.

    This will drive them insane and won't be able to identify the source.

    • even assuming the age gap exists, what about other neighbours' kids (if any)?

      • Smart plug & start it only when needed.

        • other kids in the neighbourhood will also suffer (albeit only during those "moments of need")
          my point is that this method of retaliation is non-discriminatory and can affect innocent people

          • @Love a bargain: True, however, you don't have to burst any eardrums lol, just enough to be annoying.

            Every and any action will have an impact on someone else.

            Anyway, just a suggestion.

  • Counter smell with fart bomb?

  • these kids need a good paddlin'

  • You just need to change your approach I think. Respectfully letting them know it's getting into your bedroom (maybe bring a cake or something for extra points) and interrupting your sleep might appeal to their good side and they may end up smoking elsewhere. Telling them through the window however is a sure way to piss someone off - impersonal and rude.

    If all else fails.. bikies.

  • +2

    "Hey, i am going to threaten you with legal action, for doing a completely legal act on your own private property!"

    Im sure that will go down well OP, no wonder they threatened to knock you out.

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