Living with roommates is almost always problematic.
There is always something dislikeable about the other person.
You will be compelled to accept the bad side of a person alongside their good side.
Most of the time, however, dealing with usual disagreements is awkward and uncomfortable.
When the habits of your roommate start to intrude on your well-being, it’s necessary to seek a resolution there and then.
Smoking is among the likeliest problems you could encounter if you end up in one residence with another person.
Whether it involves regular tobacco or marijuana, it can affect several aspects of your life from your health to having to wear clothes with tobacco odors on them.
So, How Can You Get Your Roommate To Stop Smoking In The House?
First off, think about it for a moment because this is probably a valuable friend or relative you don’t want to break with. Think about how they’d react if you were to be candid with them. You could be compelled to gather courage and face them about it. And if you are being hosted, you’d rather move out than start to advise your host how they should live in their own home.
Four Methods To Resolve The Roommate Smoking Situation
Here is how to stop your roommate from smoking in a shared living space:
1. Talk about the matter
The first and obvious step to address virtually any roommate-related issue is starting a friendly dialogue.
The rules of staying together should have been laid down at the very start.
If you didn’t talk about anything regarding drug use and similar stuff before moving in with the roommate, chances are they are not aware of what bothers you and what doesn’t.
But if your roommate agreed to not smoke at the beginning and they went ahead to smoke, you have all the rights to express your frustration and even ask them to leave the space.
However, remember that being calm and diplomatic might help you reach a better resolution with them.
So, sit down with them and explain why you are not into smoking, and also let them know you’d want to keep your space smoke-free.
Here are a few important points to mention:
Whether it is marijuana or tobacco cigarettes, they both leave behind a distasteful odor that is difficult to remove once it sticks on walls and furniture.
The health hazard
It has been proven that secondhand smoke from tobacco comes with carcinogens. It also contributes to emphysema and asthma.
Cigarettes can turn any clean living space into an unsightly mess – the ashes, discolorations, and burns can ruin your carpets, curtains, and furniture.
2. Revisit the lease
Maybe you should refer to the lease. Does it have a clause regarding smoking?
It is almost standard for the lease to outline everything you shouldn’t do in or on the property such as smoking, making alterations on the home, etc.
If you find out that the roommate is in clear violation of the no-smoking policy illustrated in your lease, then it won’t matter whether they are paying half the rent or not– you have a strong case against them.
Don’t hesitate to point out the policy in the lease regarding indoor smoking and let them know you’ll consult your landlord if they don’t stop the habit.
3. Offer a compromise
Let’s say this is the dearest friend you have ever had or it’s a close family member who can’t have their own place for some reason.
If such a roommate remains defiant about their smoking privileges, you will want to find another way besides reporting to your landlord or taking any other drastic move.
The most reasonable step to take in this case would be to reach a compromise that’s good for both of you.
For example, if your living space comes with a balcony, suggest to your roommate that it would be great if they smoked from there.
If the home doesn’t have any private outdoor area, you should probably advise your roommate to consider smoking in their own room, with an open window.
Just negotiate any mutually agreeable compromise that will help you live together without squabbling over the same thing over and over – at least until the lease ends.
4. Try to remove the smoke
In case you can’t reach a viable agreement with the roommate and they are not in clear violation of the current lease, you probably have no choice but to put up with it until the lease out or you move out.
Meanwhile, try to remove the unpleasant odors and smoke in the most effective way possible.
Open your windows
Try to air out the living space as much as you can by keeping balcony doors or windows open most of the time.
If you do it often enough both in the hot and cold weather without a fuss, your roommate might feel guilty about it and minimize the habit.
Clean the drapes, carpets, and furniture
Cigarette smoke sticks on everything – particularly fabrics and spongy materials.
Use odor-eliminating cleansers and similar products to reduce the amount of scent that ends up on your carpets, curtains, mattresses, and furniture.
Again, check the lease to determine if the landlord should be responsible for the cleaning costs.
If not, you can choose to hire professionals that specialize in cleaning such stubborn fumes.
Use HEPA air purifier
Perhaps the most effective tool you could obtain for this job is an air purifier.
Air purifies of certain types works well to remove the air that contains unpleasant odors.
All you need to do is turn it on and leave it in the room with the heavy smoker.
There is a lot to say about air purifiers and tobacco smoke as not all types of this device are competent for this daunting task.
It is important to understand that the size of tobacco smoke particles (and even marijuana as well) falls anywhere between 0.3 and 0.5 microns.
However, the most harmful of these particles (fine tar in tobacco smoke, for example) can be as tiny as 0.1 microns.
Just so you get the idea, you could fit about 1000 single microns on the head of the common pin! This means that just specific types of air purifiers can eliminate particles of that size.
The most effective class of air purifiers for the removal of tobacco smoke and odors are those equipped with HEPA filters (High Efficient Particulate Arrestors).
Before you even sigh in relief, you have several ‘grades’ of HEPA filters to glean through and choose the right product – not all HEPA filters shipped with air filters can remove finer, most hazardous particulate matters.
Take your time to read the labels and choose one with HEPA filters targeted for the tiniest particles possible.
You can consult the store attendants.
If the HEPA filter is designed for anything below 0.3 microns, that’s almost the right product for you! Note that there exist other filtration technologies far better than HEPA filters but that’s beyond the scope of this topic.
Wherever you choose to buy the right product, you stand to part with a few tens of dollars although some models can shoot above a hundred dollars.
In a nutshell
So how can you get your roommate to stop smoking in the house?
There’s a lot you can do, including asking the roommate to leave your house by dusk.
But if you are the diplomatic type, you might want to reach common ground and perhaps convince them to abandon the habit or cut on the frequency.