I have not had good luck in trying to avoid smoke with my ds, who has asthma and reacts very poorly to smoke.
Here is the worst of it. My dw has a "best friend" who she has been friends with for over 20 years. When our ds was 4 months old, his asthma was so bad that *all the time* you could hear his breathing from the opposite end of the house. Every time we went to the peds office, we'd walk in, they'd hear his breathing, and they would rush us back and hook ds up to the pulse ox. We had to have him on some major medications to keep him alive. When I see videos of him from when he was that age, I have to turn the volume down because it tears my heart out to hear how he struggled.
Anyway, so we lived over 3000 miles away from this "best friend" of my dw. But we had planned a trip out to see dw's family and friends when ds was four months. Keep in mind that this isn't a trip we were able to make any more than once a year. And bear in mind we had this brand new baby we were so excited to introduce to dw's loved ones.
So as the trip got closer, dw let her two friends who smoke, including her "best friend" know that ds has asthma and was really having a hard time. She told them that smoke was a trigger for ds, even residual smoke on clothes. She told them that since he was still so little and cuddly that if anyone wanted to hold them, they'd need to put on a shirt first that they hadn't smoked in. She also asked that they not smoke around us, even if we were outside (why so many smokers don't seem to get that the wind blows smoke *everywhere*, I don't know). She was very polite about how she asked, to the point that I told her I felt she was being too apologetic.
She definitely didn't say, "you can't smoke," "you suck because you smoke," "you can't hold my baby," or anything like that.
Well, before we got out there, folks apparently thought we were joking. But when we got out there and held firm, dw's two smoker friends blew up on us and said they wouldn't come visit, etc. etc. dw and her "best friend" didn't speak for TWO YEARS! They are just now starting to mend that fence.
I just don't get it. What is more important than the health of a child? How could anyone know how my ds struggled and not want to do what they could to keep him alive and well?
dw has one other friend who smoked, who lived much closer to us at the time. She was always 100% accomodating and sweet about it, and she said she thought dw's two friends from the other coast were being outrageous.
It was a very hurtful situation.
As for strangers, we usually hold our breath and run past them (of course they are usually holding their cigs down by their sides, right about at ds' level gggrrrrr...and he can't hold his breath yet), which irritates me that folks are so unaware that they don't realize that yes, even standing out on the sidewalk, your smoke is going everywhere. Do these people not walk past other smokers? Unless there is a *strong* wind blowing only in one direction, the smoke seriously permeates a huge radius around them. You can smell it.
I do ask people to put out there cigs at the park, etc...in kid spaces. I also ask them to please put their cig butts in the trash (rather than throwing them on the ground where little kids will crawl and walk over them and maybe pick them up and try to eat them...not to mention that they are not exempt from being LITTER-- why cig butts are the last acceptable litter is beyond me). I do it very politely, but I stand firm. Usually, however, it is to no avail and I end up having to take my kids elsewhere.
I've about had it.