Ma'am, would you please put out your ciggerette? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked a lady to put out her ciggerette today atthe playground and she got really nasty with me!

She said "Why?" I said " because I dont want my dd exposed to smoke" She said "Its a public place, I can do whatever i want." (She was like 40....or maybe 30, but the smoke aged her LOL) She sounded like a little kid!

She was RIGHT by the sandbox where my 2 yr old was balence beam walking aroiund the edge. She was so close to her that had my dd fallen off the edge, she would have been burned by the ciggerette.

What is your experience with asking people to put out their cigs? Are they usually nasty? (Its a drug addiction, so I can understand)

I used to smoke but NEVER at a playground, and I would have never said NO too someone at a playground who asked me to put it out.

That sucks. I am going to see about getting "NO SMOKING" signs for the playground. I wonder how i do that.
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#2 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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Um, I smoke but never ever at a playground and if someone asked me to put out my cig regardless of location I would have no problem obliging. I can only guess that this woman was a bit of a UA violation. Sorry you and your babe had to deal with that.

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#3 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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I smoke, but haven't ever smoked at a playground. I the possibility for applying for No Smoking signs there. It is a children area, and it boggles my mind that adults would think it acceptable to smoke right next to play areas.

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#4 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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people smoke at our park all the time. i usually just redirect my kids to an area far away from the person until they are no longer smoking. it's never a big deal for them, because there is ALWAYS something else fun to do at the park. i do think it's disrespectful to smoke around children in any situation. i was one of these kids raised in a car full of smoke with the windows rolled up. it's amazing i'm still living..... with asthma and allergies
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#5 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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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.

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#6 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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I asked a lady to put out her ciggerette today atthe playground and she got really nasty with me!
Ya think? She's outside in a public space...while you're at it you might as well ask people driving by the park not to due to the noxious exhaust fumes. Unless there is a "smoke free" sign or bylaw in place there's nothing you can really do...so don't be surprised at her reaction.

Honestly, if you don't want your dd to be exposed to this ladies cigarette either a) move to another piece of playground equipment or b) go to another park.

I'm not a smoker btw...
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#7 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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Ya think? She's outside in a public space...while you're at it you might as well ask people driving by the park not to due to the noxious exhaust fumes. Unless there is a "smoke free" sign or bylaw in place there's nothing you can really do...so don't be surprised at her reaction.

Honestly, if you don't want your dd to be exposed to this ladies cigarette either a) move to another piece of playground equipment or b) go to another park.

I'm not a smoker btw...
Really?

Maybe it's because I live where it is illegal to smoke at parks anywhere near playground equipment and it is illegal for an adult to smoke in a vehicle with a minor in the same vehicle, I don't see the request as anything unreasonable. It is a well known fact that second hand smoke is detrimental, and especially so in young developing lungs.

I was a smoker and I wouldn't smoke around kids. And if I was ever in a place where a lot of adults frequently smoke, say a bar back when it was legal to smoke I would never be offended if a person asked me not to smoke. I may get up and go somewhere else to light up, but I think it's rude to infringe on someone else's breathing.
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#8 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried to move my 2 year old and she threw a 2 year old fit because she was very happy in the sandbox playing.

I was also trying to nurse my 1 month old at the time and keep an eye on my 4 yr old.

Its not always easy just to "Move to another part of the park."

Smokers have a right to smoke, yes.

But not at the expense of children who dont have a choice.
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#9 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oops double post
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#10 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Its not always easy just to "Move to another part of the park."
:

Not to mention the fact that the playground is the only place for children to play, but a smoker can go anywhere to smoke -- what an odd choice to sit right by a playground and light up.

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#11 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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I'm not a smoker so I have a hard time understanding the appeal (other than it being an addiction). I also have really bad ears...if I get within 5 feet of cig smoke I end up with an ear infection.

I live in VA and the parks here all have no smoking signs and warnings of legal consequences if caught smoking on the playgrounds by a ranger or park/rec rep.

I've never come across anyone smoking at playgrounds around here (possibly because of the fine involved?). However, almost ALL of the moms smoke at the bus stop. Because it is an outdoor space I can always move DSD away from the smoking but it is still gross. What really kills me are the ladies that walk up to the bus to get their children off/on the bus. They all hold the cigs back behind them like that is actually going to do something. Ick.

I've never said anything to anyone about it because I'm a wuss. Anyway, all of our parks here have like a ranger type station. If yours do then I would contact them and let them know it's an issue and ask what can be done about it. Good luck!
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#12 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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"Of course you have a right to smoke in public but you look like a reasonable person that cares about the health of children so I didn't think it would put you out too much to walk 50 yards away."

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#13 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Sheesh, that's tough.
I'm too much of a wuss myself to ask smokers to put out their ciggies. But if you had made a polite request to the smoker, I think it was a bit inconsiderate of her to respond that way whether it was legal for her to smoke in that park or not.
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#14 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sheesh, that's tough.
I'm too much of a wuss myself to ask smokers to put out their ciggies. But if you had made a polite request to the smoker, I think it was a bit inconsiderate of her to respond that way whether it was legal for her to smoke in that park or not.
I was really scared.

But I looked and saw the children within 5 feet of her and I decided I;d better advocate for those children.
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#15 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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really I never occured to me I had a right to ask anyone to stop smoking in a public place where smoking was allowed. Just like I had no control over any of their other behavior. In your position I would have just moved somewhere else fior a while and then gone back when she finished smoking.

fortunately I can't remember running into anyone rude enough to sit still and smoke on the play ground. Usually they ar ejust walking around the playground with it if they are close to the children at all. I do think most people are more considerate than that.

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#16 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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The woman had as much of a right to smoke where she was as you did to play where you were. It was horribly inconsiderate of the woman to be smoking so close to the children, and you did nothing wrong by politely asking her to move; but she really didn't have to move.

Sometimes smokers just get sick of the militant non-smokers that they will take it out on anyone that mentions it, whether they were polite and with good reason or not.

Just sayin'.
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#17 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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I would have assumed she was clueless and selfish in the first place for smoking so close to little kids. So, I would have not even tried to talk to her. I would have just moved my kids or gone home if it really bothered me. Maybe gone for a walk and hoped she moved.

I am glad I live in a state where that is illegal now. You cannot smoke in public places in WA anymore. You have to be 25 feet away or something like that. Yeah!
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#18 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 06:31 PM
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Maybe contact your city parks commission or the equivalent? Where I live ALL playgrounds have a "no smoking" sign posted. It is illegal to smoke at playgrounds here. It SHOULD be everywhere. Dh is a smoker, btw, and FULLY supports making smoking illegal around children.

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#19 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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i've frequently asked people to move - i don't think it ever occurred to me to ask them to put it out. i've just phrased it matter of factly, "would you mind moving somehwere else? my son has asthma and your smoke will trigger an attack."
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#20 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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The woman had as much of a right to smoke where she was as you did to play where you were. It was horribly inconsiderate of the woman to be smoking so close to the children, and you did nothing wrong by politely asking her to move; but she really didn't have to move.
As unfortunate as it is, this is totally true. It's just too bad that some people will behave in a totally inconsiderate/potentially damaging manner just because what they're doing isn't against the law. I strive to have my treatment of others be a little better than just "not illegal."

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#21 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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I just don't get it. What is more important than the health of a child?
This really boggles my mind. I guess some people just don't get how harmful cigarette smoke is. I live in a place where winters are pretty cold and I've seen people in their cars smoking with infants/toddlers/children in the passenger seat. And of course because it's cold the windows are down by just about an inch or two. This is a sight I regularly see.
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#22 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't have said anything. It's an outdoor space, right? So how much smoke is your child really getting? Compare that to the traffic exhaust while you're walking to the park and I would bet the cigarette smoke is the least thing to worry about...
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#23 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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We belong to a private pool, we joined before learning they don't have any rules against smoking. I guess we don't leave because really there is no other private pool in our town besides the country club (too expensive) and the county pool is way too restrictive (can't bring in your own snacks/drinks, no toys/floaties, plus daily admission is pretty price-y).

There is sort of an informal "side" of the pool where smoking is more common, far from the kiddie pool or concession area, but once I was chatting with a mom in the KIDDIE POOL area and she lit up! She was sitting on the edge with her feet dangling in the water, talking to her kid and SMOKING. I was totally shocked. We had been talking but I immediately picked DS up and took him over to the big pool hoping she'd get the hint. I'm way too wimpy to say anything, I mean I honestly am frightened of people who demonstrate such staggering cluelessness about appropriate social behavior. Like maybe they'll start screaming at me or assaulting me if I get on their bad side. Better to just move away.
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#24 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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It always amazes me when people choose to smoke in an area designated for children. I usually try to direct my children to a different area. From your post, I see that this didn't work in your situation. I probably would have asked her to move, too. Sorry she dumped on you!
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#25 of 88 Old 02-02-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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It always amazes me when people choose to smoke in an area designated for children. I usually try to direct my children to a different area. From your post, I see that this didn't work in your situation. I probably would have asked her to move, too. Sorry she dumped on you!
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#26 of 88 Old 02-03-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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We seem to have the same problem here of people even ones that don't have children playing at the park wanting to sit on the bench in the middle of the play area and light up.
Another one that really gets to me is that at our local zoo they have 2 designated smoking areas, but people still smoke everywhere. We were there in early Nov. and there was a couple that both of them were smoking one after another and seemed to be following us around the zoo so my DH finally confronted them with the fact that there is a no smoking rule at the zoo except where specified. They went into a rant on that those places are not convenent and it is there right to smoke where they need to, and if we didn't like it we should leave the zoo. At least they stopped following us.

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#27 of 88 Old 02-03-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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I agree that it is better not to smoke where children are playing, and yes it can be a nuisance, particularly if your child has a reaction to tiny amounts of smoke, but

I think some of you are overreacting to the relative safety and actual nuisance of outside second hand smoke.

I mean, I feel smothered when people are wearing a moderate amount of perfume inside. Should wearing perfume inside be illegal?
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#28 of 88 Old 02-03-2008, 01:53 AM
 
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i don't ask people to put out their cigs when outside. it is a public place. as much as i don't like it & think it's nasty, especially around kids, i'd just move us away from her & her smoke.
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#29 of 88 Old 02-03-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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Not to mention the fact that the playground is the only place for children to play, but a smoker can go anywhere to smoke -- what an odd choice to sit right by a playground and light up.
Hmmm...i havent read all the replies so maybe this has already been addressed....but i find your comment kinda odd. I assume the smoker mom actually was watching her children play at the park, yes? So she couldnt really "go anywhere to smoke"....because she was watching her kid(s). Just as one poster said that getting up and moving to a different location to avoid the smoke might not be an option if you are juggling several kids at once, getting up and hiking halfway across the park to where there are no other people, to smoke, might not be an option for this mom. Yes, the simple answer is "dont smoke" but most smokers i know are addicted and have a very difficult time stopping. My sister is a chain smoker, and if she only smoked at home and not in any public place....well, she'd never leave her house. Thats not quite fair to her child is it?

And since when is the playground "the only place for children to play"? Hmmm. Dont really get that.

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I think some of you are overreacting to the relative safety and actual nuisance of outside second hand smoke.
:

I'm really surprised that people think their kids are in grave danger from a few minutes of indirect exposure to cigarette smoke in an outdoor area. It really never occurred to me to be so worried about such things. I'm not a smoker, btw, but i can't imagine asking a smoker to move or not smoke, in a public open-air space, where i have the option of moving myself. An elevator, yes maybe. The park? Uh, no.


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#30 of 88 Old 02-03-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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I can't stand it when people smoke around me. I'd be sooo angry if someone started smoking near my son at the playground. Yeah, the person has the right to smoke in public, but my son has the right to breath (relatively) clean air that won't cause cancer. I sincerely hope that every playground soon adopts rules against smoking.

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