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triangle

Smoker in the office

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triangle

We work in a small closed office 2-4 people on any given day, room prob 5m x 5m. (pending covid guidelines of course)

We have a new staff member who smokes.

How do I approach this? They leave to smoke ( I believe in their car outside). We've had to work in close proximity as I'm training this person in the role.

But even in the office, they come in, smell like an ash tray, then proceed to spray 10 sprays of perfume on them self at the desk.

I don't think i'm made to deal with it, I'm not a smoker and very sensitive, I find the smell very unpleasant to the point I don't want to be 

in the same area. However obviously that is not possible, and it isn't up to me to tell someone whether they can smoke or not.

My manager can address it if I ask, but given we are a literally small team of 2-4 people I don't want to start off on a negative foot.

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

Your manager should be addressing it regardless. You are probably not the only who has noticed and it will affect everyone.

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Lunafreya

Hoo boy, I wonder if the “people have a right to smoke” posters will come in here 

I completely agree with your right to have clean lungs BTW

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MissBehaving

It would probably smell less if they smoked outside rather than in their car, wear a jacket out to smoke which gets taken off and stashed in a bag on returning, wash hands and eat a breath mint (in addition to the deoderant/perfume application)... BUT for those sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke none of that would probably be enough.

Maybe next time a person is hired your company can ask if they are a smoker and hire/nor hire on that basis - I don't think there are discrimination laws for smokers.

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Dadto2
1 hour ago, triangle said:

But even in the office, they come in, smell like an ash tray, then proceed to spray 10 sprays of perfume on them self at the desk.

I don't think i'm made to deal with it, I'm not a smoker and very sensitive, I find the smell very unpleasant to the point I don't want to be 

in the same area. 

That's a tricky one. You shouldn't have to put up with the smell, but there probably is not much that can be done about it? I also find the smell repulsive, but I can't really think of a solution. They are attempting to hide the smell. The only real solution is for them to be given a separate office or to quit smoking. I work for a uni on a massive campus which is smoke free. In order to smoke staff have to walk 10mins off site and this is a massive PITA so lots of them have quit over the years or cut down drastically. 

Edited by Dadto2

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Dadto2

If someone had bad body odour I think people have the right to complain about it, no different with smoking. 

Edited by Dadto2
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blackcat20
Just now, Dadto2 said:

If someone had bad body odour I think people have the right to complain about it, no different with smoking. 

I agree, its basically a personal hygiene issue.

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MissBehaving
15 minutes ago, MissBehaving said:

It would probably smell less if they smoked outside rather than in their car, wear a jacket out to smoke which gets taken off and stashed in a bag on returning, wash hands and eat a breath mint (in addition to the deoderant/perfume application)... BUT for those sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke none of that would probably be enough.

Maybe next time a person is hired your company can ask if they are a smoker and hire/nor hire on that basis - I don't think there are discrimination laws for smokers.

Well I was wrong, there is laws against it:

"It should be noted that, selective recruitment 
of non-smokers is prohibited under anti-
discrimination legislation. However, it is the 
employer’s prerogative to refuse to allow 
employees to smoke in a workplace. "

From here - https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/guidancenote_eliminationofenvironmentaltobaccosmoke_workplace_nohsc3019-2003_pdf.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjJnqi-5dPsAhXC_XMBHWv5BVYQFjALegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw3wNVFvo57lYVcDfGnVdX9x

Which gives a detailed plan for making a workplace smoke free

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Lunafreya

I wish you could discriminate against smokers 

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gatheringpieces

Blergh

Personally I'd prefer the cigarette smell than having perfume sprayed everywhere, most perfumes make me feel sick

Definitely an issue that needs to be discussed though.

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Dadto2
2 minutes ago, gatheringpieces said:

Blergh

Personally I'd prefer the cigarette smell than having perfume sprayed everywhere, most perfumes make me feel sick

Definitely an issue that needs to be discussed though.

The combined smell of perfume and cigarette smoke is nauseating. I think just smoke is better!

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triangle

I am so sensitive to cigarette smoke due to my mother smoking growing up... 80s/90s and smoked inside/wouldn't open car windows.

So I don't know if I'm overreacting.

But really, how hard is it to smoke in the fresh air, wash your hands and rinse your mouth. I think maybe will have to get the manager to outline some boundaries and expectations.

We really are a small team in a specialised unit so staff is particularly limited

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Let-it-go

You could address the perfume as it’s being done in the office (which would annoy me more than the smoke smell).  

Edited by Let-it-go
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Dadto2

Wait till they go out to the car for a smoke, then race out there with a fire extinguisher, screaming hysterically that the cars on fire and cover them from head to foot in foam. 

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PocketIcikleflakes

Does it cause anyone breathing difficulties? Maybe it could be raised on that basis?

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Chicken Pie
24 minutes ago, Lunafreya said:

I wish you could discriminate against smokers 

how nice....should we discriminate re drivers license then for jobs? not all smokers are rude and inconsiderate, i would also support a workplace if they rules, i have been in many firms that are quite strict around their expectations on this as its about perception of workers etc

 

Anyhoo.....i am a smoker, however i hate the smell in clothes and on others and smell a person immediately (e.g. when they get in a lift)....having said that, i do not smoke during the day or generally anywhere unless home (from night time only) and outside and even then clothing smells, when i did smoke during the day in the past i was very careful to ensure it was in the locations allowed, not milling around people and airy so it didnt stick as much i guess...its a horrible addiction but for some a coping strategy

 

i think the manager should approach it somehow with regards to workplace and smoking in some way? many places say its not allowed in the workplace etc but i would have no idea how to tackle it from a smell perspective...i would struggle with that situation as well

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Chicken Pie
18 minutes ago, Dadto2 said:

Wait till they go out to the car for a smoke, then race out there with a fire extinguisher, screaming hysterically that the cars on fire and cover them from head to foot in foam. 

this would be a classic! 

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Lunafreya
9 minutes ago, Chicken Pie said:

how nice....should we discriminate re drivers license then for jobs?

Smoking is an addiction that affects others.

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MissBehaving
2 hours ago, Lunafreya said:

Smoking is an addiction that affects others.

"...the DSM-V lists criteria for classifying addiction as a mental health condition called “Substance Use Disorder.”"

So you want people with mental health conditions able to be discriminated against (and it could be argued the behaviours that come with many MH conditions "affect others")

Edited by MissBehaving
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magic_marker

I just remembered DH picked up another box of popcorn while shopping.

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Treasure Island
Quote

But even in the office, they come in, smell like an ash tray, then proceed to spray 10 sprays of perfume on them self at the desk.

You would definitely be able to address the issue of using perfume at the desk as this affects air quality. They should be directed to do it outside or in the bathroom.

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Treasure Island
Quote

I just remembered DH picked up another box of popcorn while shopping.

Ooooh a good flame-throwing thread is just what we need to go out in style :rofl:

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triangle

this is a nice person from what I can tell, and I want to welcome them into their new role, but surely common sense says 

its bad manners? it is only at designated break times, so not excessive, but the smell has already stained our office.  

I think i'll palm it off to the manager to deal with and set up some expectations. 

Unfortunately there is literally myself and manager, and new person... so there is no avoiding the directness of it. I just wish it was common sense

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triangle
4 minutes ago, Treasure Island said:

Ooooh a good flame-throwing thread is just what we need to go out in style :rofl:

lol it really was not intended to start ww3 prior to eb closing

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Chicken Pie
17 minutes ago, MissBehaving said:

"...the DSM-V lists criteria for classifying addiction as a mental health condition called “Substance Use Disorder.”"

So you want people with mental health conditions able to be discriminated against (it could be argued the behaviours that come with many MH conditions "affect others")

exactly, hence i say coping...sure not all MH sufferers do it but we all different....mine is exactly due to MH and has been for 18 yrs although learning better strategies luckily with age and therapy

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