Be Direct with Smokers

Dear Jean,

Several people at our company smoke.  I plan to have a big holiday party and don’t want those people smoking in our home.  Should I make sure that nothing on a table looks like an ashtray and hope they get the hint?


It’s still true that we as Americans are free to do as we please in a society so long as we don’t harm others or ourselves or scare the horses, but smoking is pretty unpopular these days.

In a warm, diplomatic way let them know that you have a smoke-free home.  They’ll know that if they attend your party they will have to abstain.  Most smokers don’t relish the idea of a whole evening without a fix, even though most are now acclimated to the idea that the world no longer welcomes their vice.

You may want to point out the back garden, the verandah, patio or even the front steps as the best place to light up.  They can understand taking a cigarette break from your party.  They have to do that at every office or place of business these days.

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