A hapless Redditor — who appears to be a young man living in a rented apartment in Brooklyn — has crowdsourced his question About how to get your roommate to stop smoking.
“My roommate smokes 24/7 in the apartment and I don’t smoke at all,” he writes. “I want them to stop. What should I do?”
The roommate is smoking marijuana, which is now legal in New York for sale and for recreational use. This week, A pop-up dispensary opened In downtown Manhattan, the state’s second legal dispensary opened in late December.
“It smelled like smoke to me, to the point that other people smelled it on me and asked about it,” the young man says. His eyes sting, and he’s concerned about the health risks of secondhand smoke.
“Also, coming and seeing the living room is kind of an unpleasant energy. I ideally want a more clean spotless room and non-smelling clean fresh air.
He wonders if he can take legal recourse. “Don’t I have a reasonable expectation of a roommate with some common situation? For example, we didn’t discuss plutonium before we moved in together, but if he deposited plutonium near my bedroom and I got cancer, I would There are going to be some valid legal concerns around this.
Responders quickly scoffed at her concerns, saying that smoking is not illegal, but storing plutonium in the home is.
It’s the equivalent of asking “Is there any legal recourse for my roommate to wash the dishes,” says one. “And I say this as someone who hates smoking and wouldn’t even live in an apartment with a smoker.”
Another says: “Smoking isn’t against the law, and you can’t sue people for doing legal things you don’t like.”
And another: “You should probably be more concerned that you’re comparing plutonium and doing dishes with weed smoke and you’re not high.”
It is unclear whether the roommates had previously discussed the smoking situation. The Redditor did not respond to a request for comment.
What about complaining to the landlord? “It will make it difficult to live with someone who hates you, so what’s the point? Just leave,” offers another person.
Had some understanding. One less sympathetic person writes, “I’ve had more than two roommates in the past who said they didn’t care if I smoked — only to go back on their word after living together a few months.”
Being in a room with a smoker – whether the smoke is marijuana or tobacco – may be disgusting, but it is unlikely that secondhand smoke causes cancer.
Alan Blum, MD, a prominent anti-tobacco doctor, told the Post, “An estimated 3,000 cases in the U.S. are believed to stem from this type of exposure.”
“They certainly are long-term spouses or co-workers of people who smoked, or people who grew up in homes where parents smoked.”
Professor Blum of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, however, said this unfortunate roommate “will be bothered by the acrid smell, and his clothes (and carpets, curtains, bedspreads and hair) will absorb the stench.”
With laws legalizing recreational marijuana, “the resurgence of weed is a blow to all those who fought for smoke-free housing laws,” he said.
Assuming the victim isn’t on the lease, there’s no legal remedy — or at least nothing worth pursuing, said real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey.
“The landlord is not responsible for the roommate’s conduct,” Bailey said. “The only remedy they have, which is no good, is a nuisance case in the state supreme court, which is costly and difficult to prove.”
If the tenant has a lease, he can evict the roommate, as long as he gives reasonable advance notice. If both roommates are on a lease, they can agree to let one out of the lease, in which case that person will vacate.
An air filter is not likely to work for weed. “To be blunt,” Bailey said, “marijuana has a strong odor that permeates the apartment.” It is smoke that acts like glue. I don’t know of an air filter that is going to get rid of it.
Advocates consider smoke complaints to be seasonal, he said — in warm weather, people open windows or smoke outside, which compounds the problem, at least for half the year.
New York’s Smoke-Free Air Act bans smoking. public place of residential buildings, but does not prevent people from smoking inside their apartments.
health Department accepts the difficulty about having a smoking neighbor, and gives advice on using “a friendly approach”, but does not address the difficulty of having a smoking roommate.
Bailey said, if the building is smoke-free, “an aggrieved tenant is welcome to contact the landlord,” but it’s rare that a landlord will take action.
At least to corroborate such a complaint, one can ask the neighbors in the building whether they too face the problem.
Basically, smokers are smokers. Bailey said, “These are people who will walk through fire to maintain their smoking addiction, so asking nicely won’t do.” “Too bad they didn’t discuss this before moving in. No one should have to live like this.”
The roommate situation is often dire, regardless of anyone’s smoking status.
One person imparts Reddit wisdom for the ages: “If you think you have a ‘reasonable expectation’ that you will have a roommate with a ‘normal condition’ then I don’t know what to say.”