Dear beloved smoker,
The most important act of kindness and respect you can show me is to never smoke in my presence again. No offense, but I need a smoke free house and a smoke free car. I need clean air to breathe and the smoke is like a poison to me. I may not always seem negatively affected, but please consider the nature of my condition. The effect of irritants is cumulative as well as spontaneous - I can be hurt by the combination of many things as much as I am by a single act or event. I can�t control my environment at work, or the new flu going around or the pollution caused by industrial waste products. But my home is one area under my control, so please do not grumble when I send you outside to smoke.
I know you think it is unfair and will ask for your own smoking room or attempt to take a short cuts by using smokeless ashtrays and rolling down the car window open rather than going outside. Those things are not helping me, you can not take those avenues. The smoke does not all go out the window or in the smokeless ashtray filter and it gets into the air ducts for the house and transported into other rooms of the house. Using a separate room would only if that room is on a separate ventilation system from the rest of the house and the seal on the door is airtight. I know we can�t accomplish that on our budget, so please smoke outside.
I also need your help with the massive cleaning I must have done. The residue from the cigarettes previously smoked in the house is in the drapes and carpeting and furniture and on the walls. When wind or human contact disturbs these things, gases that are dangerous to me are released into the home environment. It needs to go, but unfortunately I may become sick by doing it alone. Please either help me or hire out�
Furthermore, I need you to be my advocate. Please don�t make it so that I am the only one who tells our friends and family not to smoke in the car. Please don�t insist that we sit in the smoking section of restaurants. Even if �everyone else� in our group smokes. We�re a team, don�t make me the bad guy all the time, please. It may change our lifestyle, but I can�t spend a lot of time in smoky environments. While we are out so please don�t side with your friends and relatives when I say I need to leave or ask them to not smoke. I need to know that my health is important enough for your support in family and social situations.
Another thing I need from you is for you to do your own laundry. No I am not being petty or childish. Just like the interior of the house and car, your garments are coated in chemicals that are poisonous to me. When they get disturbed they release fumes which I should not be breathing. I need you to put your clothes into a hamper with a lid and then care for your own washing. And that hamper must be somewhere I do not frequent. Along the same line, I need for you to take extra care with your personal hygiene. What gets on your clothes also gets onto your person. While smoking in open areas instead of the house helps dilute the chemicals, they still get on your clothes and skin. When you re-wear clothing and sit on the furniture or come to bed without having bathed first, the residue concentrated on your hair and skin then gets onto things in the house like the bed or the couch. If I hug you or kiss or bump you when the residue is there, you my lungs get stressed. I do not want to stop doing these things, but it is much easier on me if I you take care to only wear your clothing once and bathe each afternoon or evening.
In closing, I repeat that I will always love you. I will however insist that things are done to protect my health. I know that you care for me and only want to help, so these things should not be a burden to you. As someone who vaues and respects me, I know that you will take all these things to heart.
With Love, Your Asthmatic Family MemberBACK