How can you mitigate a severe reaction to cigarette smoking in social situations when surrounded by smokers?
June 16, 2012 12:13 AM Subscribe
Asking for my Mom: how does a non-smoker who has a severe allergic reaction to cigarette smoke mitigate the effects at a social event when they are outnumbered 6:2?
posted by katemcd to health & fitness (29 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My Mom has been invited to a family function that she really wants to attend. Unfortunately, she has asthma & a severe allergic reaction to cigarette smoke (as in if she is exposed for a normal amount of time associated with a social event, she often suffers for days afterwards), and our immediate family consists mainly of smokers. The ratio of this event is 6 smokers to 2 non-smokers, one who does not have the same physical reaction as my Mom & can more easily go with the flow, so it's really more like 7:1. The hosts of the event smoke and the gathering is in a small apartment, so, unlike other situations, there can't be a designated smoking space and a non-smoking area other than inside vs. outside. My Mom is trying to think of ways to lessen the effects of the smoke, and we thought MeFites might have some good ideas. Complicating matters is some familial tension & I suspect that my family members think she is either exaggerating the effects and/or conflating it with some moral judgment. Trust me, she is not. This really is just a health issue. Some additional context, the only thing that prevented these family members from smoking around my non-smoking grandfather who had emphysema was when he needed an oxygen tank that made for a highly combustible situation. She will have her inhaler with her and has an air purifier/ionizer at home. Personally, other than speaking to the hostess (who may or may not be receptive), I am stumped. So, any suggestions for mitigating the effects of cigarette smoke exposure when attending a social event, hopefully without creating tension or making a big deal out of it? Much thanks in advance!