How to Entertain Smokers as a Non Smoker

Three Methods:Creating a Space for SmokersOffering Alternatives to CigarettesAsking Smokers Not to Smoke

Hosting guests for a party or other occasion can bring many different challenges. One of them may be entertaining smokers, especially if you don’t smoke. You may not want any smoking in your home or the venue in which you’re entertaining. You may not even want any smoking at the occasion. However, you can entertain smokers if you’re a non-smoker by either creating a space for smoking or offering alternatives to smoking.

Method 1
Creating a Space for Smokers

  1. 1
    Locate a space that accommodates smoking. If you are entertaining in your home or another venue, look for a space that can accommodate the smokers who are attending the occasion. You may want it to be outside or in a designated “smoker’s room.” Consider designating two spaces in the case that the weather doesn’t cooperate.[1]
    • Consider how many smokers you know of and plan for more. Many people smoke socially when they’re with others or having a drink.
    • Look for a place that is far enough from non-smokers that any smoke won’t affect anyone with smoke sensitivities or respiratory conditions. If you are at home, this might be your yard or other outdoor space. If you are at another venue, ask if there are designated spaces for smokers.
  2. 2
    Ask a smoking friend for advice. If you’re not sure if your designated space is optimal or how to set it up, enlist the help of a friend who smokes. This friend can give you tips on what types of items you may want to have in the area and if the space itself accommodates smokers.[2]
    • Tell your friend what your expectations for smokers and the smoking space are. For example, “Avery, I want to make sure that my smoking and non-smoking guests feel welcome. I think I found a nice space that will accommodate both groups. Since I don’t smoke, do you mind checking it out and suggesting some ways to make it comfortable?”
  3. Image titled Entertain Smokers as a Non Smoker Step 1
    Set up a cozy smoking spot. You want your smoking guests to feel as welcome and cozy as you and other non-smokers. Making your designated smoking spot inviting to smokers can help them have as good of a time as non-smokers. Incorporate elements such as comfortable seating, tables, and ashtrays so that smokers have everything they may need while away from the main event.[3]
    • Arrange several comfortable chairs in a way that allows your smoking guests to have a conversation. Consider using chairs that you can easily wipe off or wash if you are concerned about the smell of smoke lingering on fabric.
    • Have several ashtrays on hand and place them around the seating area. You may need to purchase a few small ashtrays if you don’t already have them. Consider getting non-flammable materials such as glass or metal. You can use these for future events, too.
    • Set up a trash bin in the space. This gives your smoking guests the opportunity to take food or drinks with them and can help keep your spaces free of trash. Make sure to designated the bin as “trash only” so that guests don’t use it as an ashtray, which may spark a fire.
    • Take the weather into consideration. If there is rain in the forecast, provide a canopy or set up your alternative space so that smokers aren’t left out.
  4. 4
    Check in on your smokers during the event. Part of making sure your smoking guests feel welcome is paying attention to them as much as your non-smokers. Occasionally slip to the smoking space to make sure that your smoking guests are comfortable and don’t need anything.[4]
    • Go to the space and say, “Hello! I wanted to stop out and check on everyone. Does anyone need anything?” If you are able, sit down and talk to the group for a few minutes. If not, you can always excuse yourself politely with, “I’m sorry to leave so quickly, but I have a terrible allergy to cigarette smoke. I’ll be inside and would love to chat more with each of you.”
    • Empty any ashtrays that appear full. You may also want to throw out any lingering trash so that people feel comfortable using the space.

Method 2
Offering Alternatives to Cigarettes

  1. Image titled Entertain Smokers as a Non Smoker Step 4
    Recognize that some people cannot replace cigarettes. You may not want to provide a smoking area when entertaining. This could be because of health concerns or a personal distaste for smoking. This is your choice, but you should recognize that your decision may push away some guests. Many people can’t curb their cravings to smoke.
    • Assure anyone who can’t come because of smoking that you understand. Say, “I’m so sorry you can’t join us, Frankie, but I completely understand. If you feel like swinging by for a few minutes, please know that the doors are always open.”
  2. 2
    Consider allowing people to use e-cigarettes. If you are not willing to allow people to smoke in or around your home, then you might consider allowing them to use e-cigarettes as an alternative. Using e-cigarettes, or vaping, has become a popular alternative to smoking and it does not produce as much of an odor.
    • Try telling people that while you do not want anyone smoking in or around your house, you have set up a designated vaping area. You could set this area up in the corner of a room or in your backyard.
  3. 3
    Have a large selection of food and drinks. One of the best way to help smokers curb cravings is by keeping their mouths busy. Offering your smoking guests a wide array of different foods and beverages can distract them from cravings and help them have a good time.[5]
    • Provide foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, oats, and brown rice to help curb cravings. Many of these foods can make cigarettes taste bad.[6]
    • Make sure you have plenty of water, which may also help curb cravings.
    • Avoid too many spicy or sugary foods, which can trigger a desire to smoke.[7]
  4. 4
    Incorporate crunchy foods. Crunchy foods such as raw vegetables or chips can satisfy and help curb cravings to smoke. Make sure your food spread includes crunchy choices including:[8]
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Nuts
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Radishes[9]
    • Bell pepper slices
  5. 5
    Provide a bowl of candies or gum. Things on which you can suck or continuously chew can act as substitutes for cigarettes or cigars. Keeping a bowl of hard, sugar-free candies and gum may help your smoking guests feel welcome and curb their cravings.[10]
    • Include cinnamon candies and gum in your candy and gum bowl. Some smokers find that cinnamon gum or hard candy curbs their cravings. Be sure to get sugar-free cinnamon options so that the sugar in the candy or gum doesn’t stimulate cravings.
  6. 6
    Have toothpicks on hand. Toothpicks are another way to occupy smokers’ mouths. Keeping a cup full of toothpicks for your smoker guests can help curb any cravings they may have if you prefer an entirely non-smoking environment. Consider getting cinnamon-flavored toothpicks if you can find them. These may help further curb cravings.[11]

Method 3
Asking Smokers Not to Smoke

  1. 1
    Inform guests of any smoking limitations. It’s important that guests know of any smoking bans or limitations before the party. You may want to include this information in your invitation. This may help smokers decide if they want to come or avoid the event if they cannot avoid smoking.[12]
    • Keep the notice as positive and polite as possible. For example, “We want all of our guests to be comfortable, happy, and healthy. Due to our new baby, we cannot accommodate smoking at the party,” or “I’d love for everyone to come, but I’ve chosen to host at a fantastic place that unfortunately prohibits any type of smoking.” Follow this up with, “If you are a smoker and decide not to come because of the smoking ban, I completely understand. You are most welcome to join us if you change your mind.”
  2. 2
    Let smoking guests know about other offerings. As a part of your invitation, give smokers some assurance about attending even with a smoking ban. Include information on things such as food offerings, activities, and alternative places they can smoke. This can help let smoking guests know that there are things to keep their mouths and minds occupied or even escape momentarily if they’re dying for a smoke.[13]
    • Entice all of your guests, especially smokers, with information about the event. You could write, “We’ll have a wide variety of drinks, snacks, and dishes so that every person has plenty to eat” or, “I’ve planned for an expansive buffet that you can spend the entire evening nibbling through.” For activities, you might say, “There’s a DJ and a dance floor,” or “There is a pool, lawn games, and basketball court so you can have some fun with the other guests.
    • Consider providing smokers who may really crave a cigarette or cigar an alternative location to smoke if need be. For example, “If you are dying for a cigarette, there is a bar down the street that can accommodate you while you smoke.” Use discretion with this offer because you don’t want the entire party to relocate from your event.
  3. 3
    Tell guests about the smoking policy. Many businesses have rules about where people are allowed to smoke, so it might be helpful to post this policy or at least to make people aware of it when they arrive. Some of these rules designate a certain area for smoking while others require people to be a certain distance from buildings to smoke.
    • For example, you might post signs that say, “No smoking within 30 feet of entrances,” or “Smoking is permitted on the patio.”
  4. 4
    Remind smokers about the ban. Before your event, it may be a good idea to send an update to all of your guests. This can remind any smokers of the ban without making them feel unnecessarily left out.[14]
    • Send an email or “newsletters” a few weeks before the event to let guests know things about parking, food, activities, or anything else they may want to know. Use this as your opportunity to gently remind guests of the limitations on smoking and any penalties they may incur for not obeying the ban.
  5. 5
    Deal with guests who ignore smoking bans. In some cases, there are people who don’t care about any bans on smoking. They may smoke or try to smoke during your event. Handling guests who ignore the rules can cause you a lot of stress—and possibly even fines. Deal gently but appropriately with anyone who decides to smoke despite any bans.
    • Remind the person to stop smoking the first time you notice the behavior. It may be a case that the person automatically grabbed a cigarette and forgot the ban. You can say, “Hey Taylor, I don’t want to cause a problem, but you can’t smoke here. Please put your cigarette out.”
    • Ask a person to leave the event if the individual continues to smoke. Say, “Hey Taylor, I understand you need to smoke, but I can lose my apartment if there is smoking here or outside of my place. Please leave so everyone can enjoy the party and I don’t get in trouble.” You can also say, “Hey Taylor, someone from the hotel just let me know that you’re smoking. I got charged $1,000 for that. Please leave so I don’t have any more problems from the staff or the hotel closes the party.”[15]

Article Info

Categories: Smoking and Health Effects