Hello Mike and Mark

I’ve only just listened to these two podcasts, and I have a HUGE doubt.
I absolutely hate being a passive smoke: it messes with my concentration and with my general disposition. Other than that, I think nowadays it is just rude to start smoking next to someone without asking first.

But unfortunately, this is an usual occurrence when I’m go out for a meal with friends or other people.

My question is, when someone with whom I have or might create a professional relationship starts smoking (usually at the end of the meal, but sometimes in the MIDDLE of the meal), should I just ask them not to smoke (I’m only 25… and it is VERY UNCONFORTABLE to make this request to people that are older than me), or should I just endure the hole meal and keep it to myself?

What are your thoughts on that?

Many thanks for all your work!

Best regards

Diogo Garrido

Diogo Garrido's picture

I wanted to post this message as a simple post in "Meal etiquette, not a new subject...


vadim's picture


it depends where are you living.

In Italy for instance it is forbidden to smoke in public spaces like restaurants.

I am travelling frequently in France and smoking is permitted, so nobody cares about others . Same in Austria/Germany/Russia.:roll:


jprlopez's picture


This is an interesting topic and I understand your situation.

What I have done in the past is situate myself in such a way that I have the least exposure to second hand smoke. (Unless your guest is rude and blows it directly in your direction)

For friends, I normally just tell them up front if they would mind not smoking at the table. Everyone respects the request.

I realize this is not the optimal answer and I haven't really thought about it too much in the past so it wil be good to get additional insights from other members.


Mark's picture
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I have what may be an unusual take on the situation.

First, to be clear, in the US, smoking in most restaurants is prohibited. Despite being a big American Cancer Society donor (their research saved my daughter's life), I generally don't care for regulations like these. If there are too many smokers in a place, I won't go there, and sooner or later they'll figure it out.

This goes somewhat against the US rule that one is free to exercise their own rights [i]provided you are not denying someone else the right to exercise theirs.[/i] If the French think it's okay to smoke in restaurants, I can handle that for a night.

If you sat next to me and smoked in a place where it was authorized, I'd not say anything. Next time, though, I'd not sit next to you, and if you asked me why, I'd quietly say, "I'm not a smoker."

I would not recommend you ask someone to not smoke in a place where it's allowed. I might move if it was bad, but again, I could tolerate one night.

I would do so in the spirit of respect for others, even IF they are not respecting others.

I'd let an important customer blow smoke in my face for hours on end, too.

I'd DEFINITELY move if I had on one of my cashmere coats. One of them is so nice others like touching it, and one of my brothers calls it "the coat of many strokes". Nobody messes with that coat, nor does their smoke. :wink:

I don't see others not asking as being rude... though I would appreciate their doing so, and if they asked, I would say I would prefer they didn't.

One night with smoke won't kill anyone. I know - my parents smoked until I was in my teens,and in the car on week long trips.


Diogo Garrido's picture

Hello everyone!

Thank you for your opinions. I think it is definitely a problem where we have to be aware of the local culture. But I do recognize that I will have to be a little more willing to put up with second hand smoking if I want to be sure I’m not putting a potential professional accomplishment at risk…

Thanks again!

Diogo Garrido