Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friendship falters on anti-vaxx posts

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

We have a balcony, and I am fine with her smoking on the balcony if she wants to, but – please – not in our townhouse.

My husband doesn’t want to say anything to her, but I do.

Do you have any ideas?

– Puffed-Out

Dear Puffed-Out: Smoking anywhere indoors has become so rare that at this point it is almost taboo.

Many rental units and condo associations ban smoking – even inside units – because of the risks associated with second-hand smoke. You should check to see if there are any rules within your townhouse development, and if even smoking on a balcony is permitted (balconies are sometimes considered “common areas”).


If smoking is banned inside units where you live, you should notify your mother-in-law.

Otherwise, even if your husband won’t say anything to his mother, you should.

Keep your tone neutral, and simply say: “I hope you won’t mind standing outside to smoke.”

If she says, “Why yes, I do mind,” you’ll have to say – “Well, smoke really bothers me, so I’d appreciate it if you could do that for me.”


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