How To Stop Smoke From Next Door

If you want to get to the goods, just skip to the bottom of the page.

Hello and welcome to my helpful bitch-session version of how to more successfully live next to a cigarette smoker so that YOU can still have a life, and even open a window or two. If you are here, I’m guessing like me you have a constant flow of cigarette toxic fumes permeating your life and are dying (literally) to make it stop! By the end of this post you will have a better solution on how to block smoke from neighbors.

Sure there is loads of information on the internet on how to seal your home from smoke and basically create a bubble to trap yourself in, but if you actually want to be able to open windows and go in your yard, there is nada, nothing, no help. The other ‘helpful’ information is to look at local laws or contact your ‘local agencies’ but let’s be honest, none of that is helpful either unless you have a ton of time, money, and are ready for a fight. I’ve been there, and that is why I made this site. The good news is unlike most ‘helpful sites’ you find on the internet I am not trying to sell you my information – its absolutely free and you don’t even have to sign up for anything.

All I ask is that if you kindly purchase the items I suggest to use through my Amazon affiliate links in this site. It will not charge you anything other than the regular item cost, but Amazon will give me a little teeny tiny commission…. which I would GREATLY appreciate.

stop cigarette smoke from neighbors

Living Next To A Smoker

If you have a bloodhound nose like myself, or start sneezing uncontrollably and the mere mention of a cigarette, you know the absolute torture that is living next to a house of cigarette smokers… especially if you are unfortunately down-wind of them. The DAILY torture is almost what makes it worse. The fact that there is never a time of day or night where it is safe to open your windows or go in your yard is incredibly UNFAIR. If you live in a location like I do where air conditioners are not common and you rely on the breeze (and what SHOULD be clean ocean air) to cool your home, it is even worse.

Look, I understand and respect that everyone should have the ‘right’ to kill themselves slowly, and especially the right to do whatever you want on your property. But what I cannot for the life of me understand is 1. why you WANT to pay to kill yourself, and more importantly, 2. why YOUR RIGHT supersedes MY RIGHT to use my property how I want to….. WITHOUT SMOKE. I can go in my backyard and enjoy my time without you ever even knowing I’m there and without interrupting you in your yard. But I cannot go in my yard and enjoy my time without being tortured by smoke. These rights are not equal. If you smoke, the burden should be on YOU to not allow your smoke into others’ space.

I told you this would be somewhat of a bitch session. But seriously, it is crazy that as a property owner you don’t have a right to a smoke-free home. We have what is called ‘air rights’ above our home, so how are those not protecting MY air. Somehow there are only laws that apply to condos and apartments, but single-family homes are screwed. This is the one time I wished I lived in an HOA.

I should not have to trap myself in my home, and sure, everyone one wants their walls and windows to block smoke when they are closed, but I refuse to live in a bubble 24/7 and not enjoy the beautiful area and weather I live in…. and paid a shit ton for. But that seems to be the only advice out on the internet… on how to seal up your living space and get an air filter.

living next to a smoker

Trying To Block Cigarette Smoke Take 1

I tried everything I could think of before ever even trying to ask them to stop. I suffered silently for a year at least, trying window fans, sealing myself inside, spraying air fresheners and more. I even put in a row of trees hoping they would create a ‘screen’ between the two houses (we have a low wall between the houses, but in the 60’s when people liked their neighbors, so I needed a visual block anyway). I wasn’t in a position where I could be spending a ton of money to solve this problem, and honestly I couldn’t find anything that worked. Everyone says to take legal action or contact government agencies, but really who has that kind of money, and God knows what kind of insanity would ensue from the inevitable neighbor drama. People are crazy you know.

It felt like they purposely started smoking every time I did try to go in my yard… but I imagine it just felt that way because the SMOKE SO MUCH!

I considered all kinds of crazy things too.

  • Industrial Fans: I was either going to try to get one to sit on my patio roof so that I could maybe at least sit on my patio. Or I was going to mount on the side of my house (between houses), so maybe it would at least cause a wind tunnel to the front yard. But those are expensive and I couldn’t figure out how I’d run the electrical let alone how to protect them from the rain and elements easily.
  • MORE Trees: I thought about re-doing my entire yard so that I could create an even larger ‘screen’ of trees. I even considered Junipers or whatever those fluffy evergreens are even though I HATE them. I knew the smoke would still seep through, but maybe at least it would change the wind patterns.
  • Good Smelling Flowers: I planted Gardenias and Roses hoping I could add some pleasant smells, but you know how that goes… it was cigarette coated flower scent. Or flower coated cigarettes.
  • Closing Windows Strategically: I thought to myself, OK, you obviously can’t open the windows on the side of the house where they smoke (thankfully they are unimportant rooms like my office, bedroom, and bathrooms… you know ones you don’t need… NOT). So I tried opening windows on the FAR side of the house. But no, it somehow was just as bad. It almost created a vacuum that sucked it in worse. How????
Industrial fan
 Air Conditioner Heat Pump
Energy Efficient Whole House Fan
  • Air Conditioning: Yeah, I thought about spending the thousands of dollars…. but I live in a place where it would make sense 2 weeks of the year where I actually NEED to cool my house. I even looked at the smaller wall mount ones known as ‘mini splits‘ but even they are over $2,000 for the cheaper ones plus you have to install.
  • Whole House Fan: Now this one is still on my ‘wishlist’ because while it won’t solve my smoke issues, it will allow me to cool my house reasonably and control when I pull in large quantities of air. I have an older home so this will take a new electrical circuit situation that I have to do first.
  • Air Curtains – You know those things restaurants use to block bugs and keep cool air in. They basically blow strong air straight down.

how to block smoke from neighbors

  • Outdoor Air Fresheners: I tried to find some sort ‘outdoor air fresheners’ that would work, but most of those only work for things like dog poop and ground smells and won’t block the smoke. I also legit ran around spraying Febreze outside… like that would do anything.
  • Reverse Torture: Then I thought I’d go the opposite route and tried to find products that would make the smells worse for THEM. Turns out there is a skunk spray, and poop spray, but I figured how obvious would that be? I did have Neem Oil for my plants which is pretty strong, so I did try spraying that some times. And I use strong vinegar to kill weeks so I did that a few times too… but of course then YOU have to smell the bad stuff too.
  • No Smoking Sign: Yeah, I thought about hanging a bunch of these on the site of my house. I’m sure they would have done nothing to stop the smoking, but at least they’d have a daily reminder of how shitty they are as humans.
  • Safe Hours: I kind of kept track to what I thought were the ‘safe hours’ when it seemed like they didn’t smoke. And for the most part I was good…. but OMG when they decided to break the schedule it was full-fledge smoke-filled house for me. It became not even worth risking it.
  • Air Purifiers: I also bought an air purifier for my bedroom which shares with my main bathroom. On the off-chance the smoke DID get into my space. Plus I have cats so it was a benefit either way to keeping my space smelling fresh.
  • Fake Sneezing & Coughing: Yeah, I tried it. I really do sneeze and cough from smoke, but I tried exaggerating the situation. Didn’t work. They didn’t give a shit.

So many of these options were either way too expensive to try, didn’t work when I did try, or would have been incredibly annoying to live with.

SUPER STINK (30ml) - Fart Spray
 No Smoking Novelty Funny Metal Sign
Foggy Mountain Pure Skunk Essence

Asking The ‘Neighbor’ To Stop Smoking

So in a desperate attempt, I wrote my neighbors (if you can call someone that, who is not neighborly) a VERY NICE and begging-heavy note, with cookies, and put it on our fence where I knew they would see… you know, where they smoke all day. I am terrible at confrontation, so I knew I wouldn’t get my words out in person, this is why I went this route.

I explained that I can smell their smoke INSIDE my house every time they smoke. It actually creates a bubble of smoke around my entire house (no exaggeration). I asked them to please try smoking in their garage, or front yard, or even just on the far side of the house so it would instead blow into the street. I hoped and prayed, but NOTHING changed.

I waited another almost year suffering silently before I figured I’d try again. What did I have to lose? So I wrote up an even more sad begging note, this time trying to explain how truly terrible it was. I even started with, “I’m hoping it’s not that you don’t care, but that you just don’t know how bad it really is.” After all, if my neighbors came to me and said something I did several hours a day, every day was ruining their lives I would 100% try to not be a complete and absolute DICKHEAD. If I was the smoker, I would have moved spots, or gotten a smoke buddy, or tried vaping or e-cigs, or whatever, to try not to make MY absolutely TERRIBLE HABIT torture and harm someone else. I would have tried quitting given the information below! I even thought about sending these jackasses a ‘quit smoking kit‘ but didn’t.

Amazon Basic Care Nicotine Polacrilex Lozenge
Mindful Breathing Necklace
NicoDerm CQ Step 1 Nicotine Patches

Did anything change? Of course not. These people have a toddler!!! I cannot understand why on earth they want to smoke when they have a young child first of all, but how smoking several hours a day is more important than spending time with them. And yes, the kid is at home with the smoker. Not to mention that like my best friend, that child will probably lose his parents before he turns 35.

At the very least you would think they could have the curtesy that in the rare times I did go in my yard, and they could clearly hear me back there, that they could WAIT a friggin’ minute before having to smoke!! They have an entire backyard and they continue to smoke right next to my fence even though the wind obviously blows straight my way EVERY DAY. Not just sometimes, but every single day. So yeah, obviously they are assholes who don’t give a flying eff about anyone but themselves. It sounds harsh, but I find some comfort that karma will likely get them later in life.

block cigarette smoke

Getting Desperate

At this point I am kind of feeling like giving up, to the point I wanted to sell. I moved to my home to be closer to the water, and live with fresh air. I’m extremely sensitive to smoke in that I will start sneezing immediately. I can smell it easily over a couple hundred feet away, so you can imagine what having a neighbor 10 feet away is like.

I considered breaking the bank and looking into something like a cease and desist to their property owner (they are renters), or even a small claims suit against their landlord. But I was terrified it would only make things way worse and I’d just be out money.

Ring Spotlight Cam Plus

Ring Camera To The (Kind Of) Rescue

Ok, you are probably thinking CREEPER haha. But no. Ok maybe a tiny bit, but this DID help me greatly. Although my ‘solution’ to getting rid of the cigarette smell is usable without this step haha. I ended up installing a Solar Ring Camera on my garage and pointing it down the street. It was needed for safety anyway since we have been having break-ins in the area, but in the side of the screen I can see when the smoker’s car isn’t home (for the record I cannot at all see in to the home or even if they are in their front yard, I can just see the tail end of his car when it is home). So at least I had times where I KNEW it was safe to open windows or go in my yard.

BUT now I have another solution for when he IS home and smoking!! And I assume what you actually want to know about, so here we go.

How To Block Cigarette Smoke From Neighbors

My ‘ah-ha’ moment was honestly a mistake. It was the California heat-wave of 2022 and I was about at my mental limit. When you don’t have A/C and the temp never drops below 80 for 2 weeks and you can’t even open your windows at night during the ‘cool’ part of the day… you start to lose it. I’m a spoiled California, don’t come at me. On top of that I was unknowingly suffering from severe electrolyte deficiency and anemia all at once. That shit sucks, it’s amazing what lacking electrolytes can do to you… think constant severe hangover for weeks. Take your electrolytes (these mineral tablets were and are my life savers) haha. Anyway….

So I’m outside trying to water my poor hot plants in the front yard, on the farthest side of the house. And shocker, cigarette smoke comes wafting over. In a fit of anger I start spraying the hose into the air (it’s not going to hit anyone obviously, but it made me feel better both temperature wise and like I was ‘accomplishing’ something). Turns out…. the hose water STOPPED THE SMOKE SMELL!! So there I am thinking shit…. how do I live in a mist bubble. Obviously I can’t surround myself by water constantly haha or block my open windows like that. Or can I???

Then it hits me. Misters exist already, DUHHHH. People use them to cool their homes and patios. So my ‘mist bubble’ already exists. But how much do those cost. At this point I wasn’t entirely convinced that my hose trick would ACTUALLY work to solve my issues, and I wasn’t about to have a several thousand dollar misting system installed without confirmation… not to mention 2022 we were already on water restrictions in SoCal.

But I do some research and find these expensive professionally installed, high-pressure, misting systems that do in fact mention using them to block smoke. Of course they are referring to smoke from things like forest fires, but I figured, it has to be the same concept right? Now I’m no technical expert so don’t get on me about this, but in the most simple terms…. the mister essentially ‘coats’ or ‘captures’ the smoke particles and makes them so heavy that they fall to the ground versus continuing on their path, aka into your space.

The last thing I’ll say on the Ring is that it still gives me the benefit of times where I can go outside or open windows without having to turn on the misters, which is still key whenever possible.

block cigarette smoke from neighbors with misters

Finding The Right Supplies For Misting Systems

So in my classic Amazon obsessed fashion I get to hunting. It turns out you can buy a ‘misting’ system for like $20!!! Yes, that cheap! Are they professional grade? Absolutely not. Are they the super fine mist that comes from the pro models? Nope. But if you are like me and either want to TRY the system for your space, or can’t afford to break the bank, it is a GREAT option.

Even better it was easy to put together in a couple hours (my dad and I always say ‘we will be really fast the next time’ – usually there isn’t a next time needed though haha). Now that I’ve done it a few times I can put them together in minutes. You only need the mister kit and a hose bib to test this out to start.


My ‘stop cigarette smoke survival kit’ essentials and how-to are listed below, but before we get to that. I ended up making it even better this year. With a little more investment to make things easier.

In my first ’round’ of trying out the misters, I put them up around my patio roof (man I wish I knew they made white misters before I did my white patio, my bad). I figured then at the very least I could open my slider (for the living room) and my bedroom window safely because they were now in the ‘mist coccoon’ of the patio. The two downfalls were, it was expelling a lot of water for what I needed, I’m pretty sure I could have gotten away with half the patio. Secondly I had to walk outside (theoretically into the smoke AND water) to turn them on and off. But the key is that for about $20-30 you can figure out if it WILL even work for your space. Obviously this isn’t going to work for every situation, but it is the closest thing to a solution to blocking smoke in your yard and home I’ve ever found.

It has been ‘cold’ and rainy this winter (for California), so I haven’t needed my misters. But summer is coming and I knew I needed to improve my system. After all when something is a pain to use, you don’t use it.

In addition to needing to fix the patio issues mentioned above, I also wanted to be able to open other windows in the house. But of course I didn’t want to have to have ALL of the misters on at once. Hello water waste.

mister system for smoke

This year I have added a couple features! I have added a new row of misters along the top of the wall between our two houses. Because you know what, if anyone needs to be getting wet it should be the assholes who won’t stop torturing me. This way I can turn on that row and enjoy more of my own backyard (and front yard) without being trapped under my patio… because guess what, now it stops the smoke (or at least the bulk) right there at the fence. Plus the patio ones would make me a little wet which is nice on a hot day, but not on a regular occurrence. I also wanted to add a couple misters to certain windows so I can open them with some added ‘protection’.

Now I wasn’t about to go out and physically turn on misters above a window whenever I wanted to open one, so I found a solution! On Amazon I found these awesome battery powered irrigation timers that you control with an app on your phone. They connect to bluetooth and your wifi and you can set timers or just turn them on manually. That way I can turn on the ‘wall’ or patio before I even go outside. Or I can turn on the windows before I open them. The cooler aspect of these timers is that you can control multiple ‘devices’ from the app. So the patio has a control. The ‘wall’ has a control. The windows between the houses have a control, and the ones on the far side of the house have their own.

You just connect them straight to your hose bib. So I bought a splitter and put each of the ‘areas’ on a different device. You can see a photo of my one setup below. PS, these can obviously also work for watering plants… you know the thing they were actually made for.

I also installed manual valves on my patio so I can turn off sections if I don’t want, or need, the entire series to go. So it can just turn on 5 in the start of the series, or the entire one side, or the entire series.

So for about $200 I ‘wired’ my entire house with misters that are app controlled. Fancy right.

So here is your shopping list!

Stop Cigarette Smoke Survival Kit

So here is what you need. Obviously you know your space best, so you may have to tweak some things here and there for your specific needs, but at least you have the overall concept. You can also find a visual shopping section at the bottom if that is easier.

  • A Hose Bib – If you don’t have one SUPER close to where you need the misters, you can likely use extra tubing to get you there, just make sure you protect the tubing from anywhere it can get accidentally cut. But you DO have to have a hose bib somewhere. You MIGHT be able to split under a sink, but I haven’t tried that way.
  • Inexpensive Mister Kit – comes with a TON of tubing and mister heads. It’s a better price and deal when the 50ft set is available. You can also find a white option if you prefer!
  • Hose Splitter – Depending on how many ‘areas’ you need you will want to get that many. Just keep in mind you likely want to have an ‘open’ one for your normal hose. I have a 2 split for one side of my house with one timer, and a 4 split on the main side with 3 timers.
  • Wireless Irrigation Timers – Now these are available in a couple options. But you HAVE to have at least one ‘hub’ that has the plug-in that connects to your wi-fi. Then you can buy additional timers either individually or as a kit (with the hub).
  • Rechargeable Batteries – The irrigation timers are AAA battery powered and DO NOT come with batteries. I went with rechargeable so I can swap them out. (the app does give you battery levels)
  • If you need manual vales to control how many misters are on. I’ll warn you, these have leaks, so you have to find the good ones of the bunch.
  • If you have a hard water (or dirty water) problem, you may want to install a water filter as well.
  • Cable Clips – The mister kit does come with nail-in clips, but there may be some spots (like above windows) where you can’t nail things. These are a decent alternative…. they even stick to stucco!
  • Extra 1/4″ to 3/4″ Adapters – These are what connect the 1/4″ tubing to the timer (or hose bib). One will come in the kit, but if you want different areas you might need more.

I still recommend the following from my original ‘testing phase’.

  • Air Purifier – This one is not super expensive but it works pretty well. And it is compact so I can hide it behind a plant. There will be times when you need to keep your windows closed during the year after all. And the replacement filters.
  • Good Smelling Flowers hahahaha
  • Febreze or other good smelling things.
  • Don’t kill your neighbor.

How To Install Your Smoke Blocking Misters

Again, most of this will be determined by your spaces needs. But the kit comes with a ton of stuff ‘just in case’. You get lots of mister heads, connectors, cutter, and nail in ‘hooks’.

I went with a spacing of two feet between them. Since I wasn’t just using this for ‘cooling’ it was more about creating a ‘curtain’ of mist to block the smoke.

The connections are super easy, basically just shove the tub into the misters and it has a ‘shark bite’ connect. Then add tubing to the next side, then a mister, then tubing, then mister, then tubing etc. I found it was easiest to cut the tubing into 2 ft lengths all at once and then connect. Once you have your ‘plan’ it honestly only takes minutes. The end unit will get a plug.

You may need a little bowl and hot water to heat the end of the tubing to connect to the hose adapter, just a heads up. And you’ll need some wrenches too.

If you are going to try to connect above your fence like me (I have ivy all over the fence that is growing ‘up’ too, so I just used plant wire to connect them to the branches, but I’m also considering using bamboo poles and making little ‘y’ spots at the top (with epoxy resin) for the misters to sit so they can spray straight up into the air creating a ‘mist wall’. These are probably cheaper at your local hardware store, but just in case I’m linking them here.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • When you are planning on where to put them. Keep in mind that you won’t always want the misters to hit your body. If you have a place that you can put a row (like my wall between houses), try to put them in a spot away from you but between your neighbor’s smoke and your home.
  • If you can have multiple ‘areas’ even better to give you flexibility. Think of ‘air flows’ like window to window that you want to be able to open. For example I have a set above the windows on both sides of my living room so i can get a cross breeze going. That is the benefit of the timers being on wi-fi, they don’t have to be together!
  • Because these irrigation valves are timers, you could turn it on for a designated time, open your window, and by the time your neighbor stops smoking at 12am like mine, then you can have your mister automatically shut off at say 1am (just to be safe), so it isn’t running all night but you still get cool night air in.
  • Think about spots to put it so you can not only open windows, but actually enjoy your front or backyard.
  • These misters aren’t the super fine ones, so you will get some water accumulation.
  • If you want different ‘areas’ you can use the extra tubing and mister heads from the kit and just use the adapters posted above to connect to a separate timer.
  • You will want to run the misters occasionally throughout the year so the water doesn’t sit in the system. If you use over the windows you will want to run these completely through before opening the window… you’d hate to add musty smell to your house.
  • If you live in a location that freezes, you will probably want to make sure you set your system up so you can take it down before the winter. I don’t live anywhere that freezes, so I’m not one to ask on this. But even with my setup now where they are nailed in with clips, I could easily undo at the hose bib take the clips out and just roll up the entire system to store for winter. Then just re-attach the hose and re-nail in the same clips.
  • With sun beating on these regularly you’ll probably have to re-do some tubing or fittings occasionally, but the good news is they are cheap!

If you want to step it up a notch, there is a high-pressure misting system available on Amazon. I have no experience with this one so I can’t vouch for it. You can of course also find a professional company in your area.

Wishing You A Smoke-Free Life!

Well that is all folks! I truly hope that helps you get more of a smoke-free life where you can open windows and enjoy your outdoor spaces more. Is this a perfect system? Absolutely not. But this is the closest I’ve ever been able to actually block the cigarette smoke from my neighbor’s backyard. I really really hope this works for you too.

The good news is you can try it out for about $20-30 dollars before you have to make a larger commitment to the timers and what not! That’s worth a shot right? Put it up in a rough way, if it works, then you can easily add on the timers.

Best of luck to you! I know this was long, but I figured you should know you are NOT ALONE!!

Fan Misting Kit for Outdoor Misting

Black Mister Set

Mister System for Outside patio

White Mister Set

4 Way Heavy Duty Brass Garden Hose Splitter

4-Way Hose Splitter

Garden Hose Splitter

2-Way Hose Splitter

Master timer or individual

Master Timer or Individual

Rainpoint Sprinkler Timer

Full Timer Set

Garden Hose Adapter

1/4″ to 3/4″ Connect

Adhesive Cable Clips

Cable/Tube Clips

rechargeable batteries

Rechargeable Batteries

black manual valves

Black Manual Valves

white valves & splits

White Valves & Splits

air purifier

Air Purifier

black tubing

Extra Black Tubing

white tubing

Extra White Tubing