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“Since 5 am, the two of us have been eating cigarette after cigarette.”  Can you get a fine for smoking on the balcony?

“Since 5 am, the two of us have been eating cigarette after cigarette.” Can you get a fine for smoking on the balcony?

“Nothing is as annoying as the smell of cigarettes from your neighbors when the weather is nice and you have an open balcony” – wrote our reader. With the arrival of the first spring days, the neighborly conflict over smoking on the balcony returned. Some argue that balcony smokers should be punished with high fines. What does the law say about this?

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Mr. Radosław has been smelling cigarette smoke in his apartment since 5 am. That’s when a couple of smokers who live next door wake up. They are not fans of a healthy lifestyle. They start the day with morning coffee and a cigarette. “They sit on the balcony and smoke cigarette after cigarette from 5 am. I’ve never smoked in my life and now I can’t even open the balcony” – he says resigned. His pain is perfectly understood by Elwira. To this day, she has not forgiven the neighbor who burned her favorite blanket last year. She was drying it on the balcony, and a neighbor dropped a cigarette butt on it. “I hate him,” she says firmly. Mrs. Zofia, in turn, calls the smokers from the block bandits and ‘stinkers’. “They sit on the lower floor. All the stench flies into my apartment. If drug addicts want to poison themselves, let them smoke inside. Fines should be very high” – he emphasizes.

Smoking on the balcony? Tomek’s freedom in his house

On the other side of the conflict, there are smokers who claim that the balcony is part of their apartment and they can do whatever they want there. And if they want to smoke, they go ahead and smoke. Justyna believes that going out for a cigarette is less of a nuisance than listening to children playing on the neighbors balcony. “They are screaming all day and I have to listen to them. In that case, let’s also ban letting children out on the balcony. When you live in a block of flats, you have to reckon with various situations. I don’t care who bothers. I’m at home” – confirms.

Rafał, in turn, after a moment of reflection, explains that “for most smokers, a cigarette is a moment of pleasure and a moment of relaxation, so they sit comfortably in an armchair or on a rattan sofa and enjoy a moment of rest over a coffee or beer.” He believes that as long as ashes and cigarette butts are thrown into a screw-top jar of water, no one should be bothered by it. Others are outraged that they are no longer allowed to smoke anywhere. “It’s not allowed in the pub, it’s not allowed at the bus stop because it’s disturbing, it’s also disturbing on the balcony” – lists Aneta. Then he suggests that if smoke bothers someone, they can keep the windows closed or ask a neighbor to smoke less. According to her, no one has the right to prohibit it.

Can you smoke on the balcony? List of forbidden places

So what does the law say about smoking on the balcony? The Act of 8 April 2010 amending the Act on protection of health against the consequences of using tobacco and tobacco products and the Act on the State Sanitary Inspection clearly show where smoking is prohibited:

  • in hospitals and medical clinics;
  • in workplaces;
  • in nurseries, kindergartens, schools and universities;
  • in cultural and leisure facilities for public use;
  • in gastronomic and entertainment establishments;
  • on public transport;
  • at public transport stops;
  • in the premises of sports facilities;
  • on children’s playgrounds;
  • in other public spaces

There are no balconies. The situation is different if the neighbor accuses the smoker of indirect immission, which is described in Art. 144 of the Civil Code, i.e. nuisance behavior of third parties that interferes with the use of the apartment and has a negative impact on it. Then the smoking person may be punished with a warning or a fine of PLN 500. In extreme cases, there may even be a trial in court.

Source: Gazeta

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