Guests smoking outside at a non-smoking house

Are you okay with guests smoking outside? Or do you specify that a no-smoking house means no smoking on the premises? I am feeling SO frustrated right now with smokers.

Backstory- we bought this house this summer, and it had a cigarette smell left over from the last tenant. We’ve spent thousands of dollars on replacing everything in the house that would have absorbed the smell, paying for professional furnace/air duct cleaning, buying an ozone machine, etc. We finally had the smell pretty much gone.

My guests last weekend stayed for 2 days. When I got there to clean, I saw cigarette butts ALL over the property. Then I went in and started cleaning, only to discover that they had smoked in one of the bathrooms as well! The smell was really strong back there, so I cleaned really well and ran the ozone machine off and on for 2 days so that the house wouldn’t smell for the guest checking in today.

Got the notification from my security camera that today’s guests had arrived, checked the footage (to verify number of guests), and I see that the first thing the husband does when he gets out of the car is light a cigarette, take a few puffs, and then toss it in my driveway. Aaaaaaaaaaaagggghhhhh!!! I did just message the wife last night letting her know that the house might have a smell from the ozone machine I had been running, and that I hoped that it got rid of the cigarette smell from the previous guest who broke house rules. So if they do smoke in the house, there is no excuse that they didn’t know the rules. But I already know that I will end up picking up a week’s worth of cigarette butts when they leave, and that really pisses me off.

I do need to go over to do yard maintenance at some point this weekend, so I will address it with the guest if I see butts all over. But other than asking them to pick up their trash, I’m not sure how to handle it or what I can even say if they claim to only smoke outside. Obviously, I need to be more specific in my listing that No Smoking means NO SMOKERS. I really hate that I’m constantly having to update my listing to spell out every little thing that I expect guests to do that should just be common courtesy (like don’t leave garbage on the floor.)

State in your house rules that there is no smoking anywhere on the property. If someone smokes inside, make a charge against their security deposit. It’s damage!


Why didn’t you tell the guest when he threw the butt on your drive? That’s very disrespectful of him. In my city there is a fine for littering pavements etc. with cigarette butts.
If you are going to have people smoking outside then provide a sand bucket for the butts. Personally I don’t enjoy people smoking outside my property either. I don’t feel I can tell people not to smoke on the public pavement, but none of my neighbours smoke either, and I would deduct cleanliness stars for leaving butts. All power to health education to help with this dirty habit.


I don’t allow smokers. The picture is of my house rules about smoking. So far (fingers crossed) it hasn’t been a problem.


I very strictly enforce the no smoking INSIDE or anywhere on the property rule. I live next door & have gone outside & told them again, because I had to become that annoying person who put up No Smoking signs everywhere. I have very few guests who smoke & I’m less worried about offending them than having future guests who show up & call AIRBNB & want to be rehoused because of smoke smell. And I Don’t know about you but I really don’t have the time to pick up someone’s cigarette butts!

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This seems to be one of those areas that Airbnb could modify to make more clear. When I was looking for a place to stay in Colorado that was friendly to their legal weed it was really difficult. Many “non-smoking” listings allow smoking outside and many “smoking” listings said no smoking indoors. Some meant only cigarettes and others applied to pot. It would be helpful to split it into different groups: “Smoking allowed indoors”, “No smoking indoors”, “No smoking on property”.

My listing says “no smoking” but I don’t have a problem with people doing so on the property. Amongst our group of friends there are both cigarette and MJ users, so I’d feel like a hypocrite to ban guests from doing something we allow on the property.

I just ask that they do so at a table a good distance from the house so it doesn’t waft inside. I also provide an ash pot (a terra cotta pot with sand, and a smaller pot inverted on top of it makes a safe, weatherproof and relatively attractive solution). That’s rude of your guest to throw his butts on the ground. I’d definitely mark him down in review for that kind of behavior.

I’m not at the house. I saw it on the security camera (before they turned the camera off last night!!) :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Thanks. I’ll definitely need to put something more specific on my listing.

Agreed! Especially since I just spent half an hour doing that after the last guest.

Totally agree. I messaged Air customer service last night and asked for clarification, and they said No Smoking means anywhere on the property. But of course, they don’t have that published anywhere in their policies, so I will have to be more specific on my listing.

This should not be an option. I know your rules list is long but turning off the camera or blocking it in any way is grounds for immediate cancellation of booking with no refund. Your disclosure and picture of the camera is not working to deter these losers and I don’t know why. And does everyone who rents your place smoke? Or just a coincidence about the last two in a row. Maybe it’s that mention of faint smoke smell. They think you won’t notice, or it doesn’t matter.

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I like that rule!

Just the last 2 in a row. :frowning:

Didn’t you have previous guests that turned off the camera as well?
And even though I keep my rules short, since your a off-site and far away you need to add it to the rules threating immediate cancellation and expulsion unless you can have your local caretaker knocking on the door within 5 minutes saying that insurance requires a functioning security camera …which is also the line to use to explain the camera in the first place.

No smoking: I also wish Airbnb would at least add a note to clarify this right after the check of Yes/No. As it is I have this unchecked and have kept it unchecked, because for me it is …a definte NO inside, but ok on property as long as it drifts somewhere else.

My partner now is a smoker and what I learned … he needs it at regular intervals.
So unless you OUTRIGHT prohibit SMOKERS (not smoking - and Airbnb lets you make that distinction in their fineprint), provide a safe place to get rid of their butts on your property.

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I used to provide a designated spot outside for smoking but then I had a guest who was up and down the stairs at all hours of the night and early morning waking me up so I now state - no smoking on the property. I also had to add No Vaping. Folks seem to think this is something different. I haven’t said that you have to be a non-smoker but I’m thinking if you smoke you are going to at least want to smoke outside.

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Yeah, I think that agent was just making it up as she went along.
The inclusion policy states “For example, an Airbnb host may turn down a guest who wants to smoke in a unit, or place limits on the number of guests in a unit”…

This statement leads me to believe by its wording that the policy is slippery. Even a shoddy lawyer could poke holes in that in a minute. They cannot turn down someone who wants to smoke outside or on the curb.

This is a great discussion and I think anyone who has been hosting for a while probably has had to deal with this issue if they are a non-smoking home. So I have very clear House Rules concerning smoking and even go to the extend to say that if you smoke on my property you will be asked to leave. Having said that I recently (9-4-18) had a guest that booked for 6 nights, left after one and we found butts in our chiminea so low and behold a smoker! My husband also smelled smoke in the bathroom. Oddly enough they have not asked for a refund and since they broke my house rules I am certainly not going to even consider a refund which by the way I wouldn’t have to do anyway since I have a strict cancellation policy. I will wait until the last day of the review period and then review this guest accordingly.

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oh, all that kerfuffle with the ozone machine, and the next guests wouldn’t have noticed the cigarette smell anyway!


HA- no kidding. I guess I could have saved myself the 4 extra trips to the house to run the darn thing.

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To build on @Jess1 ‘s comments. I allow smoking outside and provide a couple of ashtrays because without a sand bucket or ashtray you will get cigarette butts on the ground. Generally if you give people a place to put their trash, they will use it.

Littering of any type is disrespectful.