March 10, 2015 5:00 pm -

A judge has given him a temporary restraining order to stop him from smoking in his Washington, D.C. home.

Edwin Gray’s next door neighbors in northeast Washington have filed a civil suit claiming they’re being harmed by smoke that sneaks into their home through a hole in the basement. They are seeking an injunction and $500,000 in damages.

A judge issued a temporary injunction last week saying neither Gray nor any family or guests may smoke in the home the family has owned for 50 years. Gray’s sister, Mozella Johnson, says they will fight.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

20 responses to Man Barred From Smoking Inside His Own Home

  1. rg9rts March 10th, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Smoking bad

    • Carla Akins March 10th, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      I agree, but it’s legal and he’sin his own home.

      • dave-dr-gonzo March 10th, 2015 at 5:57 pm

        Tough call. There’s no escaping the science on secondhand smoke. This has become an issue in multi-unit NYC buildings.

        • Carla Akins March 10th, 2015 at 6:38 pm

          You have a valid point

        • zenia March 10th, 2015 at 8:29 pm

          If it’s a duplex, condo, or apartment (sharing same foundation) the smoking ban should be in full effect.

          • olcurmudgeon March 10th, 2015 at 8:33 pm

            Bull shit
            Hes in his own home
            Shall they prohibit sex too because of the obnoxious noises and disturbing of anothr’s peace?

        • olcurmudgeon March 10th, 2015 at 8:32 pm

          Theres no escaping the science on car emissions as well , so when can we expect all the people who always want to stop other people from engaging in activities they dont like, to give up driving and emmitting all those noxious unhealthy , planet killing fumes?

          • Aielyn March 10th, 2015 at 9:23 pm

            Cars are, at this point in time, a necessary part of the structure of society (both economically and socially). Smoking is not. As such, the two are quite simply not comparable.

            Furthermore, when you move into a house, you know what the road system around you is like, and thus know what to expect regarding car emissions – if you don’t like them, you buy a house elsewhere, instead. Smoke, on the other hand, is something you can’t predict would get into your house through a curious hole connecting your house to the house next door. They would have had no expectation of such things being present in their home because of the actions of a neighbour.

            Of course, all that being said, the $500,000 in damages is just ludicrous. But I think it’s entirely legitimate for them to go “until the connections between your two homes are dealt with so that the smoke cannot get from one to the other, you cannot smoke in your house”. It’s not an extreme burden, after all – he just has to step outside to smoke – something that smokers in most houses do anyway for the sake of others in that house.

  2. Anomaly 100 March 10th, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Umm…it’s his house.

  3. Um Cara March 10th, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Why didn’t he stick a sock in the hole in the basement the first time his neighbor bitched about the smoke? Why didn’t the judge issue an order to stick a sock in the hole in his basement instead of an order to not smoke? Weird story.

    • Larry Schmitt March 10th, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      I agree. It seems there’s a simple remedy. Simply find a way to keep the smoke from finding its way to the neighbor’s house. If that’s obvious to us, why can’t the judge see it?

      • Budda March 11th, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        Maybe it is not that obvious. Maybe the judge knows more about this than what we are assuming…..and maybe not.

    • Aielyn March 10th, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      You’d be surprised how little smoke there needs to be for someone to smell it and be affected by it. A sock in the hole may not be sufficient.

      Of course, I’m sure *something* can be done to disconnect the two houses. If the judge didn’t order the guy to “either stop smoking or apply the appropriate changes to prevent the smoke from getting into the other home”, rather than just “stop smoking”, then I’m confused by the judge’s order.

  4. arc99 March 10th, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    So what happens when somebody with an intolerance for fragrances files a complaint because they can smell their neighbor’s shower gel or laundry detergent?

    Don’t laugh. At my wife’s last job before she retired, colognes and perfumes were prohibited on her floor based on the complaints of one person.

    • Robert M. Snyder March 11th, 2015 at 11:13 am

      A stray cat has been visiting my back porch several times per week and marking his territory. I wake up in the morning and my house smells like an outhouse. I wish I could get a restraining order against that cat! The point is that some odors are incredibly obnoxious, and it depends upon the person. When my wife was in labor with our first child, I opened a York Peppermint Pattie in her presence and the odor caused her to vomit. I am sympathetic to both sides in this dispute. I hope a technical solution can be found so that both parties can live as they wish.

  5. Budda March 11th, 2015 at 9:22 am

    He has common walls with his neighbors, his smoke affects them. Cigarette smoke is a toxic harmful element. Maybe it is his home but his actions in his home are negatively affecting other people.

    If a neighbors loud music and or fighting late at night kept you awake would you also say, “its his house he can do whatever he wants”?

  6. Snick1946 March 11th, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Welcome to the future of America. Smoking will some day be a criminal activity, while recreational drug use will be legal. Go figure..

  7. illinoisboy1977 March 11th, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Um, excuse me, but as long as cigarettes are legal, the man has every right to smoke them in the privacy of his own home. I’d continue to smoke, regardless of the injunction. Then, when I got arrested for contempt, I’d sue the district for malicious prosecution. The government has NO AUTHORITY over the man’s private use of a lawful product, within his home.

  8. oldfart March 11th, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    if there are bonified medical reasons for their discomfort MOVE for crying out loud.
    sounds to me like a case of anti-tobacco nuts seeking to enrich themselves.

  9. Contrarian March 11th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I think everyone here is missing the point. This isn’t about smoking, it’s about money. As in ‘he who has the most money gets to make the rules.’ I’m willing to bet a dollar to a doughnut that the aggrevied party insisted that their property values were falling due to the creeping smoke. It’s the same principle that allows subdivisions to dictate the color of one’s mailbox even though one never signed a covenant.