Yes, this is another post complaining about cigarette smoke from a neighbor. I’ve read previous posts on this topic and, as this is obviously a touchy issue, I would like to try a different approach, if possible.
I purchased a co-op that I (mostly) love in Park Slope a year ago. The building was built in 1920 and I am on the top floor. During the months before closing, one of the residents in the unit below mine was not around. Shortly after moving in, he returned and I learned for the first time that there was a chain smoker in the building and there is a significant amount of shared air between our units.
The extremity and the frequency of the cigarette (and, occasionally less legal substances) smoke is beyond anything I could have imagined possible. Several times daily, it is as though there is someone smoking in the room with me. Mornings, my place smells like an ashtray. Sometimes I can smell the tobacco on my clothes even when I am outside of my apartment.
I informed the president of the co-op who instructed me to take it up with the tenants, which I have done now many, many times. They are always very nice. Sometimes, the problem seems to get better for a short period (although it has never gone away). It always returns as bad as ever, prompting me to have yet another conversation that sometimes is somewhat effective, sometimes not.
To try and fix the issue, I put in two additional layers of flooring. I sealed all the corners with expanding foam and/or caulk. I plugged the outlets. I even spent over $1100 on an air purifier specifically designed to address cigarette smoke. Needless to say, this continues to be a problem or I wouldn’t be writing here.
To complicate this issue, I have also been getting severe headaches on a regular basis (3-4 a month, each lasting for a day or two). I cannot conclusively tie the headaches to the smoke, as I used to get about one of these headaches once every two or three years. Suddenly the headaches are a regular occurrence. A nurse told me that cigarette smoke can be a trigger for cluster headaches.
I have spent many days in the bedroom to avoid the smoke in the living room and nights on the couch in the living room to avoid smoke in the bedroom. Twice, in desperation, I moved my mattress to the kitchen and slept there to get away from the smoke.
Unfortunately, selling is not an option for me because of the state of the housing market and the building flip tax. Not to mention all the money I have already invested in this unit.
Just writing this down here, the situation feels over-the-top, and at times it is. But nothing has been exaggerated or distorted. I would love any suggestions about regarding my options. What do the people on Brownstoner suggest? Is there something I have overlooked?