Apologies if this offends any smokers here, but we have a new employee who is sitting in my office area (a smallish room that has no openable windows) who smokes, and, well, she reeks. Some days you can smell her as soon as she walks into the room. There’s no body odour or hygiene issues; she just always smells like an ashtray. The coat rack has become her personal property, since any jacket that touches hers becomes contaminated. We’ve taken to propping the door open all the time, but that doesn’t get rid of the source of the smell. We technically have a scent-free zone going on, since two people in here have allergies. In the last two weeks, they’ve taken to working from home or any available free desk as much as possible. I honestly don’t know if she smells more than most smokers or not; I’ve been lucky enough to have never worked closely with one before.

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I’ve done some online research, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot that can be done, since smoking counts as an addiction and it has been argued in court cases that it is therefore a disability. This is the reason her manager won’t say anything to her. However, it’s really bothering the rest of us back here.

Have any of you dealt with this? What would you do?