Woman sued for smoking in own garden

A lawyer from Åkarp in southern Sweden has sued his neighbour for smoking in her own back garden. He has requested her to pay 15,000 kronor ($2,083) to compensate for his suffering, along with an additional 2,000 kronor each time she lights a new cigarette.

The woman, a 49-year-old single mother, is worried that the feud with her neighbour may lead to expensive court proceedings, Aftonbladet reports.

“It makes me sad and angry. Should somebody else be able to control my life?” she asked.

The dispute began last year, when the woman received a decidedly unneighbourly letter from the lawyer next door.

“The only way we can get in and out of our house is by passing the path that faces your house. As such, we can no longer accept you poisoning our existence with your disgusting and unhealthy tobacco smoke,” the lawyer wrote.

The woman’s neighbour then upped the ante further by hiring the services of a solicitor. A subsequent letter, penned by the solicitor, explained that the lawyer had not been able to open the windows to air his house for two years “because of the frequent odours emanating from your garden”.

After the second letter, the woman received a summons from the district court.

In order to avoid confrontation with her neighbour she now has her regular smoke at a spot located seven metres away from the lawyer’s property.

“Before I would have my morning smoke near the lawyer’s hedge. I would go there to enjoy the morning sun,” she told Aftonbladet.

She maintains that she has done more than enough to avoid disturbing the lawyer.

“It’s not against the law to smoke outdoors. But my neighbour has clearly decided that I shouldn’t be able to smoke at all,” she said.