Woman regains right to smoke in own garden

A 49-year-old woman banned from smoking in her own garden is once again free to light up where she chooses after winning her appeal at the Environmental High Court.

Woman regains right to smoke in own garden
Photo: SuperFantastic

Last month the woman, from Åkarp in southern Sweden, was ordered by the Environmental Court in Växjö to refrain from smoking too close to her neighbour’s hedge, a decision she felt was a violation of her human rights.

In her appeal, the woman claimed that the outdoor smoking ban had no basis in law.

On Thursday, the court ruled in her favour, stating that there were no reasonable grounds for an interim ban before a final decision was reached, Sydsvenskan reports.

The Environmental Court had intended for the temporary ban to remain in place until it decided how best to resolve the conflict between the woman and her neighbour, a lawyer with a strong aversion to cigarette smoke.

The neighbourly feud took on new proportions in mid-August when the Environmental Court sent a delegation to the woman’s home. Enraged by the new development, the woman refused to allow the two court representatives to inspect her property.

“I thought it was crazy. What were they going to do here? This is just ridiculous,” she told Sydsvenskan at the time.

The lawyer however was only too pleased to be able to assist the delegates. From his side of the hedge he was able to pinpoint where his neighbour usually chose to smoke her cigarettes.

The delegates proceeded to take meticulous notes, resulting in a scale diagram of the two gardens. According to the court’s inspection protocol, the assessment took a total of 40 minutes.

The lawyer also told the court that his sensitivity to cigarette smoke meant he had to wear an oxygen mask every time he left his house to walk to the car.

“He walks around with the mask on regardless of whether I’m smoking or not. It used to annoy me but now I don’t care any more,” the woman told Sydsvenskan.

After reviewing the relevant documentation, the court ruled that the woman was banned from smoking within a nine metre radius of the lawyer’s house

The protracted feud began last year when the woman received a decidedly unneighbourly letter from the lawyer.

“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.