Would You Rather?

When it comes to neighbor nuisances, what's worse: barking dogs or chain smokers?

Share this Article

When you live in New York, there’s almost always some annoyance from a neighbor that you have to deal with. For this installment of Would You Rather, we asked city dwellers to choose the lesser of two evils: living right by a cigarette smoker or an incessant dog barker?

Here's what they had to say:

Birds of a feather A cigarette smoker—I can deal with that more than noise. Also, I smoke, so… —Nicole, Bushwick 
Every New York City living situation is a tradeoff You swap something horrible, like a smoker or an insane dog, for some major perk, like a dishwasher, or great light, or a landlady who bakes you cookies. I'd much rather live next door to a dog that barks constantly, because at least I can put on headphones or blast some Prince to drown it out. Smelling someone else's cigarette smoke feels like a personal invasion in a way that I feel powerless to avoid. -Chelsea, Astoria (pictured below)

Sound you can mask, but not scent… I really don't know what's worse. I guess the dog will die sooner than the smoking habit, which is terribly morbid, but I'd go with the dog barking. Plus, I could hopefully drown out the barking with NPR or music. —Mary, Crown Heights

Dogs are less risky Dogs. They’re cuter, plus less cancer risk. —Melissa, Astoria

Light them up I smoke, though I’m on the tail end of it, so I guess I’d rather live next to a smoker. I could handle that more than the dog. —Tracie, Greenwich Village (pictured below)

But, is the dog suffering? This is tough for me. I have a crippling fear of fire, so the increased risk of a smoldering [cigarette] butt would terrify me. But a barking dog is a constant quality of life issue, even though I love dogs. I'd rather live with the theoretical fear of fire (and maybe a crummy smell in the hallway) than listening to a suffering animal around the clock. —Nell, Williamsburg

In the city, quiet is everything Definitely a chainsmoker. The dog, I just couldn’t do the noise. I need peace and quiet, as much as you can get in the city. —Joshua, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Sorry, not sorry Smoker even though that's the more f---ed up answer. —Jeff, Marine Park

Too stinky Animal noises are nicer than human smells. —Anne, Hell’s Kitchen

Put in a Glade! Smoker. I feel like the dog is more of a disturbance. But it [the smoke smell] can get into your hair… But you can just plug in a Glade. —Saja, Flatbush
Verdict: Smokers have it, 6 to 4.