Signs indicate downtown Grass Valley smoking ban in full effect |

Signs indicate downtown Grass Valley smoking ban in full effect

Photo submitted to The Union by Dan Holler. An anti-smoking sign in downtown Grass Valley reminds the community that smoking is no longer permitted anywhere in front of downtown businesses.

What’s your take?

The following comments were posted on The Union Facebook page in response to the smoking ban:

Darin Driscoll – I had no idea there were so many totalitarians up here now. I thought we were tolerant? I thought wrong.

Desiree Marie Brito –That’s good. I’m tired of walking into clouds of smoke. It’s not fair to the people who want healthy lungs to have to breathe in that nasty (air) unwillingly.

Nicole Tucker-Von Schoff – Don’t matter to me, still gonna smoke where I want. When you give me dirty looks or talk trash I will make sure that I don’t try to keep it to myself. It is my right to smoke a cig where I want, within reason. Might be time for you people who wish to take away rights of others to have yours taken from you.

Tonya Phillips-Clark – Yay!!

Jesse Juarez – That is wonderful since I’m trying to kick the habit myself

Mick Collins – Love it (former smoker)

Starr Nadin Craft – I don’t smoke, and I think it’s LAME. I’m sick of everything being legislated. It’s Outside! What’s next, No farting signs? I think it’s just that ridiculous.

Ryan Durham – Does this mean you cant smoke meth?

Mick Collins — You can be subjected to second-hand smoke outdoors as well. It’s about time we as a society stand up to big tobacco. The only product sold to the public that, when used PROPERLY, will kill you (please don’t mention guns anyone).

Tachele Tietjen – It’s about time! Not a fan of second-hand smoke

Brooke Parkhouse – Love it!!!!!!

Mona Matthias – I love the idea of no stinky smoke downtown, but I think it’s unenforceable. I also think it’ll drive some tourists out.

Alvis LeGate – Thanks nanny government. Hey, non-smokers, get ready. They will be coming after your rights soon. Land of the free? Laughable! Sing it with me: “o’er the land of the meak and the home of the slave”!

Jessica Tasker – Non smokers had their right taken away when smokers could smoke anywhere! It is outside and its for everyone! How are people really gonna think this isnt fair!

Julianne N Matt Halvorson – So everyone keeps saying freedom this and that, why do I have to inhale the smoke that is in the OPEN AIR so it is said. I choose not to smoke or have my kids around it, so if we are enjoying a stroll downtown my children and I have to inhale ones second hand smoke. “NO thank you” Good for Grass Valley for banning it. By the way pretty sure the police want to add this to their list of (things) they already have to deal with.

Robert Stokes – Yaaaah baby...!

Amanda DuLac – I guess I’m the minority that doesn’t want to breathe second-hand smoke while walking downtown with my kids. Shame on me right???

Angela Sickles Davenport – I Love it! Inconsiderate hordes of smokers blocking sidewalks was a huge issue during the street fairs. My family of eight used to never miss one... We loved go and support the local economy. After my daughter got burnt by someone’s lit cigarette while walking in the street to go around the rude pack of smokers who would not move away from the side walk so families with small children could use it for its intended purpose. Most (not all) smokers don’t realize that when the light up on a public sidewalk they take away the right of every non smoker around them to breath clean fresh air. This law only enforces a common courtesy every smoker should all ready be adhering to. Thank you Grass Valley...we will enjoy the fresh air and safer environment this year at the summer market.

Stephanie Kirk – Guess the bar business is gonna go to Nevada City

Angela Sickles Davenport – It may be difficult to enforce all the time...I hope special attention is paid to enforcement during events with large crowds gathering.

Daniel Lossner – I like that the nonsmokers are behaving like a persecuted minority. That’s irony.

Tamara Davenport – OPEN AIR - why should my fresh clean air be ruined by YOUR SMOKE

Georgia Trickey –This town is going to regulate themselves into a Ghost town! This new regulation should bring in the tourists by the bus load!!! Hahahahahaaaa! Because everyone knows that “non-smoking” epitomizes the gold rush!

Kevin Berg – People are different... Down to the last one of us... We are not going to agree with everyone... What makes your point of view better than mine? People need to be more tolerant...

Adrienne Armstrong Van Bourgondien – I love this (although i dont see it as easy to enforce). I don’t care if someone else smokes as long as my kids and don’t have to breath it in. Unfortunately that rarely seems to be the case.

Georgia Trickey – With the Meth problem in this town it’s seems like the focus should be on cleaning that up & not writing citations for smoking. Priorities seem off! Way off!

John Allgeier – The Bay Area and its ideas are here. Good luck and goodbye Grass Valley!

Wolfgang Perner – I don’t care for the new law, but I will enjoy not having smokers hanging around all the doorways. I would like to see a decent public bathroom in downtown , perhaps reopening the one in Elizabeth Daniels Park. I think the lack of a bathroom is way worse than the occasional smoker. Many businesses cannot offer a bathroom because the old construction makes accessible bathrooms too difficult to provide.

Bert Tipton – Suggest to ban autos as well; if tobacco is infringing on my well-being, auto fumes have to be three-folds worse.

As “No Smoking” signs are installed in the streets of downtown Grass Valley, the enforcement of the smoking ban is in full effect and has garnered mixed reviews from business owners and community members.

“I’m totally in favor of it,” said Amanda DuLac, a Grass Valley resident. “There’s been so many times when I’ve been walking around downtown and go around stores and don’t want to walk around because of smokers.”

Violators of the ban may be subjected to a minimum fine of $175, Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster said.

“But my hope is to get voluntary compliance,” Foster said. “We are raising awareness and informing the public.”

“(M)y hope is to get voluntary compliance. We are raising awareness and informing the public.”
— Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster

Grass Valley Downtown Association has also helped send out informational pamphlets and cards to be placed in business windows.

“We just kind of have been giving out pamphlets,” said Julia Jordan, executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association. “The police department has been really good at giving out cards and warning people that this is taking place, not trying to be mean, but it’s nice to have a smoke-free environment downtown and it creates less mess for merchants and maintenance crew.”

The implementation may take time, Foster said, as smokers adjust to the new ban.

“It’s going to be long-term and it’s going to take a while for people to adjust to having downtown smoke free,” Foster said. “I sort of relate it to when smoking was banned in bars. It took a while for people to start to comply, so we’re posting that the area is a smoke-free zone and educating businesses and people in the public.”

Some view the ban as a removal of rights for smokers.

“I am not a smoker and hate the smell of smoke in general,” said a person with the name “Sophia Jhajj” on The Union’s Facebook page. “But I do not agree with this ban. I think people should not smoke within 20 feet of buildings and there should be designated smoking areas. But not BANNING people from smoking at all. That is just too much.”

There will be a gathering from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 to clean up the remnants of cigarette smoking in the downtown area, Foster said.

“We are having a Grass Valley butt pick-up party event and we’re partnering with Youth on a Mission, Our Youth Coalition and the Nevada County Drug Free Coalition,” Foster said. “And we will just be in downtown picking up any cigarette butts we find, as well as handing out flyers to educate the public.”

The ban went into effect Dec. 1 to prevent the hazardous effects of second-hand smoke, Foster said.

Rebecca Saffold, manager of Nevada Club in downtown Grass Valley, said she has already noticed the ban has caused a decrease in the number of people walking around downtown.

“They’re going to be inconvenienced because we don’t have a smoking area,” Saffold said. “They’re still going to come to my establishment, but we don’t have as much foot traffic of people walking through town.”

For those against smoking, the city seems to have gained appeal with the ban.

“I’ve been here for 33 years and I love this town,” DuLac said. “It makes me love the town even more now that there’s a smoking ban.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call (530) 477-4230.

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