Banned Smokers Migrate From Mercy Hospital To Sacramento Woman’s Front Lawn

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Steve Large Steve Large
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A homeowner is bothered by smokers near her front steps and has a clever way to get them to “butt out.”

CBS13 talked to a woman who has a dispute with a nearby hospital.

It’s an artfully crafted argument.

Joanie Pope-Ferry has a message for Mercy Hospital.

“I didn’t want to be too mean about it and too negative, but I wanted to get my point across,” said Pope-Ferry.

Now she’s had her message made into a mural on her fence.

“The smell of smoke comes in my windows,” said Pope-Ferry.

It’s aimed at hospital visitors who smoke. It reads “Mercy have mercy, no smoking please and don’t make an ash of yourself.”

“I can’t do anything that will hurt anybody because I don’t want to get sued,” said Pope-Ferry.

You might call it Pope-Ferry’s last-gasp attempt to get the hospital’s attention.

“It started Saturday when I just got so fed up I called an artist and I said ‘Can I hire you to work?’” she said.

Her frustration started months ago when Mercy made its campus smoke-free.

“So what they have done is they don’t smoke there, and they come in front of my home, sit on my bench, leave their cigarette butts,” said Pope-Ferry.

Attorneys and phone calls had no impact. She was running out of options.

“I thought about putting like spikes up here, then I thought about sprinklers, but then kids and people that weren’t smoking would get hit by them,” said Pope-Ferry.

Now this, it’s a mural for Mercy.

“I had an art gallery for 10 years so I said ‘Why not use art?’ ” she said.

Her own home became a canvas for a cause.

She has commissioned a painting that she’s hoping will make Mercy say mercy in what’s become a cigarette showdown.

“You used to have a spot for smokers, and it shouldn’t be my home,” she said.

Until Mercy makes its own spot for smokers, Pope-Ferry says she plans to make changes to the mural on a weekly basis.

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