NEVADA CITY (CBS13) — Nevada City is considering strengthening its smoking ordinance in its historic district to possibly make the offense a misdemeanor in addition to the hefty fine.

Tourists CBS13 spoke to on Thursday were surprised to hear smoking in the downtown area was banned.

Two years ago, Nevada City merchants and citizens asked the city to do something about too much smoking downtown. The city is now looking at strengthening that ordinance.

Violations carry a $175 fine, but city leaders say not everyone takes it seriously.

According to the police chief, the tourists aren’t the problem, it’s residents.

Now the city is looking at changing the ordinance from a municipal infraction to a misdemeanor.

City leaders point out there are always warnings handed out at first, and smoking is permitted outside the historic district, or in designated smoking areas.

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