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.

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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.

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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.

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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.