The Water Cooler – Smoking in a “No Smoking” Area – What Would You Do?

May 20, 2014 12:05 pm · 45 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

If somebody was smoking where there was a “no smoking” sign or an ordinance that banned smoking in the area, would you ask them to put out their cigarette?

Talk about it….

1 marinemom May 20, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Yes I would and have done just that.

2 His Name is My Name Too May 20, 2014 at 12:27 PM

No, the city should enforce the ordinance.

3 Concordejet May 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM

No, I would just move away

4 ConcordMike May 20, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I would hope I had extreme gas and would try to cut as many farts as possible while standing right next to the person. Second hand farts are no pleasant my friends. : )

5 Macho man May 20, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Just let people do what the want, stop trying to control everyone and everything. Next it will be no cussing in public!!

6 Anon777 May 20, 2014 at 12:39 PM

If I was offended by the smoke I’d ask them to comply but it doesn’t bother me so no, I would not.

7 Dr. Doc, PHD May 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Smoking what?

8 Marilyn Carscadden May 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

No because I would get shot. I would move away. Everyone has addiction to something,that not mind thank God!

9 Noflow May 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

I usually scowl, hold my breath and move away.

But worst, is going to a restaraunt out of state….

10 mamatosix May 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

If I had to be there then yes.

11 Cowellian May 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM

When we first moved to California, restaurants used to have smoking and non-smoking sections, which seemed to me like having peeing and non-peeing sections in the swimming ool. California was among the first to ban smoking in restaurants, bars, and clubs, but now, even Tennessee is mostly smoke-free. There is an exception for places like the VFW, but frankly, I’m not inclined to tell them that they shouldn’t be smoking.

12 I am a smoker May 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I think a minimal number of designated smoking areas would be a better solution. As is, I’ll either go to Walnut Creek and piss off everyone by smoking everywhere since one place is just as illegal as the next, or I’ll limit my business there and give my money to PH. In WC, if there were designated spots every few blocks, I’d shop there and walk out of my way to smoke in those areas instead. Would other smokers be willing to do that too?

13 I would mind my own business May 20, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Like others should.

14 anon May 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Depends on what they’re smoking.

15 judaspriest May 20, 2014 at 1:41 PM

who would smoke with all the information out now ,,, really if you smoke-quit

16 tired of taxes May 20, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Depends on how big and mean looking the person smoking is.

A similar question could be posed for people eating/drinking on BART.

I think it is much easier to shush someone talking loudly in a library than telling someone to put out their cigarette in a no smoking zone or to tell someone to stop eating/drinking on BART.

If you know that they are aware of the no smoking zone/no eating/drinking zone, and they still continue to do it, you know that they are just looking for an excuse to make trouble for the person telling them off.

Me, I’d probably just avoid the person breaking the rules. Less hassle for me.

As I was about to push the submit button, “person littering” and “dog walker not picking up poop” are other similar examples.

17 a May 20, 2014 at 1:56 PM

I would make it clear I don’t mind and I support smokers’ rights.

18 Silva May 20, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I generally try to keep my mouth shut. I’m usually successful.

19 Dutch May 20, 2014 at 3:05 PM

No, it’s a ridiculous law if it’s outdoors. If it’s indoors then it’s up to the establishment to enforce the law.

20 Ashes to ashes...... May 20, 2014 at 3:38 PM

In a world where everyone feels that they can ignore the rules or laws, I would be cautious about telling a smoker that they can’t smoke in an area. Many are already hostile as they are” jonesing” for that cigarette and they have a chip on their shoulder about this habit. It’s like telling a junkie to put the needle away. Some smokers are polite and seem to know that second hand smoke can do harm but the majority are jerks……

21 Alone or with a group? May 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

If I were alone, I would just move, but might move within sight of them so that they realize I moved due to the smoke.

If I were hosting someone else, I might say something. For example, if I were supervising kids who were there, I would politely ask if they could move their smoke away from the kids; over if I were with elderly people, I might say that smoke affects their heart condition, and ask them to move.

22 Joe May 20, 2014 at 3:59 PM

You may have the right to smoke, and I have the right to not smoke. You smoking in no smoking areas makes me have to breathe your smoke!

23 Dennis May 20, 2014 at 4:00 PM

I’m more annoyed at the busybodies who are self-appointed enforcers for whatever law or regulation they are fixated on.

When I see someone outdoors and upwind of a smoker actually bypass seats and choose one next to the self-exiled smoker, and then rant at the smoker, it is apparent that they went out of their way to cause a confrontation.

When I see them screaming that “the law” says no smoking “within 50 feet of a non-smoker”, I’m tempted to go over and ask to see their badge. They think they have the authority to enforce the law; they don’t.

I also saw an elderly woman with a walker, who actually walks several miles a day for exercise, jaywalk across a 6 lane road, cross the entrance drive to a shopping center, and then go up to an outdoor table/chairs and insist the occupants move the table/chairs because they were partially blocking the sidewalk she wanted to walk on!

I’m more annoyed by people who buy food and drink at one establishment, then go sit outside another to have their meal … and leave all their garbage on the table when they leave, rather than throwing it away.

24 VikingPrincess May 20, 2014 at 4:13 PM

It would depend.
…if the sign was up to protect, such as Oxygen, propane, open flame, combustibles etc. YES…I would.

@concordmike…LOL. Yes, it is worse.

25 Blink May 20, 2014 at 4:23 PM

If they were behaving responsibly they’d read the sign……
Literacy problem?????

26 57 Chevy May 20, 2014 at 4:24 PM

I would my own business and keep my mouth shut..

27 57 Chevy May 20, 2014 at 4:25 PM

That is mind my own business.

28 A*sH**e May 20, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Who would do this?

29 A*sH**e May 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Protection from second-hand smoke; compare lungs 30yrs to 1.5yrs and see who’s the real idiot.

30 Michelle May 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM

The police will always take your complaints and get right back to you, someone said that above.

31 Suzanne May 20, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Not allowed-and not sorry…

32 Brownsville Station May 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM

We only recommend Smokin’ in the Boys Room.

33 Michelle May 20, 2014 at 4:54 PM

and concordmike, you have the most experience in this. :-)

34 ol' Ollie May 20, 2014 at 5:12 PM

I always go out of my way to tell the police on those around me who are or may be breaking all the new popular “feel-good” laws. Golly, it just feels good to make the world a better place for those who are offended by whatever for ANY reason!!

Always remember: Turn In Your Neighbors If they are out of line in any way, no matter how petty! Someone is always offended so you would be doing someone somewhere a service!

California is soooo great!!!

35 Antler May 20, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Yes, I would and have done so several times in central Concord. In all but one occasion, the offenders were small groups of young to middle-aged men, all smoking….positioned so that the cloud of smoke blanketed the sidewalk area. I simply POLITELY explained that they might not be aware of the ordinance making about 20 square blocks around the center of town smoke free…and added that I just wouldn’t want them to risk getting a citation. They claimed not to know about the ordinance, thanked me, and one group used their shoe soles to put their cigarettes out on the sidewalk. I thanked them but……and this part is where I potentially could have gotten myself in trouble….I just stood there with my best scrunched up “Are you KIDDING me?” eyebrow misallignment and stared down at the cigarette butts on the sidewalk. So one young man muttered, “Oh…yeah”, and leaned down to pick up his cigarette butt. Then the others did so, too, and started moving toward one of the trash containers nearby. I thanked them again and wished them a happy day. They thanked me for letting them know, and we all moved on. This whole deal took less than a minute.

Okay, my guess is that they really DID know about the ordinance but were playing dumb. Actually, I have not seen any “no smoking” signs in the area.

Whenever the smoking discussion has come up on Claycord, another commenter has used a phrase which gets to the core of the issue:
“Your freedoms end where my nose begins.”

36 Suzie May 20, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Especially if there were children around–I would say No Smoking. But if you don’t claim them, then “out with the bath water”.

37 Joe May 20, 2014 at 6:16 PM

I agree 100 percent, but the smokers believe their right to smoke, supersedes your right to not smoke.

38 Valentine Casey May 20, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Nope—Snitches get stitches.

39 Julio May 20, 2014 at 6:51 PM

I watched my young cousin die of lung cancer. She never smoked a day in her life. It was an awful death.

40 Just me May 20, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Well if it was online and we had the relative safe of being a keyboard commando such as in the other smoking thread here I’m sure the empowered that be would match right up, rip the smoke from their mouth and scold them on the spot.

However since we’re talking about a real life application and no one has the balls to talk to anyone anymore I guess at most they would give a dirty look or huff n puff.

Being of the generation that still remembers real life social interaction I say it would depend on the situation. If it was really bothering me I might ask them if they could move. But hey on the flip side I might ask to bum one. Ya never know

41 JET May 21, 2014 at 9:48 AM

I’m waiting for the ban on texting/cell phone use in public areas. I can’t wait for that one. Next time you are out – look around and you will notice how few people are paying attention to what is around them (life) and instead are staring at their damn phones.

42 Mimi (original) May 21, 2014 at 11:29 AM

There are NO SMOKING ANYWHERE signs all over my work’s green areas and parking lots, but we’ve been advised to NOT approach scofflaws who are smoking. I think it’s terrible that we have to be AFRAID to let people know they’re smoking in a Non-Smoking area, but they do get very defensive when it’s called to their attention!

43 ol' Ollie May 21, 2014 at 3:46 PM

@Jet – You pegged that one. They are making themselves targets for our glorious thug population who will steal whatever they see.

44 FigNewton May 21, 2014 at 10:07 PM

I’d take their picture and post it on my blog with a comment ridiculing them.

45 Michelle May 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I agree with no smoking in a crowd of people, no one wants to be around second hand smoke, downtown San Francisco already has a complete No Smoking ordinance in place. there are designated public smoking areas all around, have respect for those who don’t smoke cigarettes.

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