By Molly • Molly Walker • 

MDA conducting downtown smoking survey

The McMinnville Downtown Association and Yamhill County Health and Human Services have teamed up to conduct surveys to gather public opinion on tobacco use and secondhand smoke in the downtown core area.

There are two online surveys available, one for the general public.

The public survey includes questions about experience with and attitude toward secondhand smoke and cigarette butt litter downtown. It asks residents if they would visit the same, more or less, if downtown tobacco use was prohibited and the degree to which they might support a ban.

The business survey includes similar questions, framed from a merchant and employee perspective.

The surveys were designed by Blake Densley and Jennifer Johnson of County Health. They were reviewed and approved by the Oregon Health Authority.

In addition, County Health employees plan to conduct some in-person surveys downtown. Once all of the data has been collected, they will compile the results.

“Oregon’s Clean Air Act is critical in preventing non-smokers from being exposed to secondhand smoke in all parts of our community,” said Cassie Sollars, manager for the MDA. “But downtown, where shops, restaurants, wine tasting rooms and offices are so close together, it’s nearly impossible to use tobacco products and stay the required 10 feet away from doors or windows.”

The  survey will allow MDA to measure the level of support the community has for making some locations and events tobacco-free.

“We plan to use the compiled data to formulate smoking policy downtown,” said Sollars. “Other Oregon communities have enacted policies anywhere from smoke-free events to completely smoke-free downtowns. We don’t know where we’ll land on that spectrum, but we need the data to make an informed decision.”

To access the survey for the general public, go to

To take the survey for businesses, go to

Surveys may also be accessed through the county website at or MDA website at



If I couldn't smoke outdoors on a windy day, I'd be less inclined to go and spend money downtown.


Thing are out of control .you guys are caring the smoking to far ,,I don't smoke anymore ,,none smokers are thinking they have the right to tell everyone how they should live and what they can and cant do ,when and where ,come on you guys don't own the outdoors.


So we counted over two dozen cigarette butts in front of one business today. Should we cite everyone of those people with littering? Should the one person who smokes ask all 20 people in a restaurant, who have to smell that smoke instead of the food they paid for, to get a life and stop bothering him.

Smokers feel like they are under attack, guess what..... you are. If smoking added positively to the environment then it would be welcomed. If smoking didn't kill tens of thousands of people every year then it probably wouldn't be much of an issue.

Instead we all pay inflated costs to cover the inherent expense of smoking. For every person that wouldn't come shop downtown due to smoking there would be ten more that would love to come and shop if they saw that their town was clean and beautiful, not just an ashtray for selfish people who can't possibly be bothered to be considerate of those around them.


As articulate as diana is, I must take isssue with her concern. I may not "own the outdoors", as she so insightfully points out, but I should have the right to stroll the public square without being forced to inhale the poisons of second-hand cigarette smoke. This isn't a matter of telling other people how they should live, as much as it is about smokers being "considerate of those around them", as expressed by scooter. This isn't an elitist position by us "none smokers"; it is simply a matter of common courtesy for all of us that share the air. Pollution of any kind is never good.


So, this is really looking to be a case of "here we go again".

Laws are on the books, "“But downtown, where shops, restaurants, wine tasting rooms and offices are so close together, it’s nearly impossible to use tobacco products and stay the required 10 feet away from doors or windows.” If the laws on the books are not going to be enforced, then why make up another one?

I can't think of a single place along 3rd between Adams and the RR tracks where it would be legal to smoke, unless you were standing in the middle of a street at an intersection. Then you would have another law to worry about.

If the law covering smoking within 10 feet of doors and windows, offensive littering, etc. is NOT being enforced, then why are we wasting time and tax payer money (County Health Dept) taking a worthless survey to create another law (" if downtown tobacco use was prohibited") that probably won't be enforced just like the laws that are already on the books?


Seabiscuit is correct. I guess the survey is to just get leverage to enforce the law which shouldn't be necessary.

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