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April 6, 2011

Baltimore Farmers' Market now a smoke-free zone

farmerThe Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) will announce today that the Baltimore Farmers' Market is now a smoke-free zone. Cigarette smoke, that is.

The change has the full support of the mayor and the Baltimore City Health Department.

"Self-policing and peer pressure" will enforce the policy for now, according to BOPA executive director Bill Gilmore.

The market and bazaar are located on Saratoga Street between Holliday and Gay streets under the Jones Falls Expressway. 

What do you think about the change? 

Baltimore Sun photo/Steve Raurk

Posted by Richard Gorelick at 11:12 AM | | Comments (17)


Not trying to diminish the BOPA's efforts, but I can't recall the last time I noticed anyone smoking a cigarette at the market, so seems about the same as announcing that street parking is now available on the roads near the market...

Ironic that you ask what we think about the no-smoking policy right underneath a photo of a whole bunch of cancer-causing grill smoke.

Here's what I think: smoke from cigars, cigarettes, and pipes changes the scent of food for everyone near the smoke and the food. However, the market is an outdoor venue, and smoking is permitted outdoors. Non-smokers aren't held captive in an outdoor market -- they can walk away from the smoke. That being said, people are used to having the government determine their behavior, so I doubt anyone will have serious complaints.

I don't care about the cancer or the smell -- I care about freedom and rights, and taking away smoking is another step on the path to denying freedom.

As a former smoker, but one who never smoked at the market, I have to disagree with the above comments. Sometimes, at the market, it is so crowded that people are all bunched together. I have been trapped in someone's cloud of smoke many, many times, with no hopes of escaping for several minutes. Even worse, I've had people drop ashes in my market basket, or have had to dodge lit cigarettes so as not to get burned. It always makes me mad when I see people blowing smoke around kids, or little children having to dodge lit cigarettes. If you really want to smoke that badly, it's not that big of a deal to just step outside of the market area.
Also, I mean, it's just gross to allow people to blow smoke on food that I might be eating (yes, I have seen that too).

Are you referring to the Farmers Market that is held under an expressway?? Cuz the logic don't add up. How do you tell if it is the cigarette smoke or exhaust fumes in your food?

All i know is that I'd rather smell a lit cigarette than bum's urine...

Is this just within the confines of the walls, or does this extend out into the new no parking zone as well.

Sounds great! Even more reasons for people to shop at other markets in the area.

Smoke Beef, Not Camels

They don't enforce the no dogs rule (at least I think there is a no dogs rule, but maybe that's another market) so I doubt they'll enforce this one eiher. No disrespect to the organizers; when you have that many people in one placae at one time, it's hard to control anyone's behavior.

news flash to anonymous: there's no such thing as a "right to smoke"

this is a dining there anything the tea partiers won't politicize?

@Mar hit the nail on the head. I, for one, stopped going to the Barclay St. market that I can walk to years ago because of the dogs, and now they are showing up downtown. This is the rule that I would like to see enforced. Smoke 'em if you got 'em, just don't flick your ashes in the arugula. (HA!)

This is the best news I've heard since Glenn Beck announced he's ending his show.

Ah, well, my above comment is lacking something. I attempted to put fake HTML tags for "liberal agenda" and "/liberal agenda," but the blogware doesn't allow them. So, nobody freak out, it was intended as a humorous post...

...even if it is accurate as written...

I love the smell of urine in the morning, at the farmers market.

Oh for Gawd's sake! So it's OK for patchouli-reeking unbathed hipsters to skank their BO all over the place, for carcinogens to literally fall from the heavens (correction...JFX) above, smoke to belch out of grills, and exhaust from city buses to waft in giant clouds but someone smoking a cigarette should be banished? Give me a break...and preferably a smoke break.

A few thoughts:
1. If being exposed to a few seconds of second-hand smoke is so dangerous, should people doing the actual smoking be dead before they ever finish their first cigarette?

2. How come if I'm smoking and you walk by waving your hands and stage-coughing that's considered OK but if you're standing around outside annoying me with loud cellphone chatter I'm not allowed to wave and cough in your face?

3. That being said, I think that BOPA would do more to increase the enjoyment of all if they banned talking on cellphones (texting would be OK).

4. What about people who have dog/food/fiber allergies? Shouldn't BOPA be protecting them? Don't the potential health risks of having possibly life-threatening foods (peanuts, etc.), dangerous dogs, and potentially lethal wool fibers necessitate their immediate banishment by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts?

5. Think of the children.

Not sure why I'm doing this, but...

1. It's actually been established that unfiltered, 2nd-hand smoke is, in fact, worse than smoke inhaled through a cigarette. Granted, inhaling a bit of 2nd-hand smoke in an open-air environment is not going to be comparable to actually smoking a cigarette in terms of carcinogens, etc. The person smoking a cigarette outside is getting a much, much greater dose of cancer-causing substances than someone passing by.

2. If someone coughs and waves in your face when doing anything, punch him/her in his/hers. Obviously, there's not much 2nd-hand radiation from cell phones.

3. Maybe everyone should just learn sign language and the market should be silent...

4. Dogs are already banned from the market, although some people still show up with them. As to the others, everyone is susceptible to cigarette smoke, but only a small portion is seriously impacted by food/fiber allergies. If we look to the reasonableness standard for liability and torts as a guide, we generally wouldn't extend protection for the most extreme examples of sensitivity to all.

5. Indeed.

Overall, I don't think the smoking ban is a huge deal. If you actually can't spend 30 minutes shopping without smoking, you have a serious problem. 76% of the US population doesn't smoke cigarettes and might not actually want to be around them. (By contrast, interestingly, that's roughly the same percentage of Americans who do talk on cell phones.) Majority rule, minority rights, etc., and, as has been pointed out, there's really no right to smoke in public areas.

But anyway... Hey look, the Orioles are leading the AL East! Weird.

please review the TOS re. logic and reason


Makes perfect sense to me, sean!

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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